How do you feel about improving speed, power, strength and muscular endurance? While also accelerating fitness levels and cardiovascular efficiency. All you need to do is push muscles to exert their maximum force in as little time as possible. This technique, commonly used by a range of different athletes, has now been passed down to the rest of the world, to be used in everyday workouts, for exceptional training results.
Let’s talk Plyometrics…
This form of jump training is the scientific name for high intensity, explosive exercises. In short, plyometrics consist of muscles being forcibly tensed in an eccentric contraction; the eccentric contraction is then quickly switched to isometric (when the movement stops) and then, as fast as possible, concentric contraction. In English, this means the technique involves loading the body at the bottom of an exercise and exploding out of it.
An example of this would be a squat jump; the participant needs to squat low to load the muscles (eccentric movement into isometric), then power from the bottom of the squat into the highest possible jump.
Hang on! The jump is only half the exercise, landing a movement is just as important…
Landing creates a shock to the body, the body then responds by undergoing a strong involuntary muscular contraction to prevent collapsing. This in turn produces great tension in the muscles and tendons which is then given back in a return upward movement. The key to progression, power improvement and muscle efficiency is all in how the body responds and catches itself.
Other plyometric exercises include: Platform jumps, lunge jumps, step jumps, single legged jumps, clapping press ups, medicine ball throws and many more.
Plyometrics can be used in interval form, short sets or inbetween strength training; when performed correctly the muscles should fatigue quickly, therefore sufficient rest between exercises is essential for any plyo training method. Muscles need to recover, rebuild and prepare themselves.
Like all exercises with impact, there are always safety risks and considerations to acknowledge. Any joint problems, muscular injuries or bone conditions; care and avoidance may need to be taken. Exercise technique needs to be practiced and monitored to prevent injury. Illnesses that effect exercise need to be assessed prior to any participation. Any doubts please speak to a professional.
Asalaamu Alaykum ❤
Safiyah Esack – 15/07/2013