Plyometrics training is a form of exercising that requires the same vigor and aim to build your physical stature. It used to be referred to as jump training. The moves involve a lot of jumping as they are performed in order to increase the rate of release of power over short periods. Your muscles are trained to contract and relax rapidly.
The training involves jumps, squats, hops and one-leg hops. The jumps are different as sometimes you have to jump onto a bench, box or over a cone. The moves are executed at differing paces and some are quick and intense while others are slower and more calculated.
Plyometrics are important for high performance sports of any kind. The training is most commonly used by martial artists. However, many types of athletes also need the exercises for maximum performance. Sports such as basketball, tennis, high jump and volleyball are a few among the many activities that employ plyometric training to produce elite performers.
Exercises That Make Up Plyometric Training
There are a lot of workouts that fall under plyometrics. Some of them are well-known and others are not so famous. The training involves activities like jumping rope, lateral jumps, box jumps, broad jumps, and straddle jumps, vertical depth jumps, tuck squat jumps, alternate leg bounding and many others. As you may have noticed, most of the training revolve around jumping. Plyometric training was invented with the purpose of building fitness and stamina for times when the body needs to release explosive power in a split second, over and over.
Intensity of The Training
Almost all the moves require a lot of energy. The training is indeed high intensity since it involves quick movements that require a lot of power. It is not the typical strength-training regime and that is why you don’t see most people opting for it in the gym.
Plyometric Training for Everyday Fitness
This form of training is not only limited to top performing athletes-you can also use it to whip your muscles into shape. The typical plyometric training one does for their own good is not as intense as the standard form of training that requires exertion. As a matter of fact, you can’t just decide to jump right in as this could cause injury. You need to gain basic fitness before they can begin the training.
Plyometrics is an interesting training regime that builds balance, strength and agility. The work does not necessarily require a session on its own as it can be incorporated into your daily routine.
The jump is supposed to be high, such as from a platform, so that it has a shock landing. In such a landing, the knee, ankle, and hip muscles contract unusually. The muscles respond with an explosive force picked from the landing that catapults the athlete high up during the corresponding jump. In landing, the force lengthens muscles involuntarily, and in jumping back up, the muscles are shortened after a brief moment of being tensed.
When starting out, athletes perform the deep jumps from short platforms and continue increasing the height as their muscles become more used to the training. For a beginner, the platform is usually 20-30 inches long.
Areas of Focus
Plyometric training is mostly aimed at developing your lower body strength. However, it has subtle effect on other muscles as you work out. The legs and glutes are the core areas of development.
Is It Safe?
The training is mostly high intensity. While professional sport people use it to increase fitness levels, power up and protect themselves against injury, the training may take its toll on the unconditioned body. For this reason, people interested in trying out plyometric training should do so under professional supervision and learn muscle exercises prior to starting out.
For people who want to add plyometrics on to their usual regime, there are low intensity types of exercises that you can try out. One good thing about plyometrics is that there is a lot of choice when it comes to the type of training involved; you can always choose what you find interesting and fun to do and run with it.