Plyometric Exercises to Build Muscle Size

By Richard Choueiri

Plyometric training not only improves athletic performance but also helps you build muscle size. This type of training method is effective for increasing overall musculature, not limited to your chest, arms and legs. Plyometrics are fun to perform, so adding these movements to your workout routine is sure to spice it up. But a word of caution: plyometric exercises are challenging and will require some time to get used to the movements. After about three or four weeks, you will being to feel more comfortable while going through the motions.

Plyometric Pushups

If you thought pushups were difficult, then wait until you try the plyometric variation. The difference between the two exercises is plyometric pushups require that you push off the ground during the upward phase. So, after you bend your elbows to lower your chest toward the ground, you must push off the ground while extending your elbows so you are lifting your hands off the ground. Then, once your hands drop back down to the ground, you will repeat the motion. This exercise helps increase chest, shoulder and arm muscle size.

Medicine Ball Pass

Another exercise for the chest, shoulders and arms is the medicine ball pass. If you find plyometric pushups too difficult to perform, performing this exercise will help you increase your strength so you can progress to doing plyometric pushups with more ease. The medicine ball pass also strengthens your core muscles, including the abdominals of your stomach and the spinal erectors of your back. To do this exercise, you need to have a training partner standing between 5 and 10 feet across from you. You grab the medicine ball and hold it up against your chest. Put one foot forward and the other foot back. Then, push the ball forward by extending your arms and release it from your hands toward your partner. After she catches the ball, she will throw it back and you must catch it without taking any steps back. Repeat the sequence. If you are training alone, you can do an alternative to this exercise by standing about 3 to 5 feet from a concrete wall, throw the ball against the wall and catch it after it bounces off the wall.

Jump Squats

To increase the size of your lower body, including your hips, thighs and calves, do jump squats. Squat by bending your hips and knees, then push off the ground while extending your hips and knees so your feet are lifted off the ground. You need to push off as hard as possible so you propel your feet as high as possible. Your legs should be relatively straight once you are in the air. Repeat the sequence.


Perform a 10-minute warmup and cool down by running lightly on a treadmill or outside. Do the warmup first thing during your workout routine and the cool down as a conclusion to your session. For the plyometric exercise, complete five sets per exercise and 15 repetitions per set.

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