Plyometrics have long been considered a key in developing explosiveness. Such explosiveness is referred to as "Strength in Motion". Plyometric training links together strength with speed to create power. It's essential to athletes, primarily to those who jump, lift or throw.
Plyometric training is designed to enable a muscle to reach maximum strength in a short amount of time. This in turn leads to muscles that propel athletes faster, higher and more explosive.
There are several types of plyometric training drills-or jumps-which are useful for developing athletic explosiveness. The following are some of the most widely used:
Jumps in place-a jump completed by landing in the same spot where the jump started. Low in intensity, yet it provides stimulus by requiring athletes to rebound quickly, jump after jump
Standing Jumps---stresses single maximum effort, horizontal or vertical with recovery time between each, and repeated
Multiple Hops & Jumps---combination of the above, yet are done one after another
Bounding---exaggerated normal running, focusing on lifting and "floating" as you run
Box Drills-combines multiple hops and jumps with depth jumps using boxes to land on
Depth Jumps---uses athletes body weight and gravity to exert force against ground. Performed by stepping out from box and dropping to ground, then jumping back up to the height of the box
Each type of jump is useful for developing explosiveness in all sports. Add the use of barriers such as cones and hurdles to increase training variety and intensity. Also, add a 5-10 yard sprint after each jump, or the use of a ball (catching, dribbling) to make it more sports specific.
When designing a plyometric traing program, a good rule to follow is:
Train Plyo's 2 times a week for beginners
Start with relatively low set/rep ratio (3 sets, 8 jumps per set)
Give good recovery time between sets for maximum effort
Make drills sports specific as possible (Jump/Sprint, Jump/Catch Ball)
Be creative, follow your impulse, and listen to you r body. Good Luck!
About the Author
Daimond Dixon is a Nike SPARQ Certified Performance Trainer who has psecialized in training athletes over the past decade. Visit his performance site at www.ProPowerTraining.com
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