Sunday, April 24, 2016

Upper Body Plyometrics: Part Two

In last week’s blog, (CLICK HERE for Part One) ,we briefly discussed commonly used upper body plyometrics. The exercises that were discussed are considered by most to be elementary and beginning in nature; in this week’s blog we will discuss more advanced upper body plyometrics.
Push-Up Depth Jump
To set up this drill you will need aerobic step boxes or weight plates stacked up. Ideally you want the boxes/plates to be about 6-12” in height depending on your experience and your strength. Place the boxes/plates just outside of your normal hand placement for a push-up on the ground. Begin to lower
yourself down, and as you extend your elbows to raise up, forcefully push the ground away from you, then lifting your hands off the ground and onto the boxes/plates. This is an explosive movement by nature and should be treated as such. Control down, explode up, and catch yourself with your hands on the boxes/plates with the elbows locked out. Begin with short boxes/plates, so is not to fall on your face while performing this exercise.

Rotational Med Ball Throws
The next movement can be considered a core/ab exercise, yet there is still a great deal of involvement from the upper body. Rotational med ball throws are a great full body plyometric. Grasp a medicine ball with the arms fully extending. Pivot onto your back foot while shifting your weight. Then drive off your back foot, while forcefully turning the shoulders to complete the throw. This movement can be done alone against a wall, or if you have a willing and able partner, it can be done with a partner as well.

Overhead Medicine Ball Throw
The last movement in our continuation of upper body plyometric is the overhead medicine ball throw. This again is a great beginners movement for teaching full body power with an emphasis on the upper body. Grasp a medicine ball in both hands, and begin to partially squat. Once you have partially squatted down to about ¼ squat, explode upward throwing the hands vertically and throwing the ball as high in the air as possible. The key to this movement is being careful as the medicine ball comes back down, and to not let it hit you on the decent down.

Continue to add these movements to your workout in order to see new found explosiveness in your upper body. These movements serve as great “primers” of the body before performing strenuous lifts such as military press, bench press, etc. Be sure to always focus on form and technique before increasing weight or repetitions. Add these movements for 1-3 sets of 5-8 reps after your warm-up and before your main lifts, to see added physical performance benefits. Until next time, happy lifting!

1Baechle, T.R. & Earle, R.W. (2008). Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning (3rd ed.). Champaign: Human Kinetics.
2Incline Push-Up Depth Jump. (2015). Retrieved April 10, 2016, from website:
3Lefkowith, C. (2015, July 30). Working Out With The Med Ball – 18 Med Ball Exercises. Retrieved April 10, 2016, from website:
4Stoppanni, J., PhD. (2012, August 14). Power HIIT. Retrieved April 10, 2016, from website:

1 comment:

  1. Great Images and way of describing the movements! It definitely helps put it all together to get the person performing these movements the best chance of using good perform to accurately do each exercise!