Use Plyometrics to Develop the Lower Body, Triceps Press Downs for the Guns

If you are hitting a stalemate in your training or just getting tired of the same old mundane lifts, plyometrics are a good way to mix up the intensity of your work outs. Plyometrics are quick explosive movements that activate the large muscles of the lower body: glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps. They are used to develop lower body power. A plyometric exercise is a triple extension movement, meaning extension at the ankle, knee and hip. Strength coaches love these types of exercises because they mimic sports movements such as running, jumping, cutting and deceleration movements. So, if you are an aspiring athlete or still trying to hold on to those glory days, plyometrics are for you. If you are neither of these, a quick plyometric exercise can keep the heart rate up and can be implemented in a workout in a super set with a upper body or lower body exercise to help give you a cardio effect along with strength benefits.

Now, like any other exercise there are some instances when this lift might not be beneficial for you to add into your program. If you have orthopedic issues like bad knees you might want to weigh the risk/reward of performing this exercise.

Some good technique pointers for this exercise are to start the movement with a hip hinge. You want to get your shoulders over your toes and then explosively jump up and land softly on the box in the same position you started your jump in. When you stretch the muscles of the hamstring and hips you store elastic energy like a rubber band and by jumping you release that energy thus producing an explosive movement. Intensity of this exercise can be added by either increasing the size of the box or by performing the exercise explosive jumping, or on one leg.

The next exercise you can throw into your lifting program is called a triceps press down. This type of exercise is an assistant exercise, meaning it should be used to help with the big lifts like bench and shoulder press. It also can be used to give some isolated work to the triceps to get those big guns you are looking for.

Also for athletes, especially those who play sports that involve over the head throwing activities, a triceps press down can be used to help increase the muscles involved in throwing.

Just like every other exercise you do it should be done with great technique. Guys, put your ego aside and don’t butcher this exercise by trying to load it with too much weight losing good posture. Notice in the photo how he is standing with his shoulders pulled back; you can stand with your feet split to help give you better balance.

To begin, the elbow joint needs to be at a 90-degree angle. Next, fully extend the elbow and try to split the handles of the rope. Triceps press down exercises can be thrown in with a curl to add a little push/pull into the work out or you can throw it in with multiple exercises in a circuit. Intensity of this exercise can be increased by increasing the weight, changing up the tempo of the exercise or by performing a burn out. I hope these exercises can give you some variety into your work out and help you avoid the ugly monster of getting burned out.


About the Author

Jordan Williams is a trainer with Tri-Fit Murfreesboro. For more on how Tri-Fit can help you with your personal fitness goals, call (615) 663-2352 or find them on Facebook

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