20 Heart-Pumping Plyometric Exercises to Try

Never heard of plyometrics? The official definition might as well be “workout that makes you drip with sweat while your muscles burn,” because that’s just what these jumping moves do. And these heart-pumping moves burn serious calories.

1. Jump Squats

• Begin in an athletic stance with feet shoulder-width apart and arms bent with hands at chest level. Bend knees and come into a full squat.
• Jump up as explosively as you can, reaching for the ceiling.
• When you land, lower back into the squat position to complete one rep.

2. Jump Squat Heel Click

• Begin with the feet slightly wider than your hips, bend your knees, and, keeping your weight in your heels, squat.
• Jump up as high as you can and bring your feet together so they touch.
• Land quietly back into a squat. This makes for one rep.
• Complete two sets of 10 reps.

3. Sumo Squat Jump

• Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and slightly turned out, arms resting on your hips.
• Bend your knees and plié, then jump up explosively. Keep your core engaged.
• Land with control, lowering your body back into the squat position to complete one rep.
• Complete two sets of 10 reps.

4. Squat Hop

• Before you start this move, visualize a large square on the floor, and you’re standing in the bottom right corner, feet hip-distance apart.
• Keeping weight in the heels, bend the knees and squat down. Take a huge jump forward to the top right corner of that imaginary square, landing quietly back into a squat.
• Keep going around the square, jumping to the left, jumping back behind you, and jumping to the right. Now you’re back where you started.
• Continue hopping around the square in this direction for 30 seconds, then reverse your jumps around the square in the opposite direction for another 30 seconds.

5. 180 Jump Squat

• Start in a deep squat with your legs a bit wider than your hips and your toes pointed outward. Twist your torso to the right reaching your right hand to the ceiling and your left hand toward the floor.
• Jump up, spinning to the left 180 degrees (halfway around) bringing both hands overhead. Land softly in a deep squat, twisting your torso to the left with the left hand reaching toward the ceiling an the right hand toward the floor. This completes one rep.
• Repeat, but reverse directions so you jump spinning to the right going back the way you came.
• Do 20 reps, alternating sides.

6. BOSU Jumping Squats

• Place your left foot in the center of the BOSU with your right foot parallel to your left, on the floor. Bend down into a squat position, with your backside out like you are sitting in a chair. Keep your body in a low squat, and clasp your hands in front of you for balance.
• In one quick motion, lift your body up and jump to your left so your right foot replaces your left in the center of the BOSU. Your left foot should be parallel to your right but on the floor. Keep your body low in a squat as you plant your foot on the ground.
• Repeat 20 times.

7. High-Knee Skips

• Skip in place by hopping on your right leg while bringing the left knee up toward your chest. Engage your abs as the knee comes toward your chest.
• Switch legs and keep skipping while pumping your arms.
• Skip for 30 seconds.

8. Lunge Skips

• Come into a lunge with your right leg back. Swing your right leg forward to hop up on your left foot, and land softly back in a lunge.
• Repeat for 30 seconds and then switch sides for an additional 30 seconds.

9. Jumping Jack

• Jump off the balls of your feet as you perform this classic exercise.
• To modify, step the legs wide and then step them together instead of jumping.

10. Seal Jack

• Similar to a jumping jack, seal jacks are another great jumping exercise for warming up.

11. Lateral Hops

• With your right foot slightly off the ground, balance on your left foot.
• Hop back and forth over an imaginary line laterally for 30 seconds.
• Repeat the same motion, balancing on your right foot.
• Rest 30 seconds, and repeat the exercise three times.

12. Box Jumps

Yumi Lee, owner of Reebok CrossFit LAB, shows you how to work your way up to mastering box jumps.

Visit popsugar.com for a video on box jumps.

13. Split-Lunge Jumps

• Stand with your feet together and your knees soft. Jump and come into a lunge with your left leg forward.
• Push off with both feet, jumping them together, then hop into a lunge with your right leg in front.
• Jump your feet back together to complete one rep.
• Complete three sets of 10 on each side.

14. Gate Swings

• Begin standing with your feet together. Hop your feet wide apart, and come into a deep squat, bringing your hands to your thighs. Your toes will be pointed outward.
• Push off your thighs with your hands for leverage as you jump your legs together to complete one rep.
• Do as many reps as possible for 30 seconds.

15. Gate Swings With Cross

• Start with your feet in a wide, second-position stance with your toes pointed slightly outward. Bend your knees and lower into a squat, using your hands to help push your knees wide apart to deepen the inner-thigh stretch.
• Push off your knees to get leverage, and jump your right leg in front of your left, landing in a standing cross-legged stance.
• Immediately jump your legs back out to a wide squat with your hands at your knees.
• Push off your knees and jump your legs together, crossing your left leg in front of your right.
• Repeat as many times as possible for at least 30 seconds.

Check out this GIF demonstrating this move in action.

16. Burpee

• Lower into a crouching squat with your hands on the floor.
• Do a squat thrust by jumping your feet back into a plank position.
• Do one basic push-up, bending the elbows and then straightening back to plank.
• Jump the feet forward to the hands, and come into a squat.
• Do an explosive jump straight up, getting as much height as you can.

17. Side Skater

• Start in a small squat. Jump sideways to the left, landing on your left leg and crossing your right leg behind you. Bring your left hand to the floor squatting low in the cross-legged position. This completes one rep.
• Reverse directions by jumping to the right with your right leg.
• Continue alternating sides for 30 reps.

18. Single-Leg Touch and Hop

• Begin standing your weight on your left foot. Keeping your back long, bend your left knee to touch the floor with your right fingers.
• Swing your right leg and left arm forward to return to standing, hopping once the torso is upright. Land with control, then slowly lower your torso, and bend your knee to touch the floor again.

19. Plank Jacks

• Begin in the plank position, with your shoulders over your wrists, your body in one straight line, and your feet together.
• Like the motion of jumping jacks, jump your legs wide apart, and then back together to complete a rep. Jump as quickly as you want, but keep your pelvis steady and don’t let your booty rise toward the ceiling.
• Do a total of 20 reps to complete a set.

20. Plank With Bunny Hop

• Begin in a plank position with feet touching.
• Pull your abs in, and jump your feet to the right bringing your knees toward your right elbow. Your torso will twist to the right.
• Jump your feet back to plank, to complete one rep.
• Repeat on the other side and continue alternating sides for 20 reps total.