What is Plyometric Training?

By Andrew Berkey

Plyometric training is a form of exercise training designed to increase muscular power. Athletes such as basket ball players, football players and boxers have incorporated plyometric training into their training regimen, adding explosive power to their game. Athletes can gain a tremendous advantage using plyometric training in their workouts, provided the exercises are done safely.

Plyometrics training is a high intensity work out and only well conditioned athletes should use them as a training tool. Even then athletes should be under the supervision of a qualified coach or trainer. It is also suggested athletes check themselves for signs of injury and over training.

Contractions are what cause muscles to move. Athletes have observed after an eccentric their muscle contractions are much more powerful. An eccentric contraction is when a muscle is contracting even while being stretched. This principal allows boxers to punch harder and athletes to jump higher and run faster.

The main focus of plyometrics training is to shorten the time between stretching and contracting muscles. The exercises required take the form of explosive work outs such as jumps hops and bounds which in turn cultivate explosive bursts of speed and power.

Plyometric training shoes are used to increase the athletes speed, quickness and power for running faster and jumping higher.

Before doing a plyometric work it is vital that the athlete do a proper and thorough warm up. The eccentric contractions are the same contractions that can result in pulled muscle injuries such as pulled groin and hamstring muscles. It is also essential the athlete be in good condition and well monitored. It is easy to perform these exercises wrong and end in injury.

In conclusion, plyometric training is stretching muscles while they are contracting, teaching them to have and explosive contraction after the muscles are stretched. These workouts properly executed will increase speed, power and quickness, adding to an athletes on field performance. Athletes should first check with their coach or trainer to see which exercises would best suit their program for plyometric training.

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February 21, 2009