One of the best ways to improve athletic performance is through plyometric training. Plyometrics are used by athletes in almost all sports, because it works.
If you are an athlete there's a very good chance that you will make tremendous gains in your athletic performance if you add this into your strength training program.
However, prior to setting up your own high powered plyometrics program, you need to understand just what plyometrics are and how to use this type of training effectively.
If your program is not followed properly you can indeed injure yourself.
In order to develop a good plyometric training program you need to assess your current fitness level and your current level of overall muscle strength.
This will help you decide what types of exercises you will need to use along with the intensity level and how you need to progress through the different sections of your plyometric training program.
As mentioned above you need to be aware that although plyometrics training is very effective but you should always be somewhat cautious when performing these exercises.
Most plyometric drills look relatively easy to do on paper or while watching someone else doing them but it's a fact that all drills and individual exercises put a tremendous amount of stress on your muscles and joints.
It's recommended that inexperienced trainees avoid plyometrics altogether until a base of conditioned muscle strength is achieved.
Most athletes are already in good physical condition so if you fall into this category you can add plyometric training you need to assess your current fitness level and your current level of overall muscle strength.
This will help you decide what types of plyometric exercises you will need to use along with the intensity level and how you need to progress through the different sections of your plyometric training program.
As mentioned above you need to be aware that although plyometrics training is very effective, you should always be somewhat cautious when performing your exercises.
Most drills look relatively easy to do on paper or while watching someone else doing them but it's a fact that all plyometric drills and individual exercises put a tremendous amount of stress on your muscles and joints.
Keep in mind however, you should still continue with your strength training as well.
Even if you are a seasoned exerciser you still should seek out proper fitness training instruction at least when beginning a plyometrics workout. Proper form is very important and with plyometric training it can be difficult for you to notice if you are doing anything wrong. This is where a good personal fitness training comes in handy.
With an experienced personal trainer familiar with plyometrics you will learn how to do the exercises effectively and in a safe manner. If you don't do them right you'll not only risk injury, but you’ll have a tough time reaching your goals.
All high powered plyometrics exercises need to be done on a stable surface, whether you're doing them indoors or out. This will not only make the exercises more effective but it will reduce your risk of injuring your joints or muscles.
A very hard surface can also pose a problem with your plyometric training.
You need to do this type of fitness training on a somewhat flexible surface that can absorb some of the impact each time you land. Even the equipment you use needs to be free of any potential risk factors (although the amount of equipment you need is very limited).
Some of the plyometrics equipment you may be using will include plastic cones and boxes.
Make sure the cones can bend a little bit so if you accidentally land on them you won't injure yourself.
With the boxes, make sure they are not slippery on the top otherwise you may slip off and hurt yourself.
There are a lot of exercises you can do for both your upper and lower body.
Just as any other types of fitness training, the types of exercises you use need to be dependent upon your goals and if you're an athlete, dependent on the movements your body is involved in during your sports event / game.
Plyometric exercises for athletes need to copy the movements of your sport as closely as possible.
Plyometric drills designed for your lower body will be effective for most athletes regardless of the sport. This includes, but is not limited to: basketball, football, sprint events, track & field, lacrosse, soccer, gymnastics, skiing, rugby, ice hockey, volleyball, and baseball.
All of these sports should routinely involve lower body exercises in an overall fitness training program. For athletes involved in these sports, plyometrics are just as important as strength and skill programs. Now when it comes to exercises for your upper body, there are some differences.
Some athletes in some sports will benefit much more from certain types of training programs and individual exercises. Some sports involve a lot of throwing or upper body strength while others do not involve using the upper body at all.
When the types of exercises that are right for you and your sport are determined, you can then start planning out your warm up procedure. Your warm-up drills need to be related to the plyometric exercises that you will be using.
You need to warm up your joints and muscles to prepare them for what is to come. Cold muscles, regardless of the types of fitness training you're doing, can lead to muscle tears.
One more thing to remember is the intensity of your exercises and the frequency of your plyometric training.
The best way to approach this in the beginning is to keep all of your drills simple. Form comes first, so try to make sure that you are doing the exercises properly then worry about raising the intensity and the number of times you will do plyometrics each week.
The number of times per week and the number of times during the length of your fitness training program that you include plyometric training will depend a lot on your over-all physical condition and health.