You might have heard talk of plyometric training or seen it advertised in your gym and thought to yourself, ‘what is plyometric training’ and what makes it special? Plyometric training gives you the opportunity to change up your workout routine and add in some fun exercises where you can see just what your body can really do. So let’s go on to learn what plyometric training is, what its benefits are, and some examples of plyometric exercises.
Let’s first define plyometrics. ‘Plyometrics’ is a combination of Greek roots, ‘plio’ and ‘metric’. ‘Plio’ means “more” and ‘metric’ means “to measure”. In the fitness world, the plyometrics definition is the following: a type of exercise that increases muscle power by the rapid stretching and contracting of muscles in a short interval of time.
Plyometric training is often referred to as ‘plyometrics’, ‘shock training’ or ‘jump training’. It involves jumping, hopping, bounding and/or skipping. Words you will commonly see associated with plyometric training are: explosive, speed-strength, and power.
With this type of training, you exert maximum force in minimum time. In other words, you perform powerhouse moves with all your strength. Plyometric training makes you tired faster, so it is important to take your time while doing them so you can focus on your form and getting the most out of each move.
The more you practice plyometrics, the more you will improve your strength, power, and speed.
As you are exerting significant power and moving your body weight, a certain level of coordination is naturally required. You do need to be somewhat coordinated when starting with plyometric training, and it will only improve the more do this type of training.
Plyometric exercises activate your fast-twitch muscle fibers, which generate your force and wear out faster than slow-twitch muscle fibers.
Standard weights and workouts can get boring. It’s fun to jump around and push your body to its limit.
Plyometric exercises are highly coordinated movements. For most plyometric exercises, the key is to do 3-8 reps for 3-6 sets. Be sure to warm up beforehand and cool down/stretch after your workout.
Muscles Involved: Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings, Quadriceps
Muscles Involved: Deltoids, Pectorals, Triceps Brachii
Muscles Involved: Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings, Hip Adductors, Quadriceps
Muscles Involved: Glutes, Hamstrings, Quadriceps
Before getting started with plyometric training, it is recommended to work with a trainer to ensure you are utilizing the proper technique.
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