A Plyometric Workout That Requires No Jumping (Seriously!)

plyometric workout

Plyometric training is often thought of as “jump training” because so many of the programs you find online and see on TV involve dozens of high-impact jumping exercises rolled into one painful workout.

This is great for young athletes whose joints are in pristine health, and who are less susceptible to injury, but what about the rest of us?

Is plyometric training worth your time and the injury risk involved?

First, we need to take a look at what “plyometric training” really is …

What Are Plyometrics?

As I mentioned, most people think plyometrics are simply high-impact jumping exercises, but that’s a short-sighted belief. The true definition of plyometrics is:

“Exercise involving repeated rapid stretching and contracting of muscles to increase muscle power.”


Plyometrics exercises are all about quick muscles contractions that create power. Well, what is power and why would you want to become more powerful?

Power is defined as “the ability to exert maximum muscular contraction instantly in an explosive burst of movements. The two components of power are strength and speed.”

2 Reasons Why You’d Want to Become More Powerful

Developing more power through plyometrics might not sound like a goal you’d aim for, but there are actually tremendous benefits found when you do train for power.

First, training for power helps activate your fast-twitch muscle fibers. These are the fibers responsible for contracting very forcefully and very quickly. Research has shown that these fast-twitch fibers have a greater ability to strengthen and grow versus slow-twitch fibers.

You can see how this is true just by looking at a sprinter versus a marathon runner. Sprinters are lean but toned — they’ve shaped their bodies using power-building workouts. Marathon runners are lean, but lack the same muscle tone because their workouts focus on developing almost exclusively slow-twitch muscle.

Look at the comparison below and you can see an aesthetic advantage to training for power — you can redefine your body’s shape.


The second advantage to training for power is what happens after your workout is complete. Building up those fast-twitch muscle fibers has a tremendous positive impact on your resting metabolic rate.

In other words, when you train for power, your body goes into calorie-burning overdrive!

More muscle = more calories burned = less body fat storage. That sounds like a pretty nice perk that most people can handle!

How to Start Using Plyometric Workouts

So far we’ve learned that plyometric training doesn’t have to mean jump training — it’s all about quick muscle contractions that build power.

We’ve also learned that power is great for athletes, but is also beneficial in helping anyone redefine the shape of their body and to boost their metabolism.

Next question: How can you get started with some plyometric workouts of your own?

Watch the following video to learn threeplyometric moves that don’t involve any jumping at all …

This workout is designed to achieve the benefits of plyometric training without going through the risks and physical pain of jumping.

Remember, more reps is NOT your goal. You’ll get best results with:

  1. A relatively small volume (i.e. lower reps and sets)
  2. More resistance (i.e. to replicate the workload you would do if you were jumping)
  3. A quick concentric contraction (i.e. to activate your fast-twitch fibers)
  4. Longer rest between sets (i.e. to let your body recover so that you can perform each set with maximum effort, while not transitioning into a cardiovascular/endurance style workout)

Plyometric Workout Recap

Perform each of the following exercises with maximum effort. This will require some experimentation to find the right weight for you. Start light and work your way up to heavier weights as you feel comfortable.

Take a 1- to 2-minute rest between each set. If you can make it through set after set with less than a minute of rest between sets, then your load likely isn’t heavy enough. Your body should need more recovery time.

  1. Power Squat with Dumbbells: 3 Sets, 8-12 reps
  2. Power Walking Lunges: 3 Sets, 8-12 reps per leg
  3. Power Bulgarian Split Squats: 3 sets, 8-12 reps per leg


Enjoy your no-jump plyometric workout! —Dave Smith

Dave Smith is a professional fitness and weight-loss coach who was chosen as “Canada’s Top Fitness Professional” in 2013. He shares awesome health and weight-loss tips through his blog and podcast that you can find at makeyourbodywork.com.

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!


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  1. With a couple of dumbells this would be great for an at home workout. I live in an apartment and my downstairs neighbors DO NOT appreciate my love of plyo workouts. I stopped doing them at home all together but I may just be able to sneak this one in!


  2. Andy says:

    Thank you for this article! It’s nice to hear someone else finally say that plyometrics is all about jumping and potentially hurting your knees.

  3. Evie Dawson says:

    For everyone athletes workout plays an important role. It makes your body active and fit. So it is important to do some exercise when you are free from your busy life. It will help you to build stamina and increase your performance level.

  4. Thanks for sharing this great post! I had never heard of Plyometric Workouts before I read this post! I will try the exercises the next time I’m in the gym!

  5. Great work out! I will try it. Maybe the workout is good for me. Thank you for sharing.

  6. This is the first time i have heard about plyometric. It’s new to me. But i think its interesting and quite attractive to me. I will try it. Thank for this helpful post.

  7. Great post. Plyometric training is often thought of as “jump training”, but is so fun

  8. It sounds strange but interesting and exciting though. Yoga has those poses but not quite the same (i know yoga is not to move). I have problems with those in Yoga, hope it doesn’t happen with Plyometric.

  9. Well it’s the good news when you said that no jumping here. I’m going to follow your guides everyday. Thanks for a very useful sharing.

  10. Mary says:

    I love doing my squats but I prefer using a barbell. It’s getting my butt in shape quickly. I do squats twice a day.

  11. Of course Dave, when you train for power, your body goes into calorie-burning overdrive. It sounds great that exercising has a tremendous positive impact on your resting metabolic rate. However, I do believe that we must wear supportive shoes for our sporty activities to avoid foot pain, injuries, and even plantar fasciitis. Unsupportive shoes are often the culprit that can take us off the track so we must be selective on our footwear.

  12. Carl says:

    Bad example…plyometric exercise require quick stretch (rate of stretch) to express greatest power output…in your example, you pause- the energy you hope to garner by stretching the muscles is lost as heat…most, if not all, experts state quick recovery from the eccentric contraction is necessay to gain benefit of PLYOMETRIC activity (rate of force development)…better example would be a more ballistic looking- a quick descent into squat position followed by quickest possible return to start- repeat.

  13. Roger says:

    Wow, the workout that require no jumping. Such a nice article.