Centr trainer and Chris Hemsworth’s stuntman Bobby Holland Hanton, shares the benefits of implementing plyometric moves into your workout for maximum toning and fitness.
If you’ve always wanted to fly, plyo workouts are probably as close as you’re going to get. Plyometric moves are explosive full body moves where you’re airborne 95 per cent of the time.
As a professional stuntman, my job involves throwing myself off buildings, flipping over cars and hurtling through the air. Yours probably doesn’t, but there’s still a lot of benefits to doing these moves.
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Plyo workouts are an incredibly efficient way to train. I’m not a big believer in spending hours in the gym. I want my workouts to be quick but powerful, a shorter workout where you’re going hard 100 per cent of the time is going to be much more beneficial than a longer workout where you’re not pushing to your max. I think scheduling a week of shorter workouts is also a lot more realistic for most people than trying to commit to an hour and a half in the gym everyday and then failing mid-week when life gets in the way.
You can also do the workouts anywhere because they only use your own bodyweight. With a lot of us still working out from home this is really important as many people don’t have access to gym equipment or a lot of space. For my plyo workouts I really just need a mat and half an hour and I can get the job done.
2. Cardio fitness
Because plyo moves are so explosive they will get you sweating and send your heartbeat rocketing through the roof. You’re off the ground a fair bit and using your fast-twitch muscles, which give you the same explosive power that sprinters use when they’re starting a race.
Not only does this help give you better cardiovascular fitness, you’re also burning a lot of calories quickly. If you’re new to working out plyo moves might seem intimidating, but you can always scale moves back to suit your level of fitness. The moves can be broken down and you can start small and build up to the more explosive and energetic plyo moves.
3. Muscle toning
A lot of people think that the only way to gain muscle is to lift heavy weights, but it’s just not the case. Coming from a gymnastics background i’ve seen how using your own bodyweight can dramatically increase your strength while still keeping you mobile, you’re becoming stronger and more toned without adding bulk that can make it hard to move around. As a stuntman being able to move around is really important for my job, but it’s also important for everyday people who want to feel good.
Typical body parts that you hit in a plyo session include your legs, glutes, arms and shoulders but most importantly your core. You’ll find your whole body getting stronger and more toned.
3 best plyo moves
The best part is, it’s not rocket science. These moves aren’t complicated or confusing; they’re a build on exercises you’re probably already doing.
1. Jumping lunges
These are going to get your heart rate up, test your stability, and work your legs, glutes and core. They’re a much bigger challenge than a traditional lunge.
2. Tuck jumps
Tuck jumps will spike your heart rate quickly. Start in a standing position, feet in line with your shoulders. Jump as high as you can, bringing your knees up into your chest. Keep your knees soft as you land. You can use your arms for balance and to gain momentum.
3. Jumping push-ups
Exactly what they sound like! Just lower your body down towards the floor and push off explosively on the way up. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can clap your hands together in the middle – but just try not to land on your face! Jumping push-ups engage your chest, arms and core so they’re going to tone some key areas.
Bobby Holland Hanton is a stuntman and a resident expert on Chris Hemsworth’s health and fitness app, Centr. His series of new plyometric workouts are available now in the app.