Explode off the mark with plyometrics power

Elvis Elvis

Plyometrics training is an excellent way to develop explosive power and acceleration. The great thing about them is they can be performed almost anywhere, and in a minimum amount of time (always an advantage for busy athletes). They’re simple to learn, and fun to do.

Plyometrics are exercises designed to load and unload your muscles with fast, hard, explosive actions. They’re usually done as body weight only exercises; although more advanced routines can utilize medicine balls or kettlebells.

When done correctly, and with proper intensity, plyometrics will wear you out in a hurry. The good news is you don’t have to do a ton of them to get the benefit. In fact, with plyometrics, less really is more. You don’t want to overdo them.

A few basic exercises a couple of times a week is all you need.

Some simple rules to start:

1. Avoid heavy weight training on days you perform plyometrics.

2. Wear good sports shoes to help avoid shock.

3. Train on a soft surface (grass, matt, padding).

4. Start slow with just a few exercises. Build up as you get stronger.

5. Perform plyometrics when you’re fresh.

6. Two workouts in a week is plenty.

Here’s a good beginning routine for an athlete interested in a plyometrics program:

Remember! Start slow, with basic movements. You can move to the harder exercises after you’ve developed greater strength and power.

Explode off the mark with plyometrics power

Plyometrics Push-Ups:

This is a great exercise for developing power in your upper body. It’s easy to perform, but I’ll warn you….you’re gonna feel it!

Get into the “classic” push-up position with your hands about shoulder-width apart. Lower yourself down until you are just about to touch your nose to the mat. Now, explode back up and off the ground! Push hard enough to force yourself up into the air. Try to clap your hands together before you have to catch yourself back on the mat in the push-up position.

If you can’t push hard enough to perform the clap, that’s okay. In time, you’ll be able to get there. Be patient and keep working.

Start with 3 sets of 5 reps. Rest a couple of minutes between sets. This isn’t a race. Catch your breath and get ready for the next set.

Vertical Leap:

Stand sideways next to a wall with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Lower yourself down into a squat position, and then quickly reverse direction and spring up as high as you can. Reach with your arm and try to touch high on the wall.

Athletes in a variety of sports are often tested on the vertical leap. It’s a good measure of explosive lower body strength.

You might get tested one of these days…so it’s worth your while to practice it.

Start with 3 sets of 5 reps. Again, this isn’t a race. Take your time. Quality over quantity here. Think “explode.”

Box Jump:

This is another simple, but extremely effective plyometrics exercise. You’ll need something sturdy you can jump on – preferably about 12-16 inches off the ground (to start). Make sure you have something that will hold your weight and won’t move around! It has to be wide enough to land on with both feet. Remember, you don’t want to get injured while training!

You need a solid platform to jump on. It’s important.

Stand on the ground in front of your platform with your feet about hip-width apart. Stand about a foot away to allow room to jump up. Squat down and then immediately leap up and onto the platform, landing on both feet at the same time. Then, simply step down (no need to jump) with one foot and then the other. Get set and do the next rep.

Perform 3 sets of 5 repetitions. Take your time between sets. There is no hurry. You are working on developing power.

Plyometrics can be tailored to individual sports and athletic needs. There are a wide variety of programs and exercises that you can perform. If you’re interested in finding a program for your particular sport, an excellent place to start is:

Don’t get caught up in doing advanced plyometrics until you’ve developed a good strength foundation, and have mastered the “basic” exercises. Advance slowly and allow your body time to adjust to this type of training.

Remember, plyometrics are a “piece of the training puzzle.” When used in conjunction with other types of training, they can be just the edge you’re looking for on your competition! The difference between first and second can be an eyelash!