In days gone by, plyometrics was called “jump training.” This type of exercise is a technique which you can make use of in various ways. For instance, it is possible for you to do plyometrics in order to assist with training for basketball, volleyball, tennis or, alternatively, any other physical activity which uses explosive movements.
During plyometrics, you’ll perform a series of jumps as well as hops. Good examples of these types of movements are jump squats or one-leg hops. In a plyometric routine, you might jump up and onto a box or bench. Alternatively, your personal trainer may get you to jump over cones. Some moves will be quicker as opposed to others.
Every time that you land from a jump, your muscles are stretched. This gives your next jump an even greater feeling of power. A combination of stretching as well as contracting your muscles gets them into shape in the most effective manner possible.
You won’t perform plyometric exercises every day. This is because your muscles will require a break from everything. If you’re not active at the moment, you may need to start work on your basic fitness first. Later, have a personal trainer show you how to do the plyometric moves so that you don’t get injured.
Plyometrics and the core
When it boils down to conditioning the body’s core muscles, many people have the tendency to focus on the process of isolating muscles by using a high number of repetitions. This is an inefficient manner to engage the core muscles. In addition, this could potentially lead to a muscle imbalance or an injury.
Your core is made up of a number of different muscles. These include your:
- Rectus abdominis (this is what you think of when you think of “abs”),
- Transverse abdominis (which is the deepest internal core muscle which wraps around your sides and spine),
- Erector spinae (which is a set of muscles in your lower back), and
- Internal as well as external obliques (which are the muscles on the sides of your abdomen).
As a number of different combinations of these muscles are engaged in so many different exercises, you don’t have to be performing things which target one particular area, such as sit-ups, in order to challenge these muscles. In actual fact, some of the best as well as most efficient core exercises are those which work the entire muscle group at once. (This also helps keep the muscles balanced, which is important for improving performance and avoiding injury.)
Best practice for plyometrics
Perform every single exercise for the specified number of reps. Engage your core muscles before you begin the exercise. Focus on making sure that you keep your abdominal muscles tight in the entire movement. Your core muscles will assist with keeping your back safe as well as your posture in the right position while you’re through the exercises.
Here are two plyometric exercises which will work your core beautifully:
- Start with your feet hip-distance apart.
- Prepare for your lift-off by “winding up” the body. What we mean by this is bending the knees as well as bringing your hands into your midline.
- As you explode up, make sure that you drive both legs out to your sides and, while you’re doing this, bring your hands up. This is so that your body can make a giant “X.” (Your head will be the fifth point of the “star.”)
- Control the movement for a soft landing. Repeat immediately.
- Complete between eight and 12 reps.
Curtsy Lunge With Pause
- Stand on your one leg and step onto your opposite foot behind you. This is so your knee lands on the opposite side of your standing ankle.
- Return to a standing position. Bring the same knee into a hip flexion (in other words, you knee must be in line with your hips).
- Keep your knee, ankle and toe up.
- Pause at the top. Repeat.
- Finish between 10 and 12 reps on the first leg, before switching to the other for 10 to 12 more.
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