Plyometric training exercises are exhausing and difficult to perform but offer tremendous benefits to athletes of all kinds. Skills like the vertical leap, broad jump, and general explosiveness are enhanced when undertaking a routine of plyometrics training. If you have never seen a demonstration of plyometrics or “plyos” before, it looks like “jumping around”. However, there are many different ways to jump and land which target the explosive components of different muscles. A basketball player requires explosiveness for a vertical leap while a wrestler could really use explosive power from a lunge position. It may sound simple but plyometrics training has been responsible for the perpetual success of Russian power athletes and have been an integral training component on every professional sports exercise program for many years. It may seem like everyone is just jumping around but there’s so much more going on than meets the eye.
Your body has an advanced series of regulatory contraptions in it’s joints. If we jump off of a table, the second our feet touch the ground, sensors in our bodies regulate the amount of downward force and respond by firing our muscles to prevent us from collapsing into the ground. In the act of falling, or rather the part of jumping that involves us moving back towards the earth, we are able to ‘trick’ our muscles into engaging in a powerful upward force to prevent ourselves from hitting the ground. Plyometrics capitalizes off of this basic human reaction. In engaging in plyometric exercise, we become much more explosive and able to recruit massive amounts of muscle fibers immediately. More fibers firing at one time equals explosive power. If you continue plyometrics training, you will develop the ability to launch your body from the ground, either to block a 3 point shot or to inflict a crushing tackle. Every athlete should make plyometrics personal training a part of their exercise program.