Plyometrics For Fitness And Strength

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Plyometrics For Fitness And Strength

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Plyometrics is a training technique meant to increase a person’s muscular power and explosiveness. It is also called jump training. Plyometrics was actually developed for Olympic athletes. Today, it has become a much in vogue workout routine for adults, adolescents and children.

Plyometric training involves dynamic resistance exercises. Plyometric exercises imitate the motions used in sports such as football, basketball, tennis, skiing, volleyball and boxing. Though it is designed for adults, children and adolescents can also gain benefit from it (if it is properly designed and supervised).

Box Jumps for weight loss

Plyometric exercises– A few examples

Thousands of plyometric exercises have been developed by trainers. There can be a simple routine for kids and teenagers that can have 1-3 sets of 6-10 reps of an upper body exercise like ball chest pass and a lower body exercise like double leg hop on alternative days in a week. Depending on increase in muscle strength, the routine can be expanded.

For adults, plyometrics routines are can be of different intensities. There can be low-intensity double hops to high-intensity ones like jumping on and off a box as high as 42 inches.

For sports that need lots of lower body power, a plyometric session can be as simple as ground-level jumping on padded mats or grass. Slowly it can be increased to jumping over foam barriers and can then advance to higher levels.

Plyometrics – benefits

Research shows that plyometric training can help in improving the following-

  • Vertical jump performance
  • Muscle strength
  • Joint protection

Regular participation in plyometric training can also help people in controlling their weight! Isn’t that good news? Combining plyometric training with warm-ups, stretching exercises and weight training can improve an athlete’s power. This training also strengthens muscles and decreases the effect on joints. It can reduce the chances of injury in some people.

Plyometrics for fitness and strength

Plyometrics- Risks

If your physical condition is poor or if you have bone/joint problems, plyometrics is not for you. Even if you are an athlete, you must remember that any training routine that uses explosive movement to build energy is always linked with a risk of injury. The number of injuries reported due to plyometrics has stirred a commotion about the technique’s safety.

But plyometrics is usually safe and effective. It would be better if you get the green signal from a therapist or sports medicine doctor and get yourself enrolled in a programme that has a qualified instructor. He should gauge your age, fitness level and teach you the technique properly.

Plyometrics for fitness and strength1

Proper technique is required

Beginners should start off with easy and ground level jumping on padded surfaces like a gym mat or a grass surface. They have to be under proper supervision.

Where the emphasis is on quality of jumps instead of quantity and where safe landing techniques are taught, such plyometric programs are considered to be the most effective.

Complicated exercises like depth jumping should be introduced slowly. The instructors should gauge the physical condition and injury status of the participant before putting them into the next level. If required, the program can be modified with time to prevent overtraining and increase benefits.

One essential safety consideration is the use of foam or softer materials that does not twist easily for making barriers, boxes and jumping surfaces. It is also essential for participants to take rest between sessions for at least 48 hours.

Make sure you are safe and go ahead with it!

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