Plyometrics refers to exercises that enable a muscle or muscles to reach maximum strength in as short a time as possible. Such exercises utilize the force of gravity to store energy in the muscles. This energy is then utilized immediately in an opposite reaction (e.g. 1. you immediately jump up upon landing or e.g.2. Clap push up). Plyometric exercises are designed to specifically train the eccentric contraction phase of a muscle’s action. Eccentric contractions occur when the muscle lengthens under tension to decelerate the body. For example, when a runner’s foot strikes the ground the quad muscle must contract to prevent the leg from collapsing. Contrast this with a concentric contraction which involves contraction of a muscle while it shortens.
What are the benefits and advantages of Plyometrics?
1. Speed 2. Power 3. Agility 4. Coordination
5. Can be done in any open space or field
6. Cheap: No fancy equipment needed
7. Plyometric exercises put a lot of stress on the body, especially the joints, but if done correctly and progressively, an individual’s bone mass and muscle tone can improve very rapidly.
Below are samples of plyometrics exercises