How to get sport ready with no gym - Part Two

Welcome to part two of How to get sport ready without a gym. If you haven’t read part one, then click here to catch up!

As we discussed in part one there is more we can do with our time than body weight circuits and low resistance training. I would argue that there is far better use of our time than these means! Part one covered how to apply speed work to your training, now we will have a look at another method to help increase speed and power.

Plyometric training has probably been round for hundreds of years but began to generate interest in the early 1970s as Easter Europe became a superpower on the world sporting scene (Chu, 1998). Plyometrics is essentially jump training and is used by top coaches and athletes around the world to help increase speed and power.

The type of plyometric training which I will discuss is not “pure” plyometric by definition but is very much based on Mike Boyle’s (2016) system of Jumping and Landing which eventually progresses on to plyometric training. Like sprinting in part one, plyometric training can be extremely intense and should not be applied to the body in high volume without a prior preparation period. An ancient recommendation is that you should be able to back squat 2x your bodyweight (if you weigh 80kg you need to squat 160kg), before starting intense plyometrics (John and Tsatsouline, 2011). This just shows the importance of preparing the body before starting intense training methods. The system which follows is one which prepares the body for accepting load, it make sense that you should be able to control your own body weight safely before you can start to effectively produce maximum force.


Volume of plyometrics are usually quantified by foot contacts. So, let’s say you do a set of 5 Hop and Stick Each leg, that would be 5 contacts on each leg. If you then done 5 standing long jumps because you are landing on both legs that would count as 5 contacts for both legs. This would take the session total to 10 contacts. As is a theme at Reiver Performance, you are far better to start too low and increase rather than start to high and risk injury. I would agree with Mike Boyle’s recommendation initially of 25-foot contacts per session and a max of 100 per week.


You should notice that the exercises involve moving forward (usually referred to as sagittal) and sideways (frontal plane or lateral movements). This is because sport not only requires power/speed moving forwards but also whilst changing direction.

Phase One: Jumps, Hops and Bounds with Stable Landing

Box Jump – Many will have seen this jump done before in gyms or on YouTube. One thing you do not usually see is correct technique. One cue that I use with the athletes I get to work with is that your landing position and take off position should look the same. So, if you take off from a quarter squat, your landing should be close to a quarter squat. Not a full depth squat as is usually seen. That does not mean you have jumped any higher it just means you have moved your legs more! Without a gym you may be looking for a ledge or some steps which are the correct height.

Single Leg Box Hop – Hop onto roughly a 6” box or step. This helps us getting used to producing power from one leg but takes away the landing component that you would get if you were jumping over something. I.e. you go up but don’t have to come back down!

Lateral Box Hop – Stand side on from box or step roughly 6” in height again. Jump from outside leg landing on the leg closest to box/step on to top of the box/step. Repeat with other side.

Lateral Bound and Stick - Jump sideways from one leg to the other. Hold the landing in the knee bent position for 2-3 seconds before jumping to other leg.

Phase Two: Jumps, Hops and Bounds Over an Obstacle

Single Leg Hop and Stick – Hop out in front of you, landing on same leg. Hold knee bent position for 2-3 seconds before resetting and hopping again.

Lateral Hop and Stick – Similar to the Lateral Bound and Stick from Phase One. This time the take off and landing will both be done on the same leg. E.g. Hopping sideways, taking off from your left leg, landing in a knee bent position on your left leg.

45 Deg Bound and Stick – Similar to the Lateral Bound and Stick from Phase One. This time the general direction is forward whilst still jumping and landing on opposite legs.

Phase Three: Phase Two exercises with an additional Bounce

(Note: This is where exercises start to resemble closer to plyometric work. This phase introduces the switch between landing and producing force again)

Single Leg Hop with Bounce – Same as Phase two with a bounce upon landing in place of the stick.

Lateral Hop and Stick – Same as Phase two with a bounce upon landing replacing the stick.

45 Deg Bound with Bounce – Same as Phase two with a bounce upon landing replacing the stick.

Phase Four: Explosive, Controlled and Continuous Movement

Single Leg Hop Continuous – Hop out in front of you looking to minimise ground contact time.

Lateral Hops Continuous – Hop laterally whilst trying to minimise ground contact time.

45 Deg Bound Continuous – Jump left leg to right leg explosively at a 45 deg angle. Aim is to minimise ground contact time. Look to travel as far and as fast as possible.

With the above exercises I would recommend starting to implement plyometric training to help develop speed and power without the use of gyms! This list is by no means all the plyometric exercises you will ever need but is a very good starting place to help get you to the next level of your athletic development!

The type of plyometric work detailed is ideal to put at the end of your warm up before you begin the speed work from part one. When to progress from one phase to the other will be dependent on the quality of the execution! Make sure you have mastered the control of that phase before moving on to the next one!

Sample Session:

Warm Up

Single Leg Hop and Stick 3 x 5 each leg (15 contacts each leg)

Lateral Hop and Stick 2 x 5 each leg (10 contacts each leg)

Total contacts: 25 each leg

Speed work

If you want to go back and read part one then please click here!

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Boyle, M. (2016) ‘New Functional Training for Sports’

Chu, D. (1998) ‘Jumping into Plyometrics’

John, D., Tsatsouline, P. (2011) ‘Easy Strength’