Imagine, for a second, a workout that's actually fun. Jumping exercises, or plyometrics, can be a blast — or, at least, feel less like torture — because you're literally just jumping up and down like a kid.
The term "plyometric" sounds like a geometry theorem, but it basically refers to exercises involving rapid stretching and contracting of your muscles, like jumping. And plyometric exercises, or "plyos," are really good for you: A 2000 study found that doing plyometric exercises improved bone density in young women, and a 2004 study found that plyometrics helped build muscle and improve stability. "These movements help train muscles to react quickly and at their strongest," says Ashley Wilking, a NASM-certified personal trainer at Barry's Bootcamp. Beyond these body benefits, jumping up and down for exercise can be way more interesting than just plodding along on the treadmill.
Here, we've rounded up seven plyos for you to try. These exercises are chosen by Wilking and Sadie Kurzban, founder of 305 Fitness, a dance cardio class that involves tons of plyometric exercises and fast-paced choreography. Kurzban suggests curating a playlist so you can time your exercises to the beat of the music. "When we move to music, it's so much more fun," she says. Oh, and if you're doing these plyos and start to get tired, you can always take the jump out and perform the exercise without it.