Version:1.0 StartHTML:0000000168 EndHTML:0000004958 StartFragment:0000000468 EndFragment:0000004941

Plyometrics. What is it really? In the simplest possible terms plyometrics are exercises that involves jumping, leaping, hopping and all other movements that desire lots of energy to perform moves. To understand plyometrics you have to understand your body. Think about your muscles and your tendons as a bunch of rubber bands. Take the rubber band and stretch it, that is like your muscles and tendons. Now this little stretched rubber band has stored energy that is just waiting to be released. When you let go of one end of the band, it will go back to normal size. Is this concept better than just lifting and releasing like you do when you do normal weight training? Yes, plyometrics exercises will enable a muscle to reach maximum potential force in minimum time to promote quick and very powerful movements. Which in turn will increase power in overall performance.

Looking at plyometrics you would think it is straight forward one kind type training. Not really. You do get different types of plyometrics.

  • Skills: Using skill combinations in your plyometric drills will make your workout more sport specific. Use your basic plyometric drills and combine it with other movements to make it more difficult and give you some variety to your workout. Include moves like sprinting after a jump, changing direction, and combine upper and lower body movements in one exercise grouping.

  • Jumping in place: Usually you will stay in one place while giving maximum effort when you jump explosively high up in the air. This will help with jumping and landing techniques.

  • Standing jumps: This can be more than one jump or only one jump at a time. It can be in any direction and this helps with developing of lower body power.

So with a lot of jumps and leaps you can learn how to be the ultimate athlete or break through a training plateau if you are a general gym goer. It is just important to remember that you have to train to do plyometric training. You cannot just “jump” into it, it will only cause injuries and frustration.

Some will see plyometrics as dangerous and many people will blame plyometrics for their injuries or a halt in their athletic performance. Like stated earlier, if you look at athletes getting injured from performing plyometrics you have to look at their training preparations before starting with plyometrics. Are the individuals abusing the art of plyometrics for quick fixes? Most likely the trainer gave the athlete too much too soon. You cannot expect an athlete to do a full plyometric workout if they do not have a solid strength base and then only can they move from small blocks of plyometric training to bigger more sophisticated workouts.

If you want to include plyometric training in your current workout the rule of thumb is that you must be able to back squat 1.5 to 2.5 times your own body weight before you can go into the really advanced plyometric jumps. So don't just jump into plyometrics. Use your common sense and a solid trainer that can guide you through getting the results that you want.