Plyometrics is a type of training that involves explosive movements to increase strength, speed and overall athletic performance. The concept of plyometrics is based on the principle of the cycle of stretching and shortening, which involves the rapid lengthening and shortening of muscles during explosive movements.
The principles of plyometrics are rooted in the human body’s physiological response to intense physical activity.
The goal of plyometric training is to increase the speed of force development, i.e. ability to quickly generate force.
What are the characteristics of plyometric exercises?
Specificity: Plyometric exercises must be specific to your sport or activity. For example, a basketball player may focus on exercises that involve jumping and lateral movements to improve their ability to jump higher and move laterally faster in their stance.
Progression: Plyometric exercises must gradually progress in terms of intensity, volume and complexity. This allows the body to adapt to the demands of exercise and prevent injury.
Plyometrics have several benefits, including increased strength, speed, agility, and overall athletic performance.
Plyometric training has been shown to improve vertical jump height, sprint speed, and ability to change direction.
It also has a great effect on the tendons, which become more elastic and save energy during bound repetitive jumps, and thus become stronger.
Plyometrics can also improve neuromuscular coordination, which is the ability of the nervous system to control muscle movement.
The shortening and lengthening of muscles in fast conditions depends on the speed of the nerve impulse that moves through the afferent – efferent path from the muscles to the spinal cord and back.
Some of the most popular plyometric exercises include:
Box Jumps: Box jumps consist of jumping onto a box or platform and then back down to the ground. Box jumps can be performed at different heights to develop and improve an individual’s ability to generate force.
Jump Squats: The jump squat is an explosive jump from a squat position. These jumps can be performed with or without weight and can be progressed by increasing the height of the jump.
Plyometric push-ups: Plyometric push-ups involve explosive push-ups in which the individual pushes off the ground and is welcomed back to the ground with the arms. This exercise targets the chest, triceps and shoulders.
Lateral Jumps: Lateral jumps involve jumping from side to side and from foot to foot. This exercise targets the muscles responsible for lateral movement and can improve agility and the ability to change direction.
To conclude, plyometrics is a form of resistance training that targets the fast-twitch muscle fibers responsible for explosive power and speed.
Plyometric exercises involve rapidly lengthening and shortening muscles during explosive movements.
The principles of plyometrics include overload, specificity and progression.
Properly defining, designing and implementing plyometric training into your routine can bring you numerous benefits, but it is not simple.