If you’re an athlete, chances are you have heard of plyometrics and the dynamic effect on building speed, power, and agility. 

Your coach might have put you through many different plyometric exercises like sprinting or jumping to develop strength through quick, explosive movements. 

Plyometric training might be the right addition to your workouts. 

This article will specifically discuss the upper body plyometrics that you can perform to build some power behind those pectorals, biceps, and triceps

Summer is here, and your body is ready for it.  Read on.

Plyometrics Explained

If you are new to plyometrics, you’ve come to the right place. 

Plyometric training is the use of quick, explosive movements on your body. 

You absorb the force of the movement and then quickly exert another powerful movement again.  For full body plyometrics, this would involve sprinting, jumping, or kicking. 

Frequently, the upper body is left out in plyometric training.  When it comes to upper body plyometrics, the movements are based on the upper body only. 

From throwing a medicine ball to different types of push-ups, upper body plyometrics increase the power and agility in your chest, shoulders, biceps, and triceps. 

Whatever the move may be, it’s essential to move quickly and intensely during these workouts. 

Explosive movements are the name of the game.  

Is Muscle Gained in Plyometrics?

Muscle mass is gained using plyometric training.  The powerful moves involved push your muscles harder and increase your agility, power, and speed too. 

If you are looking to gain significant muscle mass, it’s better to use weight lifting and resistance training for that. 

Plyometrics works your muscles, but there is a limit to the amount of weight you can use due to the explosive movements. 

Our best advice is to use plyometrics together with strength training to see the best muscle results.  

Best Upper Body Plyometric Exercises

Now that you have a better understanding of why upper body plyometrics is vital for your workouts. 

Let’s dive into some of the best upper body plyometric exercises you can incorporate into your fitness routine. 

Before you’re finished reading this, you will be a professional.

Plyometric Push-ups

While some people consider plyometric push-ups to be too slow, we think that they are a must to include in your plyometric training. 

Sometimes referred to as plyo push-ups or clap push-ups, they work your triceps, chest, abdominals, and shoulders. 

Start in a plank or push-up position and lower your body to the ground like you would with a regular push-up.  Instead of slowly returning to the plank position, push your body up hard with force, letting your hands leave the ground. 

As your hands come off the floor, clap before placing them back down and absorbing the power.  Lower back down and do it all again. 

Overhead Forward Throw

Have a gym buddy?  Grab that friend and get started. 

If you don’t have a friend, you can throw the ball against a wall, so don’t worry.  You will need a medicine ball for this exercise. 

To begin, stand about 2-3 feet away from your partner or the wall.  You can change this based on how far you can throw, of course. 

The feet should be planted about hip-width apart.  Lift the medicine ball over your head with both hands, bending your elbows. 

As you bring your arms up, throw the ball with as much force as you can against the wall or to your partner. 

Catch the ball as it rebounds off the wall or when your partner throws the medicine ball back.  This plyometric exercise works your shoulders, abs, and back muscles like a champ.  Can you feel it already?

Medicine Ball Slams

Are you feeling angry or stressed? 

This is the perfect upper body plyometric exercise for you.  Is there anything more stress-relieving than throwing a medicine ball to the ground as hard as you can?  We doubt it. 

Start with your feet about hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent.  Raise the medicine ball over your head and extend your arms up overhead. 

In one motion, slam the ball to the ground as hard as you can.  Catch the ball as it bounces back up and repeat. 

Make sure that your arms follow through as you slam the ball down to work those abs, shoulders, and back muscles.

Plyometric Pull-ups

Plyometric pull-ups or plyo pull-ups are an excellent way to tone the back, abs, and biceps.  The only equipment required is a pull-up bar. 

To start, grab the pull-up bar with your overhand grip a little further than shoulder-width apart.  You should be hanging with your arms fully extended. 

Using explosive force, pull up your body as quickly as you can.  Once you get to the bar, release your hands, letting your body propel upward. 

Your chest will reach about the center of the bar before you catch the bar and absorb the force on the way down. 

Lower your body back down to a fully extended position and do it all again.  This is an intense upper body plyometric exercise. 

If you are newer to pull-ups, train with regular pull-ups for some time before attempting this.

Medicine Ball Drop

Back to our favorite type of ball, the medicine ball drop requires a friend to work your chest, abs, and shoulders.  Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. 

Extend your arms up in the air, so you are ready to catch the ball.  Your partner stands near your head and can be on an elevated service if you prefer. 

The partner drops the medicine ball right above your hands, where you catch it.  As you catch the ball, bring it down to your chest. 

Perform a chest pass and send the ball back to your partner with as much force as you can.  Like all upper body plyometric exercises, lather, rinse and repeat.

Sit-up and Pass

Are you sick of the medicine ball yet?  We sure hope not. 

This exercise requires a partner again.  Both people sit on the floor with their knees bent and hands outstretched.  Your partner’s feet should be right in front of yours. 

Have your friend throw the ball at you with force.  As you catch the ball, absorb the power and bring the ball to your chest. 

Send the medicine ball back to your partner with a mighty chest pass.  Make sure you keep your body stable throughout the exercise and avoid moving too much. 

Your core will work hard to keep you stable here.  Feel those chest muscles working too.

Push-up to Stand

We hope you have those triceps, deltoids, and chest muscles ready because they are working on this exercise.  Begin in a push-up position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. 

As you lower your body, engage your core.  When you push up, power back up with enough force to push your body to a standing position and then fall back down to absorb the force. 

This upper body plyometric exercise involves progression.  Don’t feel like you have to stand up on your first attempt at this exercise. 

Push your body as high as it will go and work your way to the standing position.  You will get there!

Whole Body Clap Push-ups

For this exercise, think of it as a plyo push-up that gets your feet off the ground too.  As you press down towards the floor, push back up forcefully enough that your hands and toes come off the ground. 

Try to stay horizontal as your whole body flies into the air.  Clap your hands and click your heels together before returning to the starting position to absorb the force. 

All this talk about force has us feeling Jedi-like.  Repeat this exercise to engage the chest, shoulders, and abs. 

This upper body plyometric exercise is advanced, so get the plyo push-ups first and progress to the whole body clap push-ups.

Chest Pass

We’ve done a lot of push-ups, so let’s go back to the medicine ball with a chest pass.  Again, this can be done with a partner or a wall to work your chest, triceps, and biceps. 

Stand in front of a wall or partner about 3-4 feet apart with your feet about hip-width apart.  Press the ball to your chest and throw it hard at the wall or your partner. 

Catch the ball as your partner throws it back by absorbing the force of it.  Repeat until you are toast.

Depth Push-up

There are so many push-ups and so little time, people.  For this exercise, you will need to have your hands and feet on an elevated surface. 

Start in your regular push-up position on the high service.  Lower your body down so that your chest goes beyond your hands. 

Use explosive force to push yourself back up so that your hands and feet propel up in the air.  As you come back down, bring your hands in so that you return to the floor rather than the elevated surface. 

Push yourself back up and place your hands back on the elevated surface.  Repeat. 

This is intense, so again progression is essential.

Feeling Stronger Yet?

These upper body plyometric exercises are the real deal, people. 

From the plyo push-up to chest pass to plyo pull-ups, the strength, agility, and speed you will gain are unlimited. 

Add plyometrics to your workouts to increase muscle mass and toning. 

Work your way up to the advanced exercises we described and throw in some lower body work too. 

It’s time to strut your stuff on the beach.

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