Powerful Plyometric Cardio Circuit Exercises

Supercharge your cardio and unleash explosive power! 

Plyometrics are a fun way to gain coordination and increase speed and performance. Cardio is vital for heart and lung health, and keeps you looking toned. 

When combined, the plyometric cardio circuit has remarkable potential, but is fairly new in the fitness scene. 

As a certified personal trainer, I’m here to share this exciting fusion workout with you. It’s a 4 day routine, with a plyometric cardio circuit PDF included! 

Here’s what’s coming up. 

What Is A Plyometric Cardio Circuit? 

plyometric cardio circuit

A plyometric cardio circuit is a high-intensity workout approach that blends principles of plyometric exercises and cardiovascular training. 

It’s designed to maximize the efficiency of your workout session by pushing you for endurance, strength, and explosive power.

At the core of a plyometrics workout is the stretch-shortening cycles (SSC) of muscles. 

To illustrate this, imagine jumping repeatedly. As you come down and bend your knees, the muscles in your legs extend and stay in the lengthened position. 

Then your feet touch the ground. Your leg muscles shorten and contract. You are immediately propelled off the ground by the muscle contraction and the SSC repeats. 

This powerful cycle is what plyometrics uses to produce more explosiveness and power in exercise. 

Cardio on the other hand, uses activities that are steady-state and rhythmic. It is the key factor for endurance and overall cardiovascular health. 

The plyometric cardio circuit is an innovative take that aims to merge the two disciplines. 

The result is an exciting workout session that spikes your heart rate, maybe gives you a pump, and makes use of the SSC. 

Know that there are inherent risks with plyometrics, which we’ll discuss later. For now, let’s figure out if plyometrics are good for cardio. 

Are Plyometrics Good For Cardio? 

It’s a tricky question, but yes, plyometrics can be good for cardio. 
Let me explain.

Plyometrics are not considered aerobic exercises like cardio. 

It all comes down to energy sources. Plyometrics use energy stores from muscles called ATP.

That’s why plyometrics are considered anaerobic. They use short bursts of quick movements with high intensity and longer rest periods.

Aerobic exercise like jogging on the other hand, uses rhythmic, smooth motions and requires continued flow of oxygen for energy.

During aerobic exercise you breathe deeper with an increased heart rate to maximize blood oxygen. 

So plyometrics are not technically cardio, but they can be good for cardio because:

  • They increase heart rate, just like cardio 
  • They increase rate of oxygen to muscles and rapid breathing, just like cardio 
  • They lower the risk of chronic diseases like obesity, just like cardio 
  • They improve athletic performance, just like cardio 

It’s important to note that while these two types of exercises share some similarities, they also have distinct characteristics and training objectives. 

The combination of both into a plyometric cardio circuit takes an innovative approach to fitness. 

What’s The Difference Between Plyometric Cardio Circuit and Cardio Circuit?

There are nuances between a plyometric cardio circuit and a cardio circuit. 

Plyometrics center around forceful contractions from jumping, hopping, skipping, and bounding. It uses the springiness and elasticity of exercises to target muscles. 

A cardio circuit works on cardiovascular endurance as opposed to explosiveness. Brisk walking, jogging, cycling, and more are ways to maintain an elevated heart rate. 

Usually a cardio circuit is in a steady state with no breaks, except maybe to drink water. 

A plyometric cardio circuit on the other hand is more dynamic. The high intensity movements require multiple rest periods. 

This innovative approach combines the endurance work from a cardio circuit with the power and speed from a plyometrics workout. It is a little unorthodox because plyometrics are not meant to be endurance movements. 

The reason is because the high intensity makes joints more susceptible to injury. You do not want to do advanced plyometrics while fatigued. 

However, this workout uses plyometrics principles to a lesser degree than pure plyometrics training. It is a fresh and somewhat controversial routine for some. 

For that reason, approach this workout with awareness and caution. 

Precautions With Plyometrics

Plyometrics involve high impact movements like jumping and hopping. These can cause joint pain or injury, especially when fatigued. 

If your hips, knees, or ankles are feeling tired, then reconsider doing plyometrics. You do want to land incorrectly and potentially injure yourself. 

You’ll notice that this plyometric cardio circuit has less repetitions and shorter duration. It’s because this workout can be demanding and more rest is needed to recover. 

It is better to perform low repetitions well, than to do many with fatigue and bad form. 

The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) says that low frequency and low volume is best for higher intensity. That’s what you’ll get with this workout. 

Are Plyometrics Good For Weight Loss? 

Yes, plyometrics are good for weight loss!
They can be an excellent choice if you’re looking to shed some pounds. 

Plyometrics consist of rapid fire movements that are energy demanding. Engaging multiple muscle groups at the same time leads to a spike in heart rate and revs up your metabolism. 

Building lean muscle mass increases your basal metabolic rate (BMR). This causes your body to burn more calories at rest and is great for all body types.

This is one way that plyometrics, and other forms of resistance training, can help you burn calories. 

Plyometrics takes burning calories to another level because of the after-burn effect. Also known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), this event extends burning calories. 

The after-burn effect is when your body continues to burn calories after the workout. This happens after bouts of high intensity training. The more intense the workout, the greater the need for oxygen. 

The oxygen needs becomes larger than breathing can supply. The body handles this by consuming more oxygen over a longer period of time.

As a result, you burn more calories! The extended calorie burn is a huge advantage for weight loss

Why Would You Do A Plyometric Cardio Circuit?

This plyometric cardio circuit is an exhilarating fitness challenge. It’s a sure way to burn more calories, improve heart health, build power, and sculpt a toned physique. 

If you’re an athlete, plyometric cardio circuits result in better agility and coordination. These skills are especially important in sports like volleyball, baseball, tennis, and more. 

Whether you’re sprinting, jumping, or changing directions, your body becomes more adept at handling dynamic situations, enhancing your functional athleticism.

If you’re a person who doesn’t play sports, a plyometric cardio circuit is still beneficial. You will engage upper and lower body muscles without weights. Not to mention, amazing core stabilization and joint mobility movements. 

The intense bursts of effort and shorter recovery periods will be demanding for your heart and lungs. This translates into endurance, balance, and strength for everyday life. 

For more ways to build strength, check out this bodyweight workout.

What Do I Need For This Plyometric Cardio Circuit? 

The first thing you need is a comfortable place to do the workout. Plyometrics require ground that is easy on the ankles and knees. 

You do not want to jump repeatedly on concrete, or fall on it. 
Some places you can do this workout are:

  • The backyard or the park on soft grass
  • A sandy area at a park or beach
  • A facility or field with artificial turf 
  • A basketball/volleyball wooden court 
  • A facility with tracks and flooring that are rubber 

The equipment needed for this workout is: 

  • Medicine Ball 
  • Kettle Bell 
  • For advanced lifters: weighted vest or ankle weights 

What’s In This Plyometric Cardio Circuit?

This plyometric cardio circuit is designed to be a fat shredding, high intensity workout. You’ll get a time efficient, power-driven workout with benefits of an after burn and cardio. 

With 4 workout days and 3 rest days, this is a routine with build stamina and coordination. This plyometric cardio circuit includes: 

  • Medical Disclaimer 
  • Program Specs 
  • A 4 to 6 week bodyweight program
  • Warm up and cool down  
  • Recommended sets and reps for a variety of exercises 
  • Best practices, including 
  • Proper form
  • Listening to your body 
  • Injury precaution 
  • Nutrition guidelines 
  • Sleep guidelines 

The Plyometric Cardio Circuit 

Day 1: 

The Warm Up 
Walk Backward On Heels 15s 2 sets
High Knees 30s 2 sets 
Boxing Uppercuts 30s 2 sets 

The Workout
Lateral Hops 6 hops 2 sets 
Squat Jumps with 180-Degree Turn 5 reps 2 sets 
Kettlebell Swing 10 reps 2 sets 
Medicine Ball Rotation Throw 10 reps 2 sets 

The Cool Down 
Hug Knee To Chest 30s alternating 2 sets 
Quad Stretch 30s alternative 2 sets 
Seated Butterfly 30s 2 sets 

Day 2:

The Warm Up
Jumping Jacks 10 reps 2 sets 
Gate Opener Hip Stretch 10 reps 2 sets 
Snowboard Hop 6 reps 2 sets

The Workout
Alternating Lunge Jump 6 reps 2 sets 
Burpees 10 reps 2 sets 
Medicine Ball Slams 10 reps 2 sets 
Wall Push Up 10 reps 2 sets

The Cool Down
Long Lunges Hold for 30s 
Torso Twists 30s 2 sets
Hamstring Stretch 30s 2 sets 

Day 3: Rest and Recovery 

Day 4:

The Warm Up
Walk Backward On Heels 15s 2 sets 
Jumping Jacks 10 reps 2 sets 
Snowboard Hop 6 reps 2 sets 

The Workout
Lateral Hops 6 hops 2 sets
Tuck Jumps 5 reps 2 sets 
Kettle Bell Swing 10 reps 2 sets
Medicine Ball Rotation Throw 10 reps 2 sets

The Cool Down
Hug Knee To Chest 30s alternating 2 sets
Quad Stretch 30s alternative 2 sets
Seated Butterfly 30s 2 sets 

Day 5: Rest and Recovery 

Day 6: 

The Warm Up
High Knees 30s 2 sets
Boxing Uppercuts 30s 2 sets 
Gate Opener Hip Stretch 10 reps 2 sets

The Workout
Squat Jumps with 180-Degree Turn 5 reps 2 sets
Mountain Climbers 30s 2 sets 
Medicine Ball Slams 10 reps 2 sets
Wall Push Up 10 reps 2 sets

The Cool Down
Long Lunges Hold for 30s
Torso Twists 30s 2 sets
Hamstring Stretch 30s 2 sets

Day 7: Rest and Recovery 

Your Plyometric Cardio Circuit PDF 

I’m happy to offer you this free valuable resource to help you on your fitness journey.

If you have space to jump and throw, you can use this PDF anywhere. 

This downloadable PDF is structured more for intermediate exercisers because of the intensity and risk of injury. However, if you’re a beginner then do less repetitions and take longer rest periods.

Plyometric cardio circuits allow you to reap the benefits of two disciplines in the same workout.

This time-efficient approach is great for busy schedules and for those who want to get it done in a fun and fast way. 

Get ready for a challenge and push it to the limits! 
For 26 other ways to workout, click here.


Shalom is a content creator, musician, and a teacher at heart. As a certified personal trainer, his goal is to encourage others to lead healthier lives and to get buff in the process!

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