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5 Effective Plyometric Drills for Explosiveness

5 Effective Plyometric Drills for Explosiveness

Written By:
Expert Review By: Steven Cleark&

This Article Gives Insight On:

  • What plyometric drills are.
  • The benefits of plyometric drills.
  • Five effective plyometric drills to try out.
  • How to avoid injury when undertaking these drills.

There are two kinds of gym and workout enthusiasts: those that like to build their form slowly through small but consistent exercises and those that want to gain muscle growth through intense and explosive exercise supplemented with short bursts of energy. Both workout enthusiasts achieve similar results if considered over a long time. However, we here share the top 5 effective plyometric drills for explosiveness that are likely to help you achieve goals faster than those who aspire for less intense exercises.

Understanding Plyometric Drills

Plyometric drills are specialized training routines that improve muscle power through rapidly contracting and stretching muscles. These kinds of drills aim to stretch your endurance and resilience by exposing you to speed and force over a short period of time.

How Do Plyometric Drills Improve Explosiveness

In workout speak, explosiveness is the ability of the body to produce intense and maximum force in the least time possible. It is crucial in sports that require short but intense bursts of force, such as sprinting, jumping, and diving. By constantly exposing your body to plyometric drills, you condition your muscles to adapt to providing maximum force. In the long term, your muscles will be accustomed to the demand for explosiveness, thus improving your athletic abilities.

Benefits of Plyometric Drills

Here are some of the benefits of plyometric drills:

  • Strengthen joints and bones
  • Help burn calories
  • Improve muscular strength
  • Enhance athletic performance
  • Reduce your propensity to injury
  • Boosting cardiovascular health

How Beginners Can Get Started With Plyometric Drills Safely And Effectively

Considering the amount of energy and physical fitness necessary for plyometric exercises, fitness specialists discourage beginners from these exercises. This is not to say that you should not try these exercises as a beginner. You should always remember to start gradually as you evaluate your body’s response. Doing so will enhance your physical fitness and allow you to advance to the more intense exercises and drills you wish to perform.

Top Plyometric Drills That Need Full Force

Athletes perform plyometric drills that require full force and effort to get the most out of plyometric training. Here are the best 5 plyometric drills that need full force to help you take your training to the next level.

Plyometric Drill 1: Box Jumps

Box jumps are excellent plyometric drills for working your calves, glutes, quads, and hamstrings. Perform a box jump as follows:

  • Place a box of reasonable height a step in front of you, with your feet slightly apart. 
  • Drop down to a squat pushing your hands behind you.
  • Jump onto the box with as much force as you can muster from your squat and land with both feet on the box.
  • Return to the floor and repeat the exercise for the needed reps.

Safety Tips For Performing Box Jumps

While you may want to perform the exercise as intensely as possible, it is advisable to use a box that is not too high, or else it may lead to injury. Landing can also be a safety risk, especially when struggling to land correctly. Always land firmly on the box with both feet and never jump back down.

Modification For Beginners And Advanced Athletes

Beginners should only use a start by jumping back and forth without the box, then gradually start using a low box before advancing to slightly higher boxes. Advanced athletes should also be wary about this exercise from the beginning. Only add it to two workouts a week, taking several days' break before retaking it.

Plyometric Drill 2: Medicine Ball Slams

Medicine ball slams are an effective full-body exercise and can help you achieve fitness all over the body. The basic medicine slam ball exercise involves slamming the ball on a wall in full force for multiple reps. However, you can incorporate the slam ball into other exercises, such as ab workouts, squats, lunges and planks.

Equipment Needed 

All you need to perform this exercise is a medicine slam ball of the desired weight and size. 

Common Mistakes To Avoid

  1. Avoid using a medicine ball that is too heavy for you. When you feel pain after throwing the ball, switch to a smaller ball to avoid injury.
  2. Always throw the ball with enough force for it to bounce back up. Gym enthusiasts refer to this as breaking the ball.

Plyometric Drill 3: Jump Squats

Jump squats are an explosive exercise that enhances explosiveness by firming the muscles on your glutes, quadriceps, calves, and hamstrings. To perform a jump squat, do as follows:

  • Squat to the ground with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Jump upwards until your feet leave the ground completely, and stretch out your arms.
  • Ensure you land softly, breaking the drop by going down to a half squat.

Modifications For Beginners And Advanced Athletes

Beginners should avoid the jump element of this exercise until their bodies are accustomed to the routine. However, advanced athletes can make the exercise even more explosive by incorporating a small medicine slam ball. In doing so, they should ensure they can comfortably hold the ball firmly in front of them. If the ball is too heavy, it can drop and cause injury.

Plyometric Drill 4: Lateral Bounds

The typical lateral bound exercise enhances fitness in the quads and increases explosive strength. To perform this drill, all you need to do is:

  • With your feet firmly on the ground, shoulder-width apart, bend at the ankles, knees and hips.
  • Extend your left leg to the left, pushing your entire body and right leg to the left side, slightly turning your upper body backward.
  • Land softly on your left leg and perform the same routine with the right leg.
  • Alternate the routine until you complete your reps.

Recommended Sets And Reps

Start with two sets of 10 reps each and gradually increase your reps and sets depending on your resilience and endurance.

Plyometric Drill 5: Depth Jumps

The final exercise to work on your glutes, quads, and calves is the depth jump. To perform the exercise, do as follows:

  • Stand on the edge of a box 12 inches in height, with your toes on the edge of the box.
  •  Fall from the box to land on the floor, then jump as high as possible off the ground. 
  • Once you land, get on the platform and repeat the drill

Safety Tips

  • As with the box jumps discussed above, do not use a very high box as it may lead to injuries. 
  • Avoid completing more than four sets of 5 to 8 reps each at a time to maintain form for safety purposes. 
  • Maintain complete focus at all times


In rigorous sports, explosive energy can distinguish between a skilled athlete and one completely out of form. Performing plyometric exercises correctly and regularly will help condition your muscles to engage in explosiveness. Remember, if you are a beginner, start gradually and only increase the vigor of your exercise when you get used to them.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are some common injuries associated with plyometric drills?

    If you do not perform plyometric drills as instructed above, you expose yourself to injuries such as shin splints, back pain, knee and ankle sprains, and tendon tears.

  • How often should I incorporate plyometric drills into my training program?

    As with any other rigorous exercise, the regularity of plyometric drills depends on your fitness levels and resilience. However, if you are a beginner, start these exercises gradually, probably only twice a week, and then gradually increase the sessions as you gain better form.

  • Can beginners perform plyometric drills safely?

    Yes, provided they follow the instructions and safety tips above, ensuring that they start with low intensity, beginners can perform plyometric drills safely.

  • What equipment do I need to perform plyometric drills?

    You can perform plyometric drills without any specialized tools. However, some drills above require a plyometric box and a medicine slam ball for complete effectiveness.

  • Are there any specific dietary recommendations for athletes performing plyometric drills?

    Generally, athletes performing plyometric drills must consume a balanced diet encompassing all food groups. You can also add protein-rich supplements to give your muscles the amino acids they need for further development and growth.

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