What Is Plyometric Training?

Plyometric training has become a trendy topic among those looking to get in shape. Plyometric training has been used in the popular training programs P90X and Insanity. The essence of this type of training is stretching muscles then rapidly shortening them. This constant flexing of the muscles strengthens the muscles as well help burn calories which leads to fat loss.

The exercises used in plyometric training are meant to mimic the movements used in a variety of sports. For example; for basketball, hopping and jumping exercises involve a series of stretch shortening movements that strengthen the quadriceps. This will then increase the vertical jump as well as build endurance.

For the most part, plyometric training has been reserved for professional and collegiate athletes because of its focused discipline. Unless a person was training specifically for a sport, there is typically no use for them to partake in plyometric training. However, in this age of weight loss being the end goal, combining specialized movements from a variety of sports turns out to be the ultimate workout.

With all the benefits of plyometric training, it isn’t for everyone. It is a workout that is usually conducted under the watchful of a trainer or coach. Plyometric training involves very high intensity workouts and requires an established strengthening program in order to properly complete the exercises. Many people who work out regularly have difficulty keeping up with the average plyometric training program, so anyone whose conditioning is not quite established yet should highly consider a strength training program prior to moving onto plyometric movements.

Plyometric movements specialize in strengthening muscles surrounding joints to create an overall stronger body part. For example, a basketball player with weak ankles may take up plyometric training in order to strengthen his ankle, but the workouts will strengthen his calves, ankle and foot to establish stronger legs in general.

To get an idea of the workout regime of a typical plyometrics routine, consider a football player’s workout; multiple 40-yard sprints, squat jumps, lateral jumps, etc., etc. These types of movements are done in addition to weigh room exercises. Taking elements of these workouts simply put, will not be easy. Exercises can be changed to fit the participant, but the essence of plyometric training is high intense workouts that typically have short burst movements.

A major part of plyometric training is jumping. Jumping over cones, barriers and then moving onto jumping in straight lines and patterns. Benefits of this training are improved vertical jump, greater leg power, balance and over agility. Also greater control of your body weight is one of the first things noticed after a few sessions. Especially in everyday movements, people regularly mention how they move from a squat position to standing up with less agitation in their legs or back, or improved endurance throughout the day by participating in a plyometrics routine.

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