The tagline for PlyoJam is “dance powered by plyometrics.” However, people often ask us about the word plyometrics. Plyometric movements are the secret ingredient of the PlyoJam formula. Not only do PlyoJam routines contain sexy, sassy fun dance combos, but plyometric movements are peppered throughout the routines to really increase the intensity and calorie burn. What exactly are plyometric movements? Plyometric movements can be categorized as short, fast explosive movements. You can also call it jump training. Historically plyometric movements have been included in the training and conditioning of Olympians and elite athletes. Plyometrics are exercises in which muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time, with the goal of increasing power (speed-strength).
PlyoJam has about twenty signature plyometric movements that are used throughout various routines. You will see many of the following plyometric movements in a PlyoJam routine: jumping jacks, lateral hops, frog jumps, jump squats, star jumps and 180 jumps to name a few. While plyometric movements are excellent tools for sculpting and toning the body, they can also be very exhausting and take a lot of energy. The beauty of PlyoJam is how these plyometric movements are weaved throughout the routines and feel much less torturous then simply repeating the movements over and over in a stagnant manner. Other workout formats, like boot camps and circuit training classes, will often have stations where the student is required to do one minute of jump squats and then walk to another station and perform another one minute of some type of exercise. This is BRUTAL! Instead, PlyoJam has created this incredible formula where students end up performing just as many plyometric movements as they would in a typical boot camp or circuit training class, but the suffering isn’t there!
How did this idea come about? PlyoJam creator Jason Layden originally spent his days teaching a more traditional follow along dance class. His students loved his class, but they often felt they had to pair the class with something more intense to achieve the calorie burn and intensity level they desired. Many students would voice their wishes for a dance class that maintained the fun, party-like atmosphere, but provided an intensity level that could make students feel like they had really worked hard. Around this time, workouts like P90X and Insanity had taken off, designed around the idea of interval training and plyometric movements. Layden suddenly realized that dance fitness was missing these crucial elements so he started toying with the idea of combining the two. What if he could design and craft routines that maintained the fun, sexy, party-like feel his students loved, but also presented the intensity level they craved? He wanted to figure out a way to make his students train like athletes, but dance like pop stars. As he began choreographing his own routines, he looked for places in the combos where he could build and elevate traditional dance moves into a plyometric movement. He would take a simple side to side tap and build it into a hurdler jump. He would take a grapevine, and button the end with a pencil jump. By weaving these plyometric movements into familiar dance steps, the calorie burn was suddenly increasing and students were working up a major sweat. And thus, PlyoJam was born.
Students did not dread these plyometric movements, but rather embraced and welcomed them as a part of the routines and a way to shred calories and sculpt their bodies more effectively. The addition of plyometric movements to follow along dance routines continues to be an ingenious way to allow students to continue experiencing their love of dance, while achieving the level of workout they desire.