Shari Duncan

Tag: Plyometrics

Why Ply…ometrics?

by on Sep.14, 2010, under Fitness, Strength and Agility Training

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The functional muscle gains from plyometric training will flow on to an overall health and fitness improvement. From this you get greatly improved physical performance which includes not only strength, agility and power but also coordination and flexibility.

Plyometrics help build fast twitch muscles and are an excellent component of power training. Basically, any exercise that involves a dynamic shift from absorption of force to expression of force is a plyometric exercise. It incorporates specialized, high intensity training techniques that assist in developing athletic power (strength and speed). Some people are put off immediately when they hear “high impact” or high intensity training; however experts in the field of exercise science, including The American College of Sports Medicine and  The American Council on Fitness states that plyometric training is a safe, beneficial and fun activity when done properly.  It is important to note though that plyometrics do not take the place of running (cardio), stretching, and weight training, if you perform plyometrics consistently AND correctly, you WILL see results!

Improve YOUR Performance with Plyometrics!

Improve YOUR Performance with Plyometrics!

Working out at high intensity is a great way to burn body fat and since plyometric training is a high intensity activity…this means that it burns lots of calories!

Jumping Exercises are generally very anaerobic. (Exercise in which oxygen is used up more quickly than the body is able to replenish it inside the working muscle). So when you work out at 90%-100% intensity, you really stimulate your metabolism and can have an elevated calorie burn for hours after the workout is completed.  If your workouts leave you never feeling out of breath, try incorporating some plyometric exercises to your routine to increase the intensity and help you burn lots of extra calories!

Be sure to follow safety precautions to avoid risk of injury when performing plyometrics (or any high impact) exercise routine. The most important aspect of a safe and effective plyometric program is developing a safe landing technique. This means the athlete lands softly on the toes and rolls to the heels. By using the whole foot (and a larger surface area) for landing it helps dissipate the impact forces on the joints. The other key to proper landing is to avoid any twisting or sideways motion at the knee.  It is essential to warm up thoroughly and start with small jumps and gradually build up.

Also, begin slowly. If you want to incorporate plyometrics into your workouts, start with one exercise for 3 sets of 8-10 a couple of times a week. Then add a second exercise. Once you have mastered a couple of jumps or throws, add a third and so on, always paying strict attention to form.

Examples of lower body plyometric exercises are squat jumps, box jumps, split jumps and tuck jumps. Upper body plyometric exercises often include the use medicine balls throws.

Clinical studies have shown that weightlifting and plyometric training are an excellent combination in enhancing power and speed. Combining weights and plyometric exercises into the same workout will heighten the responsiveness of fast twitch (speed and power producing) muscle fiber. (example: perform a set of squats, followed by a set of jump squats, continuing until all sets are completed; or completing all designated sets of jump squats then following it with a complete set of squats).

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