Introduced more than 40 years ago, plyometric training has become very mainstream not only in professional athletes but also increasingly so in the general public.  Whether you are a competitive athlete or a recreational sports and fitness enthusiast, plyometric training can really serve you when it comes to performance.  What is important however is to understand the function of this training modality, the most effective way to implement it and what it actually involves.  By definition, plyometric training can be seen as the enhancement of the stretch-shortening cycle of contraction by eccentric loading of a muscle to prime an explosive concentric movement.  As an example, jumping off an elevation and landing into an absorbed squat, eccentrically loads your legs and like the recoil of a spring, this energy is used to concentrically contract and jump out of the squat landing position.  Plyometrics involve a combination of both the neural and muscular system synergistically to perform explosive movements.  Over time, plyometric training increases the amount of force you can produce and therefore plyometrics are effective in making you more explosive.

The benefits of progressive plyometric training are numerous, ranging from improving dynamic strength and speed, increasing movement efficiency, reducing sports injuries, and increasing bone density.  From a practical standpoint implementing plyometrics into an existing routine can assist in breaking a training plateau by adding variety, improving athleticism and reducing the chances of slips and falls through enhancing movement efficiency.  General guidelines state that you should be able to squat 1.5 times your bodyweight before doing plyometrics.


PLYO WORKOUT – 5 Exercise Sampler to Increase Speed, Vertical and Agility

Depth Jump to Squat Hold

  1. Stand on box (beginner 6-12inch, intermediate/advanced 36-48inch)
  2. Slowly step off box and land in an absorbed squat position – hold for 3sec
  3. Repeat 10-20x

Depth Jump Rebound

  1. Stand on box (beginner 6-12inch, intermediate/advanced 36-48inch)
  2. Slowly step off box and land on ground and immediately rebound jumping forward
  3. Land rebound in an absorbed squat position – hold for 3 sec
  4. Repeat 10-20x

TIP – Try to minimize ground touch time.

Box Jump (for height)

  1. Stand in front of box (beginner 6-12inch, intermediate/advanced 36-48inch)
  2. Jump up onto box and absorb landing in a squat position – hold for 3 sec
  3. Repeat 10-20x

TIP – to increase intensity and progression, immediately jump out of finish position in a forward direction back to floor and absorb squat landing – hold for 3 sec

Plyo- Long Jump (for speed development)

  1. From standing position leap forward swinging arms trying to cover max distance
  2. From final landing spring back out immediately to a sprint for 10-15meters
  3. Repeat for 10-12 reps

Tip: To add variety and increase agility component try directional sprints at the end of the Plyo-Long Jump.

Directional Depth Jumps

  1. Stand in front of box (beginner 6-12inch, intermediate/advanced 36-48inch)
  2. Slowly step off box and land bending knees
  3. Immediately rebound turning 90 degrees in the air and land on second box
  4. Repeat for 8-12 reps in each direction

Tip: Try to minimize your ground touch time.

Remember, plyometric training is completely scalable and should be adjusted according to fitness level, strength and age.  There are also neurological adaptation requirement with plyometric training that prolong required recovery time further than that of just basic strength training.  There are more rest days required between plyometric training, particularly if it is at an aggressive level; this is usually 48-72 hours as opposed to the normal 24-48 hour requirements with strength training.

Try injecting plyometric training into your current exercise routine and watch your results hit new heights – literally!

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