Bodyweight exercises are great for building strength as it is, but add a plyometric element — like a jump or an explosive movement — and you’ve just taken your workout to a whole new level.
Recent research has shown that plyometric workouts can build muscle, burn fat, and improve athletic performance, speed, and power.
Here are 7 plyo bodyweight exercises you can do at home
1. Plyo push-up
Perform a standard push-up, but as you push up, use enough force that both hands leave the floor and you are able to quickly clap them together before landing.
Make it easier: Drop to your knees and practice pushing up with a clap before you move to your toes.
2. Squat thruster
From a high plank position, jump feet forward into a wide squat and bring hands off the floor, either into prayer position or in front of your chest.
Keep back straight, shoulders down, and chest out while in the low squat. Pause for a second, then place hands on the floor and jump feet back into high plank position. Repeat as quickly as possible.
3. Reverse lunge with knee-up
Stand with feet hip-width apart and step right foot back, coming into a low reverse lunge. Shift all your weight to left foot, engage glutes, and brace core.
Bring right foot forward and simultaneously jump off left foot, bringing right knee to chest. Land softly on left foot and immediately step back into a low lunge to repeat.
4. Box drill
Fire up your calves by jumping around an imaginary box. Begin by balancing on right foot with knee slightly bent. Keeping arms loose at sides to help with balance, hop to the right, landing on only your right foot.
Staying on the same leg, hop to the left, then forward, and then back. Switch legs and reverse direction. Focus on quick, small jumps.
Make it easier: Perform the exercise on both feet and focus on building speed as you jump in formation.
5. Burpee with tuck jump
Do a burpee. As you stand up at the end of your burpee, instead of doing a normal hop, jump and bring both knees up as high as possible, tucking knees to chest. Land softly on the balls of your feet and go right into your next burpee.
6. Alternating lunge jump
Start into a low lunge by stepping forward with right foot and allowing both knees to bend. Keep core braced and right knee over right ankle.
Shift your weight onto right foot and jump up, changing your lunge stance in midair so that you land with left foot forward, right foot back.
Immediately drop into a low lunge on the left, shift your weight to left foot, and jump up, switching stance in midair to return to the starting position. Aim for height, not speed. This one is all about generating vertical power and landing as lightly as possible.
7. Single-leg deadlift into jump
Stand on left leg, with knee slightly bent. Bend forward at hips, allowing right leg to naturally come up behind you, like a drinking bird. Continue until right leg and chest are parallel to the floor.
In one quick movement, swing arms forward, raise your chest, and use left foot to push off the floor, bringing right knee up toward chest.
Softly land on left foot and slowly lower back into the bent-over position, attempting to keep right foot off the floor throughout.
Make it easier: After you land, tap right toes to the floor to re-establish your balance before bending over again. You can also place your fingertips on the floor to help balance when your leg is extended behind you.
Do 1 to 3 sets of 3 to 5 reps each exercise, 3 to 4 times per week. Vary the rotation to mix it up and keep your body confused.