Plyometrics

What is plyometrics training

Plyometric training is a type of training that uses quick, explosive movements like bounding, hopping and jumping to develop power. These movements create greater ground forces propelling the body with more velocity or speed. Plyometric training is a type of reactive training that uses the ground as stimulus. A strong core, stable and flexible body are required for plyometric training.

Phases

Plyometric training consists of a loading phase, transition phase and unloading phase. The eccentric phase (loading) stretches the muscles before movement and stores energy in the muscle like a rubber band. Amortization phase (transition) is the moment in time when the muscle fibers switch from loading the muscles to an explosive movement. Concentric phase (unloading) is when the muscle releases the energy like a rubber band being let go.

Why plyometrics

Plyometrics is a great way to enhance the human movement system. This type of training challenges the body’s proprioception or ability to move and position itself. It is essential for everyday life and athletes alike. A well rounded fitness training program not only focuses on your specific goals but pushes your body to grow and adapt. Plyometric training is a perfect example of exercises that do just that.

By nature plyometrics require a base level of fitness in strength, core, stability and balance. It is important to have a basic foundation in fitness to get the most out of a plyometrics workout.

Plyometrics are an efficient method of training creating maximal force in minimal time. The ability to produce force allows one to change the body’s center of gravity at any time. Having the ability to move in such a way allows you to be better prepared to adapt to planned and unplanned experiences. 

Some of the benefits of plyometrics training has shown improvements in postural imbalances and muscular imbalances, power balance in opposing muscles, increased vertical jump height and can help with recovery from injury. 

Plyometrics Training

A systematic and progressive approach should always be taken when engaging in any form of training. Plyometrics should be treated no differently. Make an assessment of your current level of fitness and establish where you are. You must have a strong core and be stable as well as flexible. It’s important you make sure you gain a basic level of fitness first. Be sure to be cognizant of training variables such as volume, intensity, frequency and duration. They can be determining factors between success and failure. 

Key things to consider are proper attire and environment. Movements are quick, explosive and powerful. Clothing shouldn’t be restrictive in any manner. The environment should also be suitable with the proper equipment and space for this type of training.

Levels

If you have been following this guide from the beginning you’ll have noticed there is a pattern within each level of training so far. If not that pattern is the different levels of training. The training principles that are followed adhere to the idea that stabilization, strength and power are the levels at which one should train and progress through.

Stabilization

Plyometric stabilization exercises require little joint movement and are designed to optimize landing, posture and efficiency. Hold each landing for 3-5 seconds allowing yourself to fix position and reset form before engaging in the next repetition.

Plyometrics stabilization exercises include:

Strength

Plyometric strength exercises are dynamic movements through full ranges of motion. They are progressive and challenging. Working to improve strength, stabilization, force production and efficiency of human movement system. Exercises are done quickly in a short fashion with limited rest between reps. 

Plyometrics strength exercises include:

Power

Plyometric power exercises are quick and explosive movements done as fast as possible. They engage the muscles in the body and are designed to improve all aspects of the human movement system.

Plyometrics power exercises include:

Implementation

Introducing plyometrics training into your program is as simple as adding a block of select activities to your routine. Keep it interesting and properly progress through levels and movements. But be sure to have proper core strength, balance and stabilization before beginning any plyometrics training. Not only will plyometrics improve your ability to move on a moments notice it will set you up to increase your speed and agility.