It's not news that plyometrics burns calories and builds muscle simultaneously, making it, arguably, the most efficient and effective way to work out. So why aren't you doing it yet? "During explosive movements, muscles contract at a greater force than they do during standard strength-training exercises, which can help speed results," says Kyle Hunt, a Tier 3+ trainer at Equinox in New York City and a former NFL player. "But with this increased force production, you want to make sure you build a strong base from which to progress."
This plyo push-up-and-pull-up pairing is not for the new exerciser, but it can be very effective for someone who knows his way around the gym floor. "I do these moves together to increase my upper-body power and explosiveness and also promote muscle balance, since you have a push and a pull movement," Hunt says. "When muscles are balanced, not only will you reduce your risk of injury, but you'll be able to work more efficiently and see results faster." Watch the video below for inspiration, then do three sets of four to eight reps of the following exercises:
Helicopter Push-ups: Start in push-up position, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, feet together. Keeping your back flat, slowly lower your body to the ground, then, in one explosive movement, push up and away from the floor as quickly as possible; hands and feet should lift off the floor while you rotate your body clockwise as far as possible. Land in push-up position with elbows bent to absorb shock for one rep. Repeat rotating counterclockwise.
Plyo Pull-ups: Grasp the pull-up bar with an overhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, arms fully extended. Pull up explosively, letting go of the bar as you ascend, then quickly reach under the bar and grab with an underhand grip as you descend, allowing your arms to fully extend. Repeat, alternating between overhand and underhand grips.
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