Sunday, February 27, 2011

Total Body Plyometric Workout

Many athletes and coaches use Plyometrics to build power, speed, improve coordination, agility and sports performance.  Speed and Strength are important components of fitness and involved in virtually all athletic movements.

The following is a Total Body Program I tried out with one of my volleyball players.  You can print this out and maybe incorporate into your training, enjoy!

NOTE **This is not a program for a beginner.  These are high risk exercises and if performed incorrectly or performed without a solid base of training plyometrics can increase the risk of injury.**

Total Body Plyometric Workout

- 5 Lower Body Plyometric Workout 
For each exercise do 10-15 repetitions for 1 set, 2-3 sets

Side-to-Side Ankle Hops, Single Foot
Equipment: Two marks on the ground (cones, tape X's, etc.) 3-4 feet apart.
Begin by standing on one leg next to one of the marks on the ground, feet at shoulder width and your arms relaxed, hanging at your sides.
• Hop back and forth between the marks on the floor, landing on your right foot near the right mark and you left foot next to the left mark.
Standing Jump-&-Reach
Equipment: A wall or hanging object.
Begin by standing straight, feet at shoulder width and arms relaxed at your sides.
• Squat slightly and then jump upward as high as you can. Extend your arms up above your head to try to grab the object, or mark as high as you've jumped on the wall.
• Repeat.
Standing Jump over an Obstacle
Equipment: A cone, low hurdle, or other object 12-24 inches high to jump over.
Begin by standing straight, feet at shoulder width and arms relaxed at your sides.
• Bending slightly at the hips, jump over the obstacle. Keep you body upright and tuck your knees up & together, toward your chest, to clear the obstacle.
• Land, turn around, and jump over the obstacle again.
Squat Jump
Equipment: OPTIONAL Barbell or dumbbells that weight up to 60% of the exerciser's body-weight.
Start standing straight up, holding your weights if you have them.
• Drop slowly to a low squat position, thighs at a right angle to the upper body and parallel to the floor. Squat and stand back up 5 times.
• Drop quickly into the low squat position and stand up quickly. Do this 5 times.
• Drop into the squat position quickly and jump explosively upward into the air 5 times.
• This makes 1 set of Squat Jumps.
Pike Jump, Split
Equipment: None.
Begin by standing straight, feet at shoulder width and arms relaxed at your sides.
• Bending slightly at your hips and knees, jump up as high as possible.
• Doing your best to keep your legs straight, bring them up to either side of you and bend forward to try to touch your toes with your hands at the peak of your jump.
• As soon as you land, jump again.

- 3 Upper Body Plyometric Workout Exercises -

Clapping Push-up
Equipment: None.
Start on the ground, hands at shoulder width and toes on the floor in a regular push-up position.
• Drop quickly all the way down to the floor, and then push-up explosively into the air.
• While in the air, clap you hands together once before you drop to the ground and start you next push-up.
Incline Depth Jump Push-ups
Equipment: A box that's high enough to raise your feet above your head when you're down in a push-up position. Also, mats to place your hands on.
Start on the ground, hands at shoulder width and toes on the floor in a regular push-up position, but with your feet up on the box. Your hands will start in-between the mats, on the floor.
• Explosively push up, off the floor and into the air for your push-up and then land by catching yourself with both hands on the mats in a push-up position (which will be a slightly wider hand placement than when you started).
• Reset you hands on the floor and then push up and off the floor again.
Elevated Explosive Push-ups
Equipment: 3 Boxes, stacks of books, or other objects of the same altitude (6 - 12 inches off the floor) that you can position you hands and feet on.
Start in a push-up position with your hands and feet on the 3 boxes, hands at shoulder width and with your arms extended. Your feet will stay on their box for the entire time.
• Take your hands off the boxes and drop to the floor.
• Absorb as little of the impact against the floor as you can and then explosively push yourself back into the air.
• Coming down from the explosive floor push-up, catch yourself with your hands on the boxes.
• That's one rep.
• After absorbing just as much of the impact on the boxes as necessary, push-up explosively into the air to start the sequence all over again.

There, that's the entire plyometric workout. You can use it to get benefits for a variety of sports, or just to jump higher and have your punches snap out faster.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Keep Calm and Eat Healthy

"Let food be thy medicine, and let thy medicine be food." Hippocrates

Today's lunch was spectacular so I had to share it with you!  Most health conscious people eat salads quite often.  Romaine lettuce, Boston, Green Leaf, Endive & Radicchio, etc. and that can get boring.  So today I put together a medley of Organic Baby Spinach, Shredded Green Cabbage, Chopped Broccoli, Diced Carrots, Red Cabbage, Jicama, Green Bell Peppers, Radish & Celery, topped off with mini pearl Grape Tomatoes!  It was really delicious and a great change from my usual Romaine mix.  

I never use any sort of bottled dressing.  I am strictly an Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Balsamic or Fresh squeezed Meyer Lemon (from my lemon tree), but today's dressing was a nice change. I dressed my salad today with Bragg's Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Bragg's Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, it complimented the shredded cabbage and other vegetables well.  If you don't already use Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar you should definitely try it.

 Apple Cider Vinegar has been highly regarded throughout history.  In 400 B.C. the great Hippocrates, Father of Medicine, used it for its amazing health qualities. 

Some Health benefits listed are:  It's Rich in Enzymes & Potassium, Supports a Healthy Immune System, Helps Control Weight, Promotes Digestion and PH Balance, Helps Soothe Dry Throats, Helps remove Body Sludge Toxins, Helps Maintain Healthy Skin, Helps promote Youthful Healthy Bodies, Soothes Irritated Skin, Relieves Muscle Pain from Exercise.

You can go directly to the website I linked here:  Bragg Live Foods for a host of amazing products I highly recommend and a company you can trust.  Bon Appétit!