Plyometric Training to Maximize your Peak Performance

Explosive Training for Explosive Results in Performance and Appearance


Do you want to increase your fitness level by leap and bounds? Well, it’s time then to let your workout make you jump for joy. Yes, you guessed it right, it’s all about plyometrics. If you are one among the herd thinking hard what the heck plyometric is, this article is for you. Athletes from wide range of sports are harnessing the power of plyometric training to help them reach peak physical condition. The high intensity and explosive movements is sure to rev up your heart rate, burn major amount of calories while challenging multiple muscle groups and strengthening bones all at the same time. If you are looking at ways to get more out of your workout, add these high-intensity plyometric exercises to your routine.

Unfortunately there are very little researches done to define the optimal guidelines for the plyometric training. Many highly experienced coaches use their experience to arrive at the quantity and intensity of sessions. However to make things easier, several objective guidelines have been proposed by bodies like The National Strength & Conditioning Association.

What is plyometric training?

It is a form of exercise that enables the muscles to reach maximum force in the shortest possible time. The exercise requires the muscles to load with an eccentric action (lengthening action). This is immediately followed by a concentric action (shortening action). Rope-jumping is a good example of low level plyometric training.

How plyometric exercise works?

All plyometric exercises involve three phases.

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First phase – The first phase is the pre-stretch or eccentric muscle action. In this process elastic energy is generated and stored.

Second phase – It is the time between the end of the pre-stretch and the start of the concentric muscle action. The shorter the phase the more powerful the subsequent muscle contraction will be.

Third phase – It is the actual muscles contraction phase. It is this movement wherein athletes put powerful jump or throw.

All the three phase combined is called stretch-shortening cycle. So in fact you can actually call plyometrics exercise as stretch-shortening cycle exercises.

How effective is plyometric training?

A good amount of training studies have shown that plyometrics can help improve performance in vertical & long jumping, sprinting and sprint cycling. By completing only about one or two types of plyometric exercise, 1-to-3 times a week for 6-to-12 months can significantly help improve motor performance. The best thing about plyometric training is that only small volume is required to bring about these positive changes. For example 2-to-4 sets of 10 repetitions per session (14,16) is just fine.

Performing variety of plyometric exercises like counter-movement jumps, hopping, depth jumps and leg bounding are beneficial in improving motor performance. Trained athletes such as basketball players and soccer players are actively using plyometric exercises to improve their performance.

Conditioning program

Conditioning program consist of plyometrics & concurrent strength training. It is found to improve power performance to a greater extent. However you should carefully plan overall program since heavy weight training and plyometric training both are not recommended on the same day. One of the workaround to this can be alternating upper body and lower body exercises.