Today my son (he is a Liverpool fan) and I did a plyometric training workout to add some fun and variety into our Sunday training.
What is Plyometric training?
Plyometrics are explosive exercises that increase speed, quickness and power.
Your form must be sharp.
They are exercises in which muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time By moving between muscle extension and muscle contraction using proper biomechanics, you can build up strength, along with improving balance, symmetry, and control.
Plyometric training consists mainly of jumps and throwing motions.
Such exercises take muscles into their end ranges of motion suddenly, stretching them out. Sensing that they might be on the brink of being stretched too far, and damaged as a result, the muscles’ stretch reflex kicks in, making them contract very powerfully. Absorbing and redirecting force as fast as possible develops durability and explosiveness.
The number of reps you do will generally be low before fatigue sets in, making you slow and sloppy.
Why Should I do Plyometric Training
- Plyometric training increases muscle strength, which allows you to run faster, jump higher, and change direction quickly.
- It improves performance in any sport that involves running, jumping, or kicking, giving great results in strengthening muscles while improving agility, stability, and balance.
- Plyometric training requires a lot of energy because it is highly intense. It uses the whole body and activates most muscle groups, therefore burning many calories in a single session.
- Plyometrics combine strength training and cardiovascular exercise and while improving performance and developing explosive power is a fitness concept that’s simple to integrate into your current workout routines.
Adopting plyometric training into your own routine can make you a better athlete and help prevent sports injuries. Even if you’re not competitive with anyone but yourself, it has value. Teaching your body to recruit muscle more quickly will make you stronger on your lifts. Plus, many plyometric exercises are fun to do, breaking up the monotony of conventional strength training.
If you don’t train explosiveness, your body will forget how to use it!
Plyometrics are highly co-ordinated and skilful movements, requiring you to produce high levels of force during very fast movements during a very short time frame.
They require high force and can be tough on the lower-extremity joints, especially the knees.
Anyone incorporating plyometric exercises should have an established workout and strength routine, because many of these exercises require strong ligaments and tendons.
Here are some examples of lower body plyometric exercises
- Choose a box height that suits your current fitness level and height.
- Stand facing the box and lower the body into a squat position. The arms will naturally raise in front of the body.
- Begin to jump up and forward while lifting the knees. The arms will naturally swing behind the body as you land on the box in an athletic stance or squat position.
- STEP off the box, reset and repeat.
Alternating Lunge Jumps
- Start in a lunge position with the right foot forward and the left leg behind.
- Lower the back knee to the floor as the arms swing in front of the body.
- Propel upward, lifting both feet from the ground and quickly switching the foot position (the left foot should now be in front). The arms will come down toward the hips as you lift.
- Repeat, alternating legs each time.
When Plyometrics may NOT be a good exercise for you
Much of my client base is mums and please be aware that plyometrics are NOT suitable for everyone
Plyometrics Can Be Hard On Your Pelvic Floor
The pelvic floor is responsible for holding in some of your organs and supporting your body and they do they get worked hard in pregnancy!
Along with the downward pressure throughout pregnancy, the pelvic floor is also challenged throughout the birth process (regardless of how you deliver).
If it is working overtime to support you in daily movements is weak, do you think that placing more pressure and higher impact on that group with high repetition is going to improve it? Probably not and in fact, it can make it worse..
You’re Just not Strong Enough For Plyometrics.. Yet
I’m not saying you’re not strong and capable, nor am I saying you should never jump again. I’m just saying you may not be there YET
Plyometrics were designed for optimal sport performance. Not only does your technique need to be spot on but your body needs to have a baseline of strength before you can execute and reap benefits
If you’re still struggling with being strong, adding impact to basic exercises isn’t going to improve your strength it will injure you.
Rachel Law is a personal fitness trainer based in New Malden, Surrey. Qualifications: ActivIQ Level 3 Personal Training; Burrell Education Pregnancy Exercise Prescription; Burrell Education Advanced Pregnancy Wellness Practitioner; Burrell Education Advanced Post Natal Exercise Prescription; Burrell Education 3rd Age Women Optimal Health and Nutrition; Burrell Education Peri Natal Athlete; Burrell Education Pelvic Flow and Freedom; Olympic Weight Lifting; Premier Global Kettlebells; FIE Level Assessment and Mentoring