What is Plyometric Training?
Everything You Need To Know
Physically training and keeping the body alert as well as healthy is practically mandatory for any individual who wants to excel at their chosen sport.
There are many different types of training programs, and depending on the sport that an individual competes in, his or her choice of training methods will play a crucial part of their success.
People turn to plyometric training for not only something different but for a training method that has been proven to be effective and can be fun too.
The Early Days
Many of today’s successful athletes use what is known as plyometrics training. Some people simply call it plyos or even plyo.
Before this method of training received its name, it was commonly known as jump training.
In the early days of plyometrics training, many athletes noticed the benefits of this type of training as they were able to stretch out muscles before contracting them whenever they would land following a jump.
Although athletes of various sports practice plyos, certain plyometrics exercises will benefit those in particular sports more than others.
Who Uses Plyometrics?
The Athletes Choice
Plyometrics training is very useful for body control. High jumpers, sprinters and those that practice martial arts commonly use plyometrics exercises.
Basketball, football, and soccer players have many things in common. They will all need to reach out for balls, jump over another player and may suddenly have to jump.
All of this requires superb body control that will allow them to land safely on their feet. Athletes need to complete their tasks in the game even while sometimes making rough physical contact with another player.
This is when plyometrics training comes in handy for these players.
Other benefits that an athlete may reap from plyometrics training are power, speed, strength and outright explosiveness. (1)
While exhibiting jumping movements, muscle groups are trained to work together all at once. With the body working together as one unit, disciplined body control is eventually learned.
This could possibly lead an athlete to success and an overall better performance.
What Does This Mean?
Plyometrics is firmly established as a useful training tool for many sports participant.
Is Plyometrics Safe?
Is It Accessible?
Those that begin a plyometrics training program will always want to make sure that they prioritize safety. Just like any other workout program, starting at a beginners program is always best.
Many times, athletes feel that they can start with an advanced plyometrics training program. This is not wise as it can lead to injuries such as muscle sprains.
The explosive nature of plyometrics can mean that it’s not going to be the right exercise for a lot of people, such as endurance athletes and people who might have trouble with the ballistic nature of the training regimen.
A beginner’s plyometric training program should be used, and then as an individual progresses they can move on to an advanced program that will require more strength.
So, Are Plyos Safe?
Like many exercises, there’s some risk of injury, which is increased if you don’t warm up, or you perform it incorrectly.
The Power Of Plyometrics
The Ballistic Exercise
Although there are many different types of plyometrics exercises, some of the most widely used are front box jumps, broad jumps, and skater jumps.
Front box jumps are commonly used due to its effectiveness in improving an individual’s vertical jump.
Think for a moment about how many sports require a high vertical jump.
Basketball is the first sport that comes to mind when thinking about the benefit of having a really high and effective vertical jump.
There are of course many other sports where the ability to make a powerful jump can be beneficial.
Plyo Muscle Power – Powerful Legs
Strengthening the quadriceps and glute muscles are important and play a big role in improving a person’s vertical jumping ability, and there is no other exercise other than bodybuilding that will strengthen these muscles as much as front box jumps. (3)
This exercise is performed from a squatting position which means a large portion of the leg’s entire muscle grouping will come into play here, recruiting many explosive muscle fibers.
Once in position, an individual will then explode upwards while using their entire body and land on the plyo box. This is a repetitive exercise that could theoretically have many benefits for an athlete.
Plyometrics can be used as part of an interval training workout or mixed in with other exercises for a multipurpose training session.
What Does Mean For Someone Using Plyos?
There a good chance when performed correctly that plyos will increase skill and explosive power
Popular Plyometric Training Exercises
What Are Some Plyos?
Not that we’ve established just how effective plyos can be for sports, let’s look at some of the most popular plyometric training exercises that are employed by athletes:
Broad jumps, which are sometimes called standing long jumps, are used by athletes of many sports.
Track and field athletes, football players, and other athletes will all benefit from broad jumps as this exercise will put on massive strength in the legs while giving an individual explosive power.
No matter what sport a person is involved in, broad jumps will positively impact an athlete’s overall performance.
When an athlete has an ultimate goal to build massive leg strength, broad jumps will definitely give him or her the results that they desire. A reason for this is that with broad jumps there is never a first step or running start. You will have to position yourself into a squat and thrust yourself forward.
Before you know it, you will find yourself improving and going farther.
Skater jumps are called skater jumps for a reason as it mimics the moves of a speed skater.
To do this exercise, an individual will begin with their right leg in front and their left leg behind them.
They will explode to their left, land on the left foot and bend their knee when landing.
This can be done the other way around also starting with the left leg in front of their right leg. Skater jumps are very beneficial for an individual to train themselves to move quicker.
Other Effective Plyos
Other plyometrics exercises that are commonly used by athletes include hurdle jumps, depth jumps, bounding jumps, tuck jumps, cone jumps, split jumps and even single leg takeoffs.
Every different plyometrics exercise has its advantages. For example, the box jump, that was elaborated on earlier, is terrific for vertical jumping and to help an individual to run faster.
Those looking to jump higher will surely want to focus on box jumps, but depth jumps are also just as important.
No matter what exercise somebody is concentrating on, plyometrics exercises will train an individual to be ready and prepare for another take off immediately following their initial landing.
What’s The Take Away From This?
If you have any form of jumping in your sport of choice, plyometrics will almost certainly help.
Why Should Someone Choose Plyometrics?
What Are The Benefits?
No matter how gifted an athlete is at their job, plyometrics will help them become a better all around performer. These exercises will keep a person strong, alert and powerful while maintaining full body control.
Plyometrics training is an important part of professional athletes training regimen, and by combining strength and fitness an individual will always be able to perform to their fullest abilities.
One of the major benefits of plyos, is that it can not only be used in a high intensity interval training workout but also that it can be mixed in with other exercises to form part of a workout, which is probably why it’s so popular with CrossFit enthusiasts. (4)
As we’ve established above, plyometric training can significantly improve athletic performance.
Anyone who plays a sport should seriously look at the benefits of plyometric training and see if some of the exercises we’ve mentioned could help them to improve some of the skills that might see them excel.
Because there’s no need for elaborate or expensive equipment, plyometric training is easy to pick up and do pretty quickly. Plyo boxes start at about fifty dollars and are portable and very convenient.
When choosing a jumping box, safety should be the first priority, so look for sturdy workmanship and be sure to question the retailer on any concerns you may have about durability. If it’s something you will be jumping on regularly, you’ll need to be assured that it’s nice and safe.
What is Plyometric Training?
What we have been able to establish here is that plyometric training appears to be a solid all round training method by which to develop power in explosive movement abilities.
Almost any sport could benefit from the type of jumping and potentially evasive techniques, especially American football and rugby, where getting out of the way by evading an oncoming tackler, is an invaluable skill.
There’s no doubt that plyos are not going to be for everyone, but for those able to perform these powerful exercises, there could be some real addition to both their physique in terms of strength and weight loss, but also the gaining of a valuable skill.
We hope you found this page “what is plyometric training?” to be informative. If you are starting a new exercise program, it’s always recommended that you visit a physician to get the all clear.