What is Plyometric Training?
Plyometric is not a new concept, this type of training is been used for improving performance for many years. However, just recently it has gained popularity across the world. Plyometric training is been used by trainers and coaches since 1960. In this type of training, such movements are practiced which are useful in improving performance in some sports and day-to-day activities.
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Benefits of Plyometric Training
Many studies have proved that plyometric training is very effective in improving speed and strength when it is combined with weight training and other types of physical training.
- It improves the response time of the Muscles
- It built-ups performance of the muscle
- Plyometric training helps you to tone your muscles
- It improves balance and posture
- Plyometric training increases flexibility and reduces the risk of injury
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How does Plyometric Training work on the Body?
Stretch Shorten Cycle (SSC) is primarily used in plyometrics to develop power and the explosive response of the human body, the principle behind plyometric training is to develop the maximum amount of force in the shortest possible time.
When our muscles are flexed or shortened it stores elastic energy hence when under tension it reacts with more power and explosive contraction. Gravity plays a major role in Plyometrics, unlike other aerobic exercises. Flexibility and strength are of primary importance when performing plyometric training.
Application of Physics in Plyometric Training
The laws of Physics apply in plyometric training, a force of 1g is equal to our weight, the force of two or more g’s is exerted by an individual when he jumps, For example, a 114 kg person would apply a force equal to or greater than 227 kg of pressure on knees, hips, and ankle joints and a 45 kg person would feel a force of equal to or greater than 91 Kgs.
Injuries – Plyometric Training
Hence, it’s obvious that excessive plyometric training may injure your joints. However, this is the case with most of the exercises, any exercise done in excess adversely affect our health.
Like any other physical training, correct form and technique are of utmost importance while doing plyometric training, it is very crucial that you master the art of landing on your feet while doing plyometric training.
How to Avoid Injuries
When the body lands on the ground, is the risk of damaging your joints, you should be careful and try to land like a cat. Make sure that your joints are not stiff. Make sure that legs work like a shock absorber. The best way to land after the jump Is to pretend that you are jumping behind someone and you land in such a manner that they cannot hear your landing.
This is applicable for running or brisk walking also. Be Silent, Be Soft on your legs. Train your body in such a manner that it uses its natural ability to absorb shock.
Many people advise to land on the balls of the foot and some people advise to land on full foot. In both, cases make sure that energy is smooth and evenly transferred to the legs. It is also important to note that the use of arms while jumping can improve your jump by up to 10%.
When a muscle is stretched or elongated i.e eccentrically contracted and then flexed or shortened that is concentrically contracted the speed of contraction increases. Thereby creating a more powerful contraction that is similar to the stretched rubber band.
However, in the real world muscles undergo a complex moment involving various muscle groups, greater than what is achieved in regular weight training.
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Moderation is the Key
Like any other type of physical training, there is a controversy on whether plyometric training is safe or not, the answer to this question is “moderation”. Like in any other physical training, moderation is very important while practicing plyometric training regularly.
It is advisable to start out with basic, that is doing low jumps until your body is trained for good timing and balance.
Injuries happened when people don’t rest their bodies. It is important to give your body a break, rest in between training sessions, and vary the intensity of training every frequently.
Exerting your body every day like weight training every day or running every day or doing cardiovascular high-intensity training every day is not good for your body.
Exercises – Plyometric Training
- Squat Jumps – This is a combination of jump and squats
- Tuck Squat Jumps – Which are the combinations of tuck jump and squat jump
- Lateral jumps – In which we have to jump side to side
- Power skipping – In which we have to lift our legs as high as possible
- Box Jumps – In which we have to jump on and off the box of the height of 18′ or more
- Plyo Push-ups – In which you have to lift your Hands Off The Ground
- Pike Jumps
- Long jump etc
Unless you have joint problems or you are suffering from an injury, plyometric training under professional guidance is safe as any other exercise, it provides another area of physical training.