I used to do a lot of jump training when I was younger, because I wanted to dunk a basketball 🏀. So Plyometrics was a term I came across very often, in fact, it was probably one of the first things I learned about! Plyometrics is a term that is thrown around very liberally these days. But what exactly is it?
True plyometrics, as they were first introduced by Soviet coaches in the 60’s, are also known as the “shock” methode. By jumping off a height, landing and immediately producing an explosive force afterwards, the muscles are loaded very heavily (this can generate forces up to 3-5 times bodyweight), first in an eccentric and then in a concentric way. By practicing this, the transfer of force becomes quicker, which is a very useful quality for sprinters, jumpers, … and basically any sports that involves these elements.
Nowadays, people refer to plyometrics as well for simpler jump exercises such as ladder drills, hops, and other drills where total contact time and transition between eccentric and concentric is much longer.
So, who is this for? 📈 This type of training can give very short but intense burst of load, so high level plyometrics are not something I’d recommend to a beginner. You want to be sure your body can handle these high loads first. If you have been exercising injury-free for a while and want to jump higher or sprint faster however, plyometrics can be a great idea for you.
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