The benefits of plyometrics- jump training- will provide highly beneficial results to athletes of all kind. Whether you’re an Olympic jumper, or just an average gym goer looking for a system that’s proven to work, plyometrics is for you.
Increased Power: Plyometrics were originally created for power sports such as jumping, sprinting, football, and volleyball just to name a few. These exercises focus on the fast muscle contractions that help increase the efficiency of the neuro muscular system. In other words, it allows someone to use their muscles more efficiently for optimal power output.
Fat loss: Similar to sprinting, plyometrics are anaerobic exercises that help you build muscle. More muscle means more calories burned. Plyometrics focus on the fast twitch muscle fibers of the body, which are essential to creating the after burn effect: increased metabolism after a high intensity workout. The studies done at Florida State University shows that “subjects who performed HIIT [High Intensity Interval training] cardio burned almost 10% more calories during the 24 hours following exercise than a steady-state group, despite the fact that the total calories burned during each workout were the same.”
Agility: Many athletes use plyometrics to help improve their footwork in the field or the court. These exercises teach athletes to generate force to accelerate and decelerate their body quickly. This skill is essencial in sports that require sharp turns and rapid game play; Lacrosse, basketball, and volleyball. In 2006, the Journal os Sports and Medicine administered a six week study on plyometrics and their effect on an athlete’s agility. They used 28 subjects and split them into two groups. First was the control group, which did no plyometric exercises. Then a group that was required to do specific plyometric drills. The results found that the group that performed plyometric drills improved their agility while the control group showed no improvement.
If you would like to learn more about the study: http://www.jssm.org/vol5/n3/12/v5n3-12pdf.pdf
Variations: Plyometrics are very versatile and can be performed in many different ways. Some exercises target the lower body while some will target the upper body. Some plyometrics require equipment, while some don’t. What this means is that you can do them anywhere! All you need to do is leave the ground fast. The idea is to focus your energy on explosive power.
Here are a few that target the lower body:
Jump squats, Line hops, split hops, box jumps.
Some for upper body:
Clapping pushup, clapping pullup, muscle-up, med-ball throws.
Sample Plyometric workout:
Warning: Some of these exercises can be dangerous. Please consult your physician or coach before performing any of these exercises. I do not take responsibility of the injuries that may happen while performing this workout.
Lower Body 1:
Squat Jumps: 5 x 5
Split hops: 4 x 3 each side.
Depth jumps: 6 x 3 drops
Jump rope: 5 x 1 min
Lateral hops: 4 x 5 each side
Lower Body 2:
Approach jump: 6 x 2
Broad jump: 5 x 3
Box jump: 6 x 4
Line hops: 4 x 30 sec As many reps as possible.
Upper Body 1:
Clap pushup: 5 x 5
Med-ball slam: 6 x 5
Med-ball Chest pass: 4 x 5
Pushup to box: 5 x 3 (start small. maybe use 2 plates each side)
Upper Body 2:
Clapping pull up: 3 x 3 (If you can’t do clapping, do fast pull ups. If you can’t do pullups, use the pulldown machine.)
Medball toss (laying on back): 3 x 5
Medball over head throw: 5 x 5
Medball side throw: 3 x 4 each side
Sit up to throw: 3 x 8
And for those short on time:
Burpee: 5 x 1 minute. 1 minute rest after each set
1. Warm up properly
2. Do not do these alone
3. Challenge yourself, but also know your limitations.
4. Stay hydrated.
5. Stay focused.
6. Stay consistent