Plyometrics Part 1

Plyometrics, what exactly is it? Well, it is a type of power training exercise that uses explosive movements. It is the ability to generate a large amount of force quickly.

For example,it may be used to increase an athletes vertical jump, a boxer's punch, to quicken a lacrosse player's throw and even make an athlete faster.

The training works on the neurological and muscle and tendon levels to increase an athlete's power output.It does not, however, mean that it increases their maximum strength output.

Ok, so what does that mean? Well, for a muscle to move, it must shorten (concentric contraction). Now, if the muscle islengthened (eccentric contraction) before the maximum contraction of the muscle, it will produce a greater force through the storage of elastic energy. This movement or action is very short in time but usually explosive. So, think squat down and immediately spring or jump up.

In training for lower body plyometric training, I suggest to do deceleration hops or drop jumps from a low box first. This is to see if the athlete can stop and hold his/her momentum into the large muscles (quads and glutes)and not the joints. Land softly and low.

Once an athlete can do this consistently, (the hop/hold or drop jump/hold) then you can transition into the next phase of plyos. This would be the continuous hop (1 leg) or depth jump (jump off low- medium box; absorb landing; be low and soft; then immediately jump up maximally).

These are some examples of basic plyometric training for the lower body. A basic one for the upper body would be the clap push-up. Yes, there are other "types" of this training, however, understanding what it is and does is your first objective.

Please contact me with questions.

Plyometrics for Speed

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