What is Plyometric Training?
Plyo training is designed to produce rapid and explosive movements for the purpose of improving sporting performance.
Plyometric training works by utilising the stretch-shortening cycle of the neuromuscular system. The purpose of this stretch-shortening cycle is to monitor the degree of muscle stretch and prevent overstretching and possible damage to the muscle. When performing plyometrics the muscle is loaded eccentrically and then is immediately followed by a concentric contraction. To protect any damage to the muscle fibre, when the significant stretch is detected, the stretch rebounding back at the receptors. Through this rebounding action, a braking effect stops any further and releases a powerful muscular contraction.
Most sports have elements of plyometrics, whether that's jumping, bounding, pushing etc so to maximise your sporting performance you should consider utilising plyometric exercises. A good guideline is to avoid training plyometrics more than twice per week and ensure you are using the correct form for the exercises.
Before beginning adding plyometrics into your program, it is recommended that you have a good overall base of strength and be able to squat at least 1 x your bodyweight.
Examples of Plyometric Training:
- Squat Jumps (Weighted & Unweighted).
- Tuck Jumps.
- Box Jumps.
- Depth Jumps.
- Medicine Ball Chest Press Standing Throw.
- Medicine Ball Chest Press Floor Throw.
- Medicine Ball Rotational Throw.
- Plyo Press Up.
- Plyo Pull-Ups
Ensure you can perform these movements correctly before increasing the weight and always remember when it comes to plyometric training that rapid and explosive movements are more important than lifting heavy.
Plyometric Training is a good tool to have in your arsenal, look at the elements of the sport you play and add in the exercises that might increase your attributes to perform better at those elements. Do not do plyometric exercises just for the sake of doing them, the exhausting effect on the central nervous system could be more detrimental if there's no need for you to be performing them.