The Way to Fuel • 31/05/2022
Plyometrics – Developing power in everyday athletes

Plyometric training, or plyometrics, is a highly effective method for making athletes more explosive. This form of training enhances force production and power, benefiting both the upper and lower body. Whether you're a basketball player aiming for higher jumps or a sprinter seeking faster strides, plyometric exercises can elevate your performance across various sports.

What is Plyometric Training?

Plyometric training involves exercises that stimulate multiple muscle groups simultaneously, such as vertical jumps or box jumps. These movements utilise the Stretch-Shortening Cycle (SSC), where muscles stretch and then shorten. Plyometrics includes quick, powerful actions like an explosive eccentric contraction (lowering into a squat) followed by a concentric contraction (lifting out of a squat).An athlete can be strong but not necessarily powerful. This often results from an inability to contract muscles quickly. Plyometric training addresses this gap, enhancing power output which is crucial for sports performance. For example, basketball players need power to jump high, sprinters to enhance their strides, and rugby players for jumping and sprinting.

Benefits of Plyometric Training

Improves Sprinting Performance: Fast sprinters can generate up to five times more vertical force into the ground compared to slower sprinters. Increased force application translates to better sprinting performance.

Enhances Jumping Ability: In basketball, higher vertical force reduces ground contact time, aiding in explosive leaps. For instance, to slam dunk a basketball, you must jump high enough to get the ball above a 10-foot hoop. Plyometric exercises, such as box jumps, can significantly improve your vertical leap.

Boosts Overall Athletic Performance: Plyometrics can enhance power, speed, agility, and endurance, making it an essential component of athletic training routines.

Key Plyometric Exercises

Box Jumps: Start by practicing jumping up and down on the ground while swinging your arms. Gradually progress to step-ups on a box, and eventually, perform jumps with both legs, using the arm swing for momentum. Repetition will boost your force production and power.

Vertical Jumps: Focus on explosive movements, aiming for maximum height. This exercise is particularly beneficial for sports requiring high vertical leaps.

Sprint Drills: Incorporate drills that emphasize quick, explosive starts and rapid acceleration. These drills help in translating gym power to the track or field.

Integrating Plyometrics into Your Routine

Adding plyometric exercises to your cardio routine can invigorate your workouts. They challenge your muscles, promoting speed, agility, and endurance while burning a substantial amount of calories. However, due to the high-impact nature of these exercises, it's advisable to perform them under the supervision of a Personal Trainer or Sports Coach.

Nutrition for Optimal Performance

When embarking on a new training program it is important to also pay attention to what you are eating. What you put into your body will determine how you feel, perform and recover during and after training. Eating protein with every meal and including at least one or two protein snacks (i.e. Musashi Whey Protein powder Or Musashi High Protein Bar) per day helps athletes of all levels achieve ultimate muscle recovery. 


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