If you've ever seen someone jumping from the ground onto a park bench or passed by a CrossFit gym and wondered why people were using all the energy to mount themselves onto boxes, here's your answer: They were practicing plyometrics.
Known as "jump training," the idea behind plyometrics is to exert maximum force in a short period of time. "Plyometrics are great for developing power and speed—it's all about creating strong neuromuscular connections," explains CrossFit games athlete Julie Foucher.
And when it comes to strengthening the entire body, Phillip Giackette, strength and conditioning specialist at Professional Athletic Performance Center, says it doesn't get much better thank plyos. But if you are specifically looking to strengthen one part of the body through plyos, you can. "Plyometrics are designed to increase power of subsequent movements that use muscles and tendons via the stretch reflex," he explains. "What plyometric exercises you choose will dictate the part of the body you will strengthen. Plyometrics can be utilized in the legs, torso, trunk, and arms, so you will have plenty of choices on which region of the body you want to work and which exercises you want to perform."