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What's Plyometric Training All About?

What's Plyometric Training All About Have you ever tried burpees, high knees, or jumping jacks? These exercises are an integral of plyometric training. They involve quick force production, repetitive bounding, and explosive jumping, leading to improved physical performance. When done right, they can increase your speed and agility. Fat loss is an added bonus. What Are Plyometrics? Plyometrics are a staple in any athlete’s workout. Also known as jump training, this training method helps develop athletic power, speed, and endurance. It also improves body control and explosiveness. Most exercises target nearly every muscle and burn massive calories. Athletes do plyometric exercises to measure their progress. For instance, box jumps, vertical jumps, and ski jumps can help determine your fitness level. Some types of jumps, such as split jumps and tuck jumps, increase your speed and agility. Others improve functional fitness and overall endurance. Plyometric training is widely used by sprinters, soccer players, basketball players, high jumpers, and MMA fighters. They have been around since the '70s and enjoyed huge popularity among Soviet Olympians. The term plyometrics was coined by Fred Wilt, a former US Olympic runner. Popular plyo exercises include:
  • Plyometric push-ups
  • Lunge jumps
  • Box jumps
  • Broad jumps
  • Vertical depth jumps
  • Tuck squat jumps
  • Power skipping
  • Weighted lateral jumps
  • Skater jumps
  • Scissor jumps
  • Dot drills
  • Barbell squat jumps
  • Burpees
  • Squat thrusters
As you progress, you can try more advanced moves, such as the kneeling jump squat, the single-leg deadlift into jump, and plyo push-ups to squats. The Benefits of Plyometric Training Plyometric training can make you a better athlete. In a six-week study, athletes who did plyometric exercises reported significant improvements in agility, balance, and neuromuscular conditioning. Plyometrics have been also shown to increase vertical jump height, boost muscular power, and improve reaction time. The fast, explosive movements involved in plyometric training can help you perform better at your sport of choice. You'll be able to react faster, change directions more quickly, and last longer in the gym. This workout method activates the fast-twitch muscle fibers, leading to greater endurance. Over time, it lowers your risk of injury and increases running speed. Your muscular system consists of slow and fast twitch muscle fibers. The fast-twitch fibers are larger and stronger. Plyometrics increase their speed and efficiency, which in turn, leads to faster strength gains. This training method also benefits your heart and lungs, kick-starts your metabolism, and improves overall conditioning. Getting Started with Plyometric Training Depending on your goals, you can use plyometrics alone, or as part of your training routine. Do plyo exercises at the end of your workout, between sets, or on your rest days. Due to their intense nature, these movements can replace steady state cardio. Moreover, they increase your metabolic rate, so you'll keep burning calories after leaving the gym. To fully reap the benefits, maintain good form and warm up before getting started. Keep your rest periods short (30-90 seconds) between sets. Perform these exercises at least twice a week, with 48 to 72 hours rest between sessions. Beware that plyometric training carries a higher risk of injury. If you're a newbie, focus on building your strength and endurance. Start with basic exercises, such as power skipping and burpees. Use low-intensity variations to stay safe. Complete up to three sets of three to five reps for each move. So, are you ready to give plyometrics a try? The benefits are immediate!
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