Many people have used plyometric exercises as a method of training to enhance power. To grasp the potential benefits of plyometric training requires careful attention to the technique used during the drill or exercise. Says Lee Boyce: “The goal is to train for maximum force production in the smallest period of time, so reps are kept low and the intensity and effort is high.”
The advantage of plyometric training is that if you improve your rate of force development, you inevitably improve neural recruitment, which means you’ll activate muscle fibres more efficiently and effectively. This means when you do pure strength or hypertrophy-type training, you’ll activate more muscle fibres and increase muscular size. Increasing power will help you through training plateaus.
If you are well trained and looking to give your workout that extra push, then you might enjoy the challenge of plyometric exercises. It is great to add to your training if you into high-impact sports that involve a lot of jumping and running. When starting out, it is advised to work with an experienced personal trainer – who’s been through an accredited personal trainer course – who can show you how to do plyometrics safely. Experts advise that you warm up, before plyometric exercises, by stretching or jogging. Always start off slowly by adding some plyometric moves to your regular workout.
Perform five to six short (five to eight reps) sets of plyometric exercise. Rest between sets should be at least 90 seconds. The best plyometric exercises are done with body weight (if you can you can add additional resistance). Some plyometric movements include box jumps, squat jumps, depth jumps, lunge thrusts and push-ups, which are great exercises for upper body strength. Create an exercise that is specific to the event and involves the correct muscular action. Remember specificity and ensure there is a pre-stretch first then the only limit is your imagination.
If you think you could make a successful career out of your passion for exercise (and help others get the endorphin rush they need), sign up for Trifocus Fitness Academy’s Personal Trainer Certification course.