Utilizing a plyometric workout is one of the best ways to develop lower body power and explosiveness. It’s essential for all kinds of athletes to work on these qualities in the weight room, so they can show up come game-time on the field or court.
This lower body, plyometric workout was put together for a few of my elite baseball athletes to focus on quick, lateral movement. I encourage you to try this workout no matter what you play.
For specifics, check out the list of plyometric workouts here:
Benefits of a Plyometric Workout
Let’s first answer the question: what is plyometric training?
Plyometrics encompass any jump training and/or explosive movement with the goal of increasing muscular force production and power.
Overtime, athletes who utilize plyometrics in their training will begin to see an increase in important factors such as:
- Vertical Jump
Think about plyometric workouts as an opportunity to train the nervous system to move faster. That way, once you learn how to program strength training with plyometrics, you’ll be unbreakable in the gym and unstoppable on the field.
How to Perform Plyometrics
Each of these plyometric drills will be listed in the order you should perform them within the workout. I’ll include the sets and reps for each as well.
Rest times are up to you, try to keep it challenging.
Make sure that you complete a full dynamic warm-up prior to starting with the plyometrics workout. We want your muscle and connective tissues to be primed for quick movement and get the most work out of our entire session.
NOTE: A few of the strength exercises are in a superset format where you’ll alternate between drills for the given amount of sets and reps.
Plyometric Workout Lower Body Power
1. Lateral Single-Leg Broad Jump
HOW TO: start this one off by loading your weight into the right foot with the left just floating off the floor. Take a lateral jump, turning and landing forward on both feet.
Think about picking your feet up underneath your butt as you jump forward. This will allow you to catch some hang time and go for extra distance on the broad jump.
- 2 Sets x 4 Reps (alternate jumping off each leg, total of 4 each side)
2. Elevated SL Reactive Jump
HOW TO: begin standing on a short plyo box (only a few inches off the floor). Begin with your left foot on the box, and the right floating over the floor. The box provides a reactive component to this drill.
On cue, you’re going to jump down laterally, bringing only the the left foot down to the floor. As soon as you tap down, take a quick right turn and land in a forward broad jump on both feet.
You should spend as little time on the ground as possible.
- 2 Sets x 4 Reps (2 each leg)
3. Broad Jump to Box Jump
For this one, you shouldn’t be as concerned with the height of the box, as you are with the depth of the broad jump. You’re working to translate horizontal power to vertical power.
HOW TO: Start by taking a hop forwards on both feet and immediately taking off for the box as you land. Eventually, you can progress to start off only one foot, hopping forward to land and take off of both feet.
- 2 Sets x 4 Reps (2 each leg)
4. Single Leg Lateral Hop to Box Jump
HOW TO: For this one you’ll begin facing laterally to the plyo box. Starting on the right leg, (the box should be to your left), hop to turn and face the box landing on both feet and jump directly onto the plyo box.
Each portion of the movement should be quick and transition into the next.
- 2 Sets x 4 Reps (2 each leg)
5. Med Ball Box Jump
HOW TO: Holding a med ball over head, begin standing directly in front of the box and jump onto the plyo box.
This drill helps to increase your ability to produce vertical force and adds intensity to the movement with the weight of the ball.
- 4-6 Sets x 1 Rep
6A. Back Squat
HOW TO: I’d like you to perform these barbell back squats with a wider stance to target the glutes. Bring the feet just outside the hips and turn the toes slightly out.
As you stand up from the lowest point of your squat (just below parallel), be sure to externally rotate through the legs as if you’re pressing your knees OUT or “screwing your feet into the floor”.
This even further activates the hip muscles. I like to include squats in our plyometrics workout so that we can stimulate the nervous system, and follow it with quick skater jumps to work on speed.
- 5 Sets x 4 Reps with no tempo.
6B. Skater Jumps
HOW TO: Starting on one foot, you’re going to laterally hop to the other foot. Aim for height and distance – putting power into each jump. As soon as you touch down, move directly into the next rep.
These are great for working on speed and reactivity which translates into lateral quickness on the field.
Check out THIS workout for sport specific speed.
- 5 Sets x 5 Reps each side (10 total reps)
7A. Sled Sprint
Next we have one of my all-time favorite drills to work on overall lower body power.
HOW TO: Load a sled with the weight of your choice. Grab the handles at their highest point and begin to sprint.
Make sure to drive the knees high, maintain a flex in the ankle and think about “stabbing the ground” with each step.
- 3 Sets x 1 40yd sprint
7B. Banded RDL
This final strength set is paired with banded RDL’s to focus on the posterior chain.
HOW TO: Using a large band, lay the top half over your shoulders and step on the bottom half with your feet hip width distance. From here, hinge at the hips pushing the glutes back and keeping the spine long.
- 3 Sets x 12 Reps
8. Weighted- Seated Dead Bugs
To finish off this plyometric workout, train the core to work on whole body stabilization and strength.
HOW TO: Start seated with both legs out in front and a small bend in the knees. With a small plate in each hand, lean back slightly to engage the core, and bring both arms overhead.
From here, alternate keeping one arm up and bringing the other down to touch your hand and knee.
- 3 Sets x 20 Reps (alternating)
PLYOMETRIC WORKOUT SUMMARY
One of the best things you can do for yourself as an athlete is get yourself the right coach, and if that’s not in the cards right now then you at least need the right programming.
This FULL workout addresses lower body strength, power, and agility through plyometric jumping drills, and targeted strength work.
Whether you’re a baseball, basketball, football, or soccer player – give this plyometric workout a try for a solid session.
However, adding in a plyometric workout to your lower body training schedule now and then isn’t going to hurt you… but it definitely won’t improve your agility in the long run.
If you want to
- Improve your game-time speed
- Complete more passes
- Juke your opponents left and right
- Score MORE
You need to be training using an integrated plyometrics program like…
This 14-week agility program works to build your lower body power, on-field quickness, and game-time instincts.
If you’re ready for a major season, don’t keep randomly adding in your plyometric workouts. Progress them properly throughout your off-season, and peak just in time to rock training camp.