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The Best Workout For Pent-Up Anger

Instead of letting your anger get the best of you, channel it into a plyometric workout. Image Credit: Hiraman/E+/GettyImages

When you’re feeling angry or depressed, an intense bout of exercise might be the furthest thing from your mind. You might be surprised, however, how a workout — especially a plyometric workout, filled with power and intensity — can help you unleash that fury and lift your mood.

Science backs this up. A review of studies published in 2016 in Current Behavioral Neuroscience Reports determined that physical exercise could potentially improve the longterm outcome of mood disorders. Of course, your physical fitness levels will improve with plyometric workouts, too, even with just short 20-minute sessions.

Plyometric Workout Basics

Plyometrics describes quick, explosive movements aimed to target, challenge and adapt the strength and elasticity of your muscles and tendons, personal trainer and nutrition coach Ben Lauder-Dykes tells LIVESTRONG.com.

“[They’re a] great complement to regular strength and aerobic training, as it targets a specific strength and movement quality that you might otherwise be missing,” he says.

These exercises contain three distinct phases, according to the National Academy of Sports Medicine: An eccentric phase, during which potential energy is stored in the muscle; the amortization phase, when the muscle transitions to releasing that energy; and the concentric phases, in which the energy is released.

“Think of a rubber band,” certified personal trainer Alicia McKenzie of LiftLikeAMother tells LIVESTRONG.com. “When you stretch it back and let it fly, that energy is similar to that of your muscles while performing plyometric movements. The band produces force and explosion fast just as your muscles do.”

Because plyometric exercises require coordination and agility, McKenzie cautions safety to beginners. “Stick to entry-level plyometric movements until you’re ready to progress to more advance moves,” she says. “You’re still getting the same benefit, but you’ve lowered your risk of injury substantially.”

Try This 20-Minute Plyometric Workout When You’re Feeling Angry

Combine these trainer-recommended plyometric exercises to create a 20-minute workout that will get your heart rate up while releasing your rage and boosting your endorphins.

Move 1: Seated Jump Squat

SETS
3

TIME
1 Min

REGION
Lower Body

  • Stand in front of a bench or chair, positioning your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Sit down on the bench or chair (but don’t bring your full weight onto it), bringing your arms up in front of your chest.
  • Quickly push up into a jump, swinging your arms back as you move.
  • When you land, sit back down and repeat.
  • Continue for 60 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds, then repeat twice more (3 sets total).

Tip

Seated jump squats are ideal for beginners or if you need a break from the higher-intensity moves.

“My mom works out with me a lot and this is a move she can do with ease while reaping the benefits of an explosive, plyometric movement,” McKenzie says.

If you want to advance the move, ditch the bench or chair for standard squat jumps.

Move 2: Jumping Lunge

SETS
3

TIME
45 Sec

REGION
Lower Body

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, then jump your left leg forward and your right leg back, landing in a lunge position — both knees bent to 90 degrees.
  • Jump again, switching your legs midair so you land in a lunge with your right leg in front and your left leg in back.
  • Continue to jump back and forth as smoothly and quickly as possible.
  • Continue for 45 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds, then repeat twice more (3 rounds total).

Tip

McKenzie categorizes the jumping lunge as an “advanced” plyometric exercise, so ensure you’re up to the task before attempting it.

“Your balance and agility will definitely be challenged with this move.” So it’s important to ensure that the front knee stays at a 90 degree angle during the lunge, she says.

To modify, step back into a reverse lunge instead of jumping.

Move 3: Box Jump

SETS
3

TIME
30 Sec

REGION
Lower Body

  • Stand in front of a plyo box (or study step or bench) with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Drop into a shallow squat, swinging your arms back.
  • Explode up into a jump onto the box, landing with your feet flat on the box and your knees slightly bent.
  • Step backward off the box one foot at a time and repeat.
  • Continue for 30 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds, then repeat twice more (3 sets total).

Tip

“Box jumps are my all-time favorite plyo movement for the lower body — the higher, the better,” McKenzie says. “I have personally found that box jumps are the most effective for maintaining strong and muscular legs. The explosiveness is also really good for the glutes!”

If a box jump is too advanced for you, McKenzie recommends starting with a dumbbell hop over.

Modification: Dumbbell Hop Over

SETS
3

TIME
1 Min

REGION
Lower Body

  • Put a dumbbell on the floor at the side of your feet.
  • Keeping your feet together, hop from side to side over the dumbbell.
  • Continue for 60 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds, then repeat twice more (3 sets total).

Move 4: Overhead Throw

SETS
3

TIME
1 Min

REGION
Upper Body

  • Position yourself with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent and a medicine ball in your hands.
  • Lift the ball over your head and throw it forcefully down onto the ground. Try to minimize the time between pulling the ball back over your head and throwing it.
  • Squat down to pick up the ball, lift it back up over your head and repeat.
  • Continue for 60 seconds. Rest, then repeat twice more (3 rounds total).

Tip

There aren’t as many plyometric exercises for the upper body as there are for the lower body, Lauder-Dykes says. However, he recommends doing overhead throws with a weighted medicine ball.

Author: Kelsey Casselbury

Source: Live Strong: A 20-Minute Plyometric Workout to Release Rage and Boost Endorphins

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