If you’re keen to understand and incorporate these powerful training techniques into your fitness program, we’ve put together some information from our Diploma of Fitness learning materials to help…
Firstly, what is Plyometric Training?
Referred to as the “stretch-shortening cycle”, plyometrics is a method of strength and power training involving an eccentric contraction followed immediately by an explosive concentric contraction….
It’s often simpler to think of the eccentric phase as the muscles having to “put the brakes on” to stop moving too quickly. During this braking process, “elastic energy” is stored and this is then used to move quickly….. in the same way an elastic band or sling shot reacts when pulled back.
One of the best things about plyometric training is….you can get started without a lot of equipment!
Some other benefits of Plyo Training are:
- Improved muscle coordination and balance
- Improved speed, jumping ability and agility
- Increased strength in the entire ROM of each joint
- Increased muscle power and sport performance
- Assistance with recovery from tendon related injuries
Tips to getting started with plyometric training:
- Ask a qualified trainer or instructor for advice – they’re experts on training techniques!
- This is a high intensity training technique – be sure you are ready and have a good level of strength already
- Be sure to complete a pre-screen beforehand and ask your medical practitioner for advice
- Make sure you are fresh when performing plyo – do them before strength and cardio training
- Ensure you have good shock absorption with appropriate footwear and flooring
- Stay safe – use well maintained equipment and prepare yourself and your surroundings
- Warm up for 5-10 minutes before starting
- Select 1 to 2 lower-intensity plyo exercises for the upper and lower body to start with
- Master low intensity movements before progressing – e.g. squat jumps and low box steps and jumps
- Begin with 1 -3 sets of 6 – 10 repetitions
- Value quality of quantity – do as many as possible with good form, then stop
- Rest at least 4 times the amount of time it takes for the set e.g. if it takes 10 seconds to do, rest 40 seconds
- Rest and recovery is essential – so program twice a week on non-consecutive days
- Be prepared for some muscle soreness 24 to 48 hours after the session
What kind of activities are Plyometric?
- Jumping in place
- Standing jumps (split, scissor)
- Hops, jumps and bounds
- Box jumps
- Depth jumps
- Plyo or “clap” push ups
Check out Fitness Institute’s Strength and Conditioning page for more information, and get started with the following two Plyo exercises:
- Squat Jumps: https://fitnessinstitute.com.au/squat-jumps/
- Box Jumps and Step Ups: https://fitnessinstitute.com.au/box-jumps/
- William P Ebben, Practical Guidelines for Plyometric Intensity
- James Radcliffe, Form and safety in Plyometric Training