Plyometric exercises are often used for martial arts training. They help to develop the ability to “explode” from a static position (think of a horse exploding out of the gate). This combination of speed and power is an important skill to learn in order to excel at sparring and/or self-defense. The plyometric exercises listed below are used by martial artists to develop more powerful martial arts kicks and punches. Plyometrics also helps to improve conditioning and overall strength.
However, be aware that if plyometric exercises are performed incorrectly or are performed without an adequate level of basic physical conditioning (i.e. being out of shape), they can increase the risk of potential injuries (i.e. to your knees). Consult with your doctor and martial arts instructor before starting these exercises. They are not recommended for people with existing medical issues. All stretches and exercises should be supervised by a trained martial arts instructor in order to prevent injuries and to ensure the proper technique is utilized. If you have had an injury or are in pain, please see a doctor before starting any stretching or exercise program. For additional stretches and exercises, please visit the main Martial Arts Physical Fitness section.
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Plyometric Exercises for Martial Arts – Click on the exercises below for videos and/or instructions.
- Broad Jumps – From a standing position, try to jump as far forward as you can. Keep jumping until you reach the other side of the dojo!
- Clapping Push-Up – Try doing a regular push-up so vigorously that you can do a hand clap in the air between each push-up. Push yourself into the air with your push-up.
- Forward & Back Bounds
- Lateral Bounds
- Lateral Box Jumps – Jump side to side over a plyometrics box or something easier (and probably more readily available) such as a stack of Taekwondo kicking pads.
- Lateral Box Shuffle
- Lunge Jumps
- Medicine Ball Chest Pass – In this exercise, you will “pass” a medicine ball from chest level to a partner.
- Medicine Ball Diagonal Chops – Hold a medicine ball in your hands and move the ball diagonally across your body.
- Medicine Ball One Hand Throws – These medicine ball exercises will also help your punching or striking power.
- Medicine Ball Overhead Throws – In this exercise, you will throw a medicine ball with your two hands over your head to a partner.
- Medicine Ball Side Throws – You will rotate and throw the medicine ball at a wall (or to a partner) from your side.
- Medicine Ball Sit-Up Throws
- Medicine Ball Slams or Throw Downs
- Medicine Ball Supine Chest Throws – Lie on your back and throw the medicine ball into the air (by pushing it upwards with two hands) & catch as it comes back to the ground.
- Plyometric Box Exercises – These plyometric exercises use a wooden, plastic or metal plyometric box in order to develop leg strength, etc.
- Plyometric Box Lateral Hop
- Plyometric Box Lateral Shuffle
- Plyometric Box Jumps
- Plyometric Box Step Ups
- Plyometric Box Toe Taps
- Plyometrics Lunges
- Plyometric Push-Up
- Power Skips
- Scissor Jumps
- Single Leg Push-Offs
- Skater Jumps – This plyometrics exercise works on your lateral & diagonal agility & strength. It is also known as Ice Skaters.
- Squat Jumps
- Squat Jump Twists – Squat jump and then twist around in the air.
- Stair Jumps – Instead of running up stadium stairs, try jumping up the stairs.
- Tuck Jumps
- Vertical Jumps – From a standing position, try to jump as high as you can.
Plyometric Exercises Questions
What are the benefits of plyometric exercises?
Plyometric exercises help to develop “explosive” power. This allows athletes to accelerate more quickly, improve reaction speed, generate greater strength and power, enhance jumping height and length, etc. Moreover, these rigorous plyometric exercises also help with weight loss due to the relative higher amount of calories burned off during training.
For more on plyometrics, you should read this Wikipedia article.
What does plyometric exercise mean?
The word plyometric exercise is used to describe exercises that use jumps and/or thrusts in order to develop more explosive athletic power. Some common plyometric exercises include clapping push-ups, box jumps and power skips. The word plyometric is a combination of plio (which means “more”) and metric (which means “to measure”).
Examples of Plyometric Exercises
Examples of Plyometric Exercises used in Martial Arts Training
Plyometric Leg Exercises
Plyometric Exercises Image from Wikimedia Commons