As summer is upon us and we will be enjoying our holidays and the odd fruity cocktail lying next to the pool (or is that just me?) it can be hard to continue working out as hard as we do at home. Let’s be honest, hotel gyms normally consist of a treadmill and a bike which is not the sort of place where you can get some serious work done. Trying to find a gym in the local area that will let you use it for a two week period is a nightmare so what are you left with? Good news: we all carry our own little gym around with us every day. A piece of equipment that can push us, get results and kick our butts on any given day. This piece of equipment is our own body; why not use it to keep the results coming over the summer?
In this blog I will give you an effective, challenging work out what will push you and get your body fired up. The only piece of equipment you will need is a strong bar you can hang from. Now I know what you’re thinking, where the hell do I find one of these? The next time you check in to a hotel unpack your bags and then go for a walk and have a look around. I do this every time I go away and I always find a decent bar to hang from. It might take you an hour to find it but it’s worth investing the time to keep your training hardcore on your travels.
Today we are going to concentrate on plyometric training. Plyometrics is used by all top athletes to increase their explosive abilities. If you play any sports or compete in anything that requires you to get off the mark, change directions as fast as possible or you need any other powerful movements then plyometrics is for you.
Now if you are not a high class athlete and just workout to stay in shape you might be thinking that this isn’t for you. But wait, don’t click the [x] just yet, Plyometrics is for you too.
Plyometics is a fantastic anaerobic type of exercise and a great way of building lean muscle mass and stripping body fat. Think about all those sports that push the athletes anaerobically, 100m sprint, boxing, rugby, football and tennis – how much body fat do you see these athletes carrying? Not a lot!
Well if you want a lean body then this training can help you.
One mistake I see lot of people doing when they are using plyometrics is doing far too many reps. As I said, plyometrics is an anaerobic type of training. This means you should not being doing more than 5 reps per set. Go over 5 and you are now working aerobically – this also has great benefits but is not the subject of the day.
People get the wrong idea about reps: they think the more the better. Don’t make that mistake- you want to hit those fast twitch muscles and you want to hit them hard so stick to the reps and you’ll get the results. I promise.
Another common mistake people make is not controlling their landing and coming down like Boeing 747. You want to land as soft as a Ninja here. All of the negative part of the movement should be done under control.
Now it’s time to workout. Do 4 sets of 5 reps of each exercise. Remember to explode into each rep. You want to feel like you are working to your max on each rep so don’t short cut it, a short cut here is like the short cuts you get from a dodgy taxi service, it just ends up coasting you more in the long run.
Squat jumps- Targetting quads, hams, gluts, calves and core.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and slowly lower into a deep squat. Explode up put of this and jump as high as you can in the air. Land and than slowly return down to the squat.
Pogo jumps- targeting calves, quads, hams, gluts
Imagine you are standing on a pogo stick, elbows tucked in and hands in front of you. Raise up onto your toes and then jump up without bending your knees or using your arms to help you.
Explosive Press ups- targets chest, shoulders, triceps and core
Start in a classic press up position explode off the floor but make sure your core stays engaged and your body is a solid plank during the whole movement. A lot of people like to clap on this one but personally I like to use a target like the bench you see in this picture. This exercise is about getting height so having something to reach for helps you get there.
Explosive pull ups targets back, biceps, shoulders and core
After you’ve found your bar, grip it and rip it! Take a normal wide grip chin hand position and pull yourself up so you are moving past the bar. Remember to catch the bar on your way down.
If you cannot perform any of these exercises and would like a regression so you can still get the max out of your workout OR if you’re a bit of a machine and you are nailing these and want progression exercises then please contact me and I will be happy to help.
In the meantime, enjoy your summer training!