Plyometrics are a great way to kick your workouts up a notch. By adding in an element of explosiveness to your exercises, you can improve your speed, power, and strength. Similar to HIIT training, plyometrics require a lot of energy. But, they are also a fun alternative to typical strength training movements.
In this article we’re going to cover everything you need to know about plyometric training: what it is, the benefits, and how you can integrate it into your routine to get fitter than ever before.
What is Plyometric Training?
Plyometrics describes a type of training that focuses on explosive exercises, with the intent to improve an athlete’s strength, power and speed. Some examples of plyometric exercises include squat jumps, plyo pushups, and jumping role. Essentially, a plyometric exercise is any exercise that requires a production of force and a transference of power. But what does this mean exactly?
In exercise science, strength refers to your ability to generate a sufficient internal force in your connective tissues and muscles to overcome the resistance of an external force, changing its velocity. This typically may involve the resistance of a weight, but it can also involve the resistance of your own body weight through gravity (ie. box jumps).
Power is the ability to exert force and overcome resistance, in the shortest amount of time. The difference between strength and power is the component of time. Practicing exercises that require explosive power improves your speed, by priming your body to generate force more efficiently.
Benefits of Plyometric Exercises
Simply put, plyometric exercises make you faster and stronger. This is ideal in sport specific training. For example, practicing plyometric box jumps will improve your sprint speed if you play football, and chest throws with a medicine ball will help you power your punch if you’re a boxer. As supported by Human Kinetics, plyometric exercises can help improve your performance in any sport, across the board.
A 2017 study published in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine found that in a 12-week intervention on volleyball players, practicing plyometric exercises significantly improved their general performance, speed, endurance, power and muscular strength; compared to the control.
Even if you’re just training for fun, plyometrics should still have a place in your routine. Plyometrics can drastically improve your cardiovascular health, torch calories, and strengthen muscles. A 2014 study found that in a group of participants doing plyometric training, they decreased their body fat percentage by 16.4 percent and gained 2.1 percent of muscle after the 12-week program.
Top 5 Plyometric Exercises
Here are 5 of the best plyometric exercises to get started with today:
- Box jumps
- Reverse lunge knee-ups
- Clapping push-ups
- Tuck jumps
Plyometrics are an ideal addition to your workout routine if you’re looking to maximize your power, speed, and strength. As with any workout routine, don’t forget to incorporate muscle recovery protocols to ensure your body stays healthy and is ready to go for every training session. Marc Pro is a recovery tool used by elite and everyday athletes that’s proven to speed post-workout recovery and get you back to feeling your best.