Benefits Of Plyometric Workouts

Benefits Of Plyometric Workouts

Plyometric training has been around for nearly 100 years and continues to grow in popularity.  This should tell you one thing – they work.

 

Plyometric training is typically utilized by individuals who are trying to improve their athletic performance.  But don’t think you have to be a professional athlete to incorporate plyometrics into your workout and take advantage of their benefits.

 

What They Are

Plyometrics are speed movements that consist of jumping, pushing, leaping, and bounding.  The goal of any plyometric is to be performed as fast and explosive as possible.

 

To be considered an actual plyometric exercise, something called a stretch reflex must be present.  This involves an extremely short loading phase that requires a fast and explosive movement to complete.  The entire set shouldn’t take much longer than 10 seconds.

 

For example, jumping onto a 30” box 10 times may tire you out, but it doesn’t incorporate the stretch reflex and isn’t done very fast.  On the other hand, if you were jumping down from a 12” box, then jumping back up as fast as possible, you would now be incorporating the stretch reflex.

 

How They Benefit You

  • Increase explosiveness – Possibly the greatest benefit of performing plyometrics is their ability to make you more explosive.  Performing them as little as once a week can increase your body’s ability to recruit muscle activation at an alarming speed.

  • Improve agility – Even without any running, performing plyometrics can improve your ability to start and stop (agility).  Studies have shown that only 6 weeks of training is enough to make you more agile.

  • Simple to perform – As we clarified earlier, plyometrics consist of mostly jumping, bounding, and pushing exercises that require nothing more than your own bodyweight for resistance.  You can perform many plyometric exercises virtually anywhere and perfecting them takes little instruction.

  • Adds some variety – After you have become an experienced exerciser, boredom is something that you will experience at some point.  Adding plyometrics into your workout routine will definitely break-up the monotony.

  • Safety – If you are performing plyometrics properly and don’t have any underlying issues, safety shouldn’t be a concern.  Unlike other training methods, you won’t perform them until you’re fatigued and there isn’t a whole lot of moving parts that make them hard to master.  There is also no excessive weight since your body is its own resistance.

 

Possible Concerns

Remember that “underlying issues” part we just went over?  Here is where that may come into play. If you know that you have back, knee, or ankle issues, then you may want to steer clear of plyometrics for now. Although they are not too physically taxing, they can definitely put a lot of force on your knees and back.

 

Another issue that you’ll want to keep in mind is the surface that you’re training on.  Wood floors are okay, rubber mats are better, and level grass and turf is the best.  Avoid performing plyometrics on asphalt and never, ever, on concrete.

 

Their enormous performance benefits, combined with their simplicity and safety, make plyometrics a perfect choice to add into your workout routine.