In this video, I talk about plyometrics and how you can incorporate them into your routine!
What are plyometrics?
Plyometrics, also known as jump training or plyos, are exercises in which muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time, with the goal of increasing power (speed-strength). This training focuses on learning to move from a muscle extension to a contraction in a rapid or “explosive” manner, such as in specialized repeated jumping.
Ok, so we have the definition of plyometrics, but how does it actually work in relation to your muscles and tendons. When we perform plyometrics, our muscles and tendons go through a stretch-shortening cycle. In the stretch cycle (also called eccentric phase), our muscles lengthen, during this lengthening our muscles store elastic energy, think of it as a rubber band. The stored up energy is then used once our muscle shortens (also called the concentric phase), again like a rubber band.
Plyometrics are mostly utilized for athletes that perform explosive movements, such as basketball players, football players, soccer players, sprinters, jumpers, and throwers in the sport of track and field, the list goes on. However, anyone can do plyometrics, as a matter of fact, I would recommend that anyone looking to take their training to the next level, should incorporate it into their workout.
Before implementing plyometrics into your routine you first must understand how it affects your body and the impact it has on your body. Plyometrics are extremely hard on the body, from your muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, and even your central nervous system. During plyometrics, our bodies are moving quickly and powerfully. We are asking a lot from our bodies. As we do plyometrics the wear and tear accumulate. That is why it is extremely important to slowly build up the volume and the difficulty of the movement. Its much better to perform plyometrics regularly for long periods of time than performing a lot in one day and hurting yourself, forcing you out of action. I will talk about exactly how to first incorporate plyometrics later in the video so that you get the best sustainable results.
What are the advantages of plyometrics?
Plyometrics boost speed and power, something we all want. It does this by shortening the time between the eccentric and concentric phase, and this leads to an improvement in power and speed, the faster your muscles can generate power, the faster and more explosive you’ll become.
Plyometrics also increase strength, with more power and speed comes more strength, however, you need to really build a good strength foundation before implementing plyometrics, I will get into that later in the video.
Plyometrics are a full-body exercise, they require a lot of energy because they are so intense, they target so many different muscle groups at once, the more muscle groups you use the more calories you burn and more efficient your body becomes at utilizing your muscles.
One of my favorite added bonus of plyometrics is that it enhances your muscle coordination and rhythm, if you’ve ever taken a long break from an activity like jumping, you’ll realize quickly that you feel awkward when you attempt it after a long layoff. The more coordinated you are the better you will perform the movement and also lower the risk of injury.
Designing a plyometrics program
As I mentioned earlier plyometrics are very hard on the body, therefore, there are proper steps you must take before creating a plyometrics program.
To lower your injury risk during plyometrics, it is best to first build a strong base through weight lifting. This properly prepares your body for the strain of the plyometrics. You also have to work on your flexibility, flexibility is extremely important in plyometrics training or any form of training for that matter. Again think of it as a rubber band, the further back you can pull the rubber band the further it will go. A tight rubber is also a lot more likely to tear with minimal pull, the same goes for your muscles. You can work on your flexibility by performing dynamic stretches and rolling out every day or at least 5 days a week.
When you get into the actual design of the program, you need to figure what your training for, your training will be different depending on your sport or event. Therefore, your form of training depends on that.
However, there are general plyometrics that anyone can incorporate as long as your able, an example would be box jumps or depth jumps.
When designing a program there are 6 Variables you must focus on.
First is Neuromuscular Overload: Applied Loads and Distances: This refers to a rapid change of direction of a limb or the entire body without external loads. The number of reps, sets, and body movements contribute to the total overload
Then we have Temporal Overload: or Timing: Temporal overload can be accomplished by concentrating on executing the movement as rapidly and intensely as possible. Keeping the time as short as possible is one of the keys to performing plyometric exercises for increased power production.
As mentioned earlier plyometrics are intense, when forming a program you have to fully understand the type of intensity you are exerting. In plyometrics, the type of exercise performed controls the intensity. Plyometric exercises can come in many forms and intensities. Some activities such as bilateral jumping to a box are lower-level plyometrics while others such as single-leg jumps from a box are intense.
I believe volume is extremely important in plyometrics and any form of training for that matter here is an exact quote from the research mentioned earlier is done on plyometrics training “ Volume is the total work performed in a single work session or cycle (periodization). In the case of plyometric training, the volume is often measured by calculating the load, counting the number of repetitions, sets, etc. of the specific activity such (number of throws, and jumps.) Fifty-foot contacts during a training session would be considered low volume, while 200 + would be considered high volume. Volume should be increased in a progressive manner to decrease the risk of injury or overtraining.”
When training we need to make sure that we increase volume over a period of time, whenever I create programs for my athletes my focus is on increasing the workload over a long period of time. This allows the athlete to build his or her body up throughout the weeks to handle the workload, doing too much too fast surely leads to injury.
Frequency is also an important factor, frequency is the number of exercise sessions that take place during the training or rehabilitation cycle. Your frequency will depend on your level of fitness and training. For example a beginner should start off with 1-2 plyometric sessions a week, while someone that is conditioned can do 3-4 sessions a week.
Now I believe recovery is the most important part of any training, recovery is the time your body heals itself and proper recovery is the best injury prevention. A lot of people believe that progress happens when they are performing the movement. That is false, the progress happens when you are recovering. Recovery between training sessions is usually 48 to 72 hours between exercise bouts with plyometrics is recommended. With that I would say listen to your body, if you feel like your body is not ready for another session do not force it, your goal is to train over a long period of time to see the best results.
With that said, the type of plyometrics you perform depends on your sport, Usain Bolt and Lebron James would not perform the same types of plyometrics training. Lebron would focus more on the side to side and jumping movements while Usain bolt would focus on building power through a straight-line sprint.
Now I’ll give my top 5 plyometrics movements! that help me run faster and jump higher! include a sample week of
First, we have the squat jump, this is a simple, but yet very effective movement that doesn’t require equipment to start off with.
Second, we have Tuck jumps, tuck jumps do not require any equipment, and you can do them almost anywhere.
Third, we have depth jumps, depth jumps are considered to be more advance, you want to have a strong foundation before performing them, they take a heavy toll on your lower extremities.
Fourth, we have hurdle hops, I think these might be my favorite ones, they are work on quickness off the ground and getting height.
The final one is power skips, I like to work on a double leg and single leg plyometrics, as an athlete it is important to be well rounded, you never know what type of movement your body will be asked to do in a game situation.
Remember guys, anyone can do plyometrics, but only those that add them smartly into their programs get the best results
Pushup into burpees (3 pushups and explode into a burpee) you will jump up a total of 5 times for one set, so a total of 15 pushups. You will do 3 sets
climber for 20seconds, you will do 4 sets
10 pushups in one minute, meaning you will go down slow and go up slow making sure to keep your core tight.
You will do 3 sets
4 sets for 20 seconds
Hurdle hops (both hurdles)
3x30m high knees
6 inch leg raise hold for 45 seconds, 3 sets
Leg raises hands by your side
Leg raises to the left 2×8
Leg raises to the right 2×8
Alternating heel touch 3 sets for 20 seconds
Sited scissor kick
3 sets of 20
Planks 3 sets for 45 seconds
Side planks 3 sets for 45 seconds
3x30m high knees
4 sets 20m
(one set is back and forth)
Bulgarian lateral hops
3×10 (one set is doing 10 reps each leg)
3x20m (back and forth is one)
3 sets for 30ms
(you gradually build up speed, you should be at top speed by the time you finish)
Panther shoulder tap
Planks 3 sets for 45 seconds
Side planks 3 sets for 45 seconds
Butterfly sit ups
Dead bug core
4x 20 seconds
Single leg bridges
3×6 (6 each leg)
3×16 (8 each leg)
Explosive lunges (explode back up by bringing the opposite leg up fast)
3×8 (4 each leg)
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: Rest