Upper Body Plyometrics

Learn how to gain power and strength in your upper body with these upper body plyo exercises.

Most people think of plyometrics as jumping exercises that target the lower body. While that's true, that doesn't mean your upper body needs to be left out of the power- and strengh-building benefits of plyometric workouts. Add these upper body plyometric exercises to your strength training routine in order to improve your explosive upper-body performance.

Plyo Push Ups on Medicine Ball

The plyo push up requires that you explosively hop your arms from a position on the floor to a position on top of a medicine ball while performing the push up exercise. You can modify this workout by using a stationary object, like a plate weight, instead of the medicine ball, or you can perform the push up on your knees in a modified push up position.

Start in a push up position with your hands on top of a single medicine ball. Perform a push up and as you extend your arms from the lowered position, explosively press through your palms, hopping your upper body away from the ball and landing with your palms on the ground in a traditional push up position. Perform another push up before explosively hopping your arms back ontop of the medicine ball. Continue performing as many push ups as you can, alternating between the two hand locations.

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Medicine Ball Slam and Catch

The medicine ball slam and catch will actually torch calories, increase your heart rate and deliver a full-body workout, all while improving your upper body power. Stand with a medicine ball at chest-heigh, your legs shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Lift the ball between your hands up over your head until your arms are fully extended, slightly in front of your body. Forcefully slam the ball down on the ground directly in front of your body, allowing your body to squat down as you propel the body downward. As the ball rebounds off the ground, return to standing and catch the ball in the air above your head. Repeat the slam eight to 10 times. Remember to ensure that the rebounding ball will not hit you or any other object during this exercise.

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Seated Exercise Ball Medicine Ball Throws

The exercise ball medicine ball throws will challenge your balance while also improving the explosive power of your shoulder, chest and triceps.

Sit on an exercise ball with your legs spread wide for balance, your knees bent at a 90-degree angle and your feet flat on the floor. Hold a medicine ball in the palm of one hand, as though you were about to shoot a basketball. Throw the ball up into the air, aiming to keep the ball close to your body. Catch the ball on your opposite palm, then throw the ball back into the air, catching it with the arm that first threw it. Continue throwing the ball back and forth across your body eight to 12 times.

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Additional Articles by This Author:

plyos, plyometrics, plyometric exercises

  • Expert

    Laura Williams (LauraEWilliams)


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