What is plyometric training?

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What is plyometric training?

Having speed and strength is crucial for many sports and can be great in day to day life. These two factors can be what separates a good player from a great player in football, rugby or 100-meter sprints, whatever your training for you can benefit from explosive training.  One type of training you can benefit from would be plyometric training, this is used by many sports people around the world to improve their power and speed. If you are wandering what this training is and how it can benefit you then this article is for you as we are going to be sharing with you an overview of plyometric training and why its something worth doing.

 

What is plyometric training?

Plyometric training consists of exercises that are explosive and use speed and force. This helps build muscle as it helps activate more muscle fibres that you may have missed when hitting the weights. These workouts are used to improve speed and power and are crucial to getting the edge on your competition.  An example of a plyometric exercise includes things like box jumps and burpees when done at high intensity. There are many different excises that can be used in your plyometric workouts.

Plyometric exercises can be stressful on your joints and ligaments as they require you to exert your muscles to their full potential in a short period of time and with force. The force of such exercises can make your more prone to injury, so it is recommended you make sure you are the required fitness level and are not suffering from any bad joints or muscular injuries.

 

Boost power and speed

Plyometrics was originally found with the purpose to improve power and speed. It was popular with athletes like sprinters and gymnasts as speed and power is a big part of there sport. Plyometric exercises strengthen your muscles making their speed and contractions increase, this can also help you increase your force you are able to exert in a short burst. This can improve jumping, punching and other fast and powerful movements.  

As a result of ore power and speed your performance will increase in anything you do. For example if you play football then you will be quicker and will be able to jump higher, you may also be less prone to injury as you are stronger and your muscles can deal with impact better. So, if you need to boost your power and speed ten plyometrics is something that you should consider doing.

 

Muscle gain

It comes to no surprise that plyometric exercise causes you to gain muscle. As they are movements that involve your muscles relaxing and contracting, micro tears are formed which then allow you muscles to grow back stronger and bigger. Also, many plyometric movements are compound movements, meaning they engage many muscles and once. Compound movements are known to increase muscle mass and can boost testosterone and rates of protein synthesis.

Your muscles are made up from fast and slow twitch muscle fibres, fast twitch fibres are the largest and are trained through resistance training and explosive movements. Slow twitch muscle fibres are mostly used for endurance and don’t really affect your overall strength. Plyometric training engages these fast twitch fibres, and this is why this form of training is so effective at building muscle. This form of training is good for building muscle but do not let it replace lifting weights, its best to think of a routine that uses both weights and plyometric movements.

 

Injury prevention

As well as being used to increase someone’s speed and power, plyometric training can also be used to prevent injury. The explosive and sudden movements can prepare your muscles and body for shocks they may experience, this trains them for these circumstances and reduced the risk of you injuring yourself. This can also be used for post injury training, as if you play a sport that is quite high impact this will prepare you for getting back to the pitch. For example, if you play rugby then try doing plyometric movements when training, this will prepare your body for the impact of the contact sport and can reduce the risk of injury if you fall over.

Plyometrics also improves reaction time. This will also reduce your risk of injury as you can do things quicker. An example can include dribbling in football, a quicker reaction time can allow you to get out of the way of a player trying to tackle you. This improves performance as well as reducing injury risk.  Plyometric exercises have been shown to also improve core stability, this makes you more stable when moving and lifting. This can reduce the risk of a pulled or strained muscle when moving.

There is a chance that plyometric movements can cause an injury if not done properly or not at the required fitness level. As you are doing explosive and high intensity movements your muscles, joints and ligaments will be under a lot of stress and can develop an injury. To reduce this risk try doing movements on a padded mat to reduce the impact you have with the hard ground.

 

Easy to do

One great benefit of plyometric training is that the workouts are easy to do. Although the movements may be hard to do, very little equipment is needed to get started. Many plyometric movements involve doing normal exercises but at a higher intensity. For example, box jumps, and squats are forms of plyometric movements when done at a high intensity. So, if you ever find yourself unable to go to the gym or train then plyometric movements are something you are able to do as all that’s required is enough space.

 

In conclusion, plyometric exercises are very effective and is something that every type of athlete or fitness fanatic should consider doing. There are many benefits that can be reaped from plyometrics and it can help you improve your performance in other sports. If you think you would like to try some plyometrics then check out these workouts by Henry Halse.  A great time for theses workouts is when gyms are closed, as you can still break a sweat from the comfort of your home or garden. Plyometrics can also be altered depending on your style of training and you can even add weight to make things more interesting.