Ok, so what is plyometrics exactly? And, how do you perform this type of training?
On this page and on other related pages on this website you will find out all you need to know about the benefits of plyometrics.
In a minute we'll clearly answer this somewhat troubling question: What are plyometrics exercises?
When it comes to understanding plyometrics training you should know that even though many good athletes use plyometrics in their fitness training programs, they don't quite understand just what it is.
As a result they can't use this form of fitness or athletic training to its fullest potential.
Plyometrics is a sports training technique that has been around for quite some time. It was first known as jump training.
It didn't become popular until certain athletes who were using these techniques began winning all of the competitions they were involved in.
In the early 1920s it was mainly track and field athletes who used plyometric drills and plyometric exercises as part of their regular training programs.
It was these athletes who began to develop the main principles of plyometric training.
It wasn't until the 1970s that athletes in other sports decided to give this training method a try. At first it was just athletes that required explosive power for their event and then all other athletes got involved.
To understand what is plyometrics we need to break the actual word down.
The actual term or word plyometrics comes from the Greek word "pleythyein" meaning to 'increase'. A man named Fred Wilt who was a track and field coach coined the modern version of the word in 1970.
This new name is a combination of 2 Latin words "pilo" meaning 'more' and "metrics" meaning 'to measure'.
To properly answer the question: What is plyometrics? You need to understand that it is a type of exercise that is used to develop very fast, powerful muscle an joint motions. The main goal of plyometrics training is for you to drastically improve your athletic performance for your specific sport.
Plyometric drills, exercises and training programs in general will all use your muscle elasticity and strength to allow you to train to jump higher, hit harder, swim faster, throw any type of ball a greater distance with more accuracy, etc.
When performing plyometrics your muscles will contract at the fastest speed possible and with the greatest force. Plyometric training can improve the athletic ability of any athlete as long as you learn the proper techniques and use the proper fitness training methods.
It all depends on your sport specific goals.
In order for you to fully grasp how plyometric training will improve
your athletic performance you need to understand the mechanics and
benefits of plyometrics.
With plyometric training you need to understand muscle power. Your muscle power is measured by the time it takes your muscles to convert strength into speed.
The speed of which it takes your muscles to
contract during your sports event will determine how much power you can
If you are an athlete with very good leg strength going up against another athlete who participates in plyometric training you would be able to lift more weight and do more reps when doing squats in the gym but the athlete who is involved with plyometric training will have a higher vertical jump and could jump a further distance.
So looking at this, who would actually have the stronger legs and the better athletic ability?
The most common type of plyometric drills are vertical jumps. Vertical jumps are done in continuous fashion, meaning as soon as you land, you jump again. This will overload the muscles you're working which in turn will dramatically improve explosiveness and power in the muscles.
Plyometrics in general can involve some risk so there are a number of things you need to keep in mind, including:
Once you know the answer to: What is plyometrics? – you will eventually realize that there are other types of fitness training that go into plyometric exercises, including aerobics and flexibility exercises.
There are many different types of plyometric drills you can perform in addition to vertical jump plyometrics. This includes, but is not limited to: various types of catch drills, medicine ball exercises and numerous types of push-ups.
Plyometric drills incorporate gravitational force to allow your muscles to reach optimal strength in as fast a way as possible. The energy in your muscles is used up immediately in an opposite reaction, such as jumping again as soon as your feet touch the ground.
Your ability to immediately apply power and force to your muscles; which is commonly known as reactive force; is the primary goal of plyometrics training.
If you have proper "speed/strength" you may have a tremendous advantage over your competition, depending on your specific sport of course because some sports will necessitate superior "speed/strength" than others.
Let's take a quick look at just what aerobics really are and how they fit into plyometrics.
You can define aerobic exercise like this:
Aerobics are exercises include your cardiovascular system. A certain degree of resistance training and stretching exercises can also be incorporated into aerobic exercises to include all areas of fitness training. This would of course include muscle strength, cardiovascular conditioning and health along with flexibility.
There's no point in learning the answer to; What are plyometrics? – if your not aware of what flexibility really is.
Flexibility in short, is your ability to move your joints effortlessly throughout their full range of motion. There are 2 different types flexibility, static and dynamic.
Static flexibility will allow you to gradually get into a stretched position while the rest of your body is motionless and relaxed. Dynamic flexibility will permit you to move at a normal or quick pace into a stretched out position.
Flexibility is considered to be one of the key elements of the answer to the question: What is plyometrics? It's very good for your over-all health.
The flexibility of your joints can be limited by a number of different factors so keep that in mind. Flexibility training for plyometrics should involve a certain degree of overload to be most effective.
Aerobics and flexibility both play an important role in plyometric training. For example you have to be in decent physical condition before starting your training program. To do this you will have to participate in different forms of fitness training.
Aerobics is just one of these. Of course depending on the sport you are involved in, your aerobic conditioning may be good already.
Aerobic activities will help to properly condition your cardiovascular system so your body can use oxygen more efficiently.
Flexibility also is a very important part of plyometric training.
To see all the benefits of plyometrics you need to be able to perform all exercises through a complete range of motion. If your muscles aren't flexible you must train them to be so before jumping into any plyometric training in general.
Now that you fully understand the answer to the question: What are plyometrics? – you can go ahead and drastically improve your athletic ability.