Firstly, let’s clarify what Plyometric Training is. Plyometric training, also known as jump training or ‘plyos’, is a group of exercises in which muscles exert maximum force in short intervals to increase power. (ref. Wiki)
Originating in Eastern Europe, most Olympic athletes used it, and scientists/researchers and coaches noticed the strength and explosiveness the athletes attained. As research widened, plyometric exercises became increasingly popular.
Plyometrics stimulate the fast-twitch muscle fibres, which, as we all know, have the greatest potential for muscle growth due to the extra recruitment of fast-twitch fibres resulting in increased muscle mass.
One of the great benefits of plyometrics or any jumping/landing work is that it’s a multi-joint, fun way of training that uses functional movement patterns whilst improving mobility and core stability.
For the muscles to respond explosively, the eccentric contraction is quickly switched to isometric (when the downward movement stops) and then to concentric contraction to propel the body in the opposite direction as fast as possible.
This type of training is not usually for the beginner due to the high risk of injury if improperly executed. However, the less experienced can use it without resistance or try a reduced range of motion because of its functionality.
It tends to raise the heart rate quickly due to the stress on the nervous system and the high recruitment of different muscle fibres.
In short, Plyometric training is an effective method for improving power capabilities.
Internally, high amounts of force are going through your joints and increase tension on your muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
It uses the stretch-shortening cycle of the neuromuscular system and increases the use of elastic energy from tendons and muscles.
Plyometrics generate a rapid stretch in the muscles. Over time, the body adapts by increasing the efficiency of the movement and, significantly, by redirecting the forces generated to produce more force in return.
As an example, when jumping, the foot meets the ground, which it uses as an external force to push against, propelling the body in the opposite direction.
Depending on what you are training for, we recommend plyometric training 1-2 times per week in conjunction with a strength-based training program.
Like most training programs, results would start to show after 4-8 weeks.
After a good warm-up and a series of specific firing and movement pattern drills for the appropriate muscles, a session would probably last around 30 minutes.
Individually plyometrics drills would be short and sharp, lasting anything from 1-20 seconds with 1-2 minutes rest depending on your fitness level.
For one-to-one plyometric training, contact our central London-based trainers.
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