It’s that time of the year! Dump the ice bags in the cooler, fill up those water balloons and lather up the sunscreen — it’s the 4th of July! This is a day for family, friends, food (try not to go overboard — we are a fitness website, after all), and of course, fireworks!
Maybe you’re the type that takes the family out to a local park to watch the sky light up with dazzling pyrotechnics. Or perhaps you prefer to get your fireworks from some guy on the side of the road. He seems legit, right?
The point is, we patriots love the explosive power of fireworks. So why not have an Independence Day workout that reflects that? And fortunately, there’s a type of exercise that utilizes fast, explosive and fun movements to get a great, fat-torching workout. It’s called plyometrics.
A Quick Breakdown of Plyometrics
Plyometrics, or “jump training,” is a type of workout that focuses on using your fast-twitch muscle fibers (we also have slow-twitch muscle fibers, which help you lift heavy objects). During plyometric exercise, the muscle rapidly shortens in a quick burst of speed. Repeating this helps your fast-twitch fibers to develop a greater capacity for moving more quickly, jumping higher, and making more athletic maneuvers.
See, the reason elite athletes display such great agility and quickness is because they have either a greater quantity, or more developed, quick twitch muscle fibers. Some people are born with a greater number of these fibers than others–not much any of us can do about that. But you can change how well your quick twitch muscle fibers are developed. And this is done with plyometric training.
So that’s what we have for you today. It’s a fun, plyometrics-based challenge that will get your fast-twitch muscle fibers activated with explosive movements. This workout will also be great for building lean muscle and torching body fat. And since during the 4th of July holiday, Americans eat around 150 million hot dogs and buy over 23 million cases of beer… well, this may be a nice workout to balance that out.
Perform each exercise for the allotted time. Rest for 20 seconds and move on to the next exercise. Once the circuit is completed, rest for 2-3 minutes and start over. Do 3 total rounds (or 4, if you really want to push yourself!).
Jump squats — 30 seconds
Plyometric push ups — 30 seconds
Crazy lunges — 30 seconds
Plyometric body rows — 30 seconds
Knee to chest jumps — 30 seconds
Burpees — 30 seconds
From all of us at A Shot of Adrenaline, have a safe and happy 4th of July!