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What Are Plyometrics?

Plyometrics is a training technique that’s used to develop explosive strength. Commonly referred to as jump training, as it focuses on training the muscles for better control and explosive strength, it actually goes far beyond just jump training and is an incredibly powerful tool for any athlete or anyone wanting to get into better shape.

Plyometrics are a popular tool especially for sports like basketball, volleyball, and runners. It’s often an integral part of bodyweight circuit training and High-Intensity Interval Training.

If you follow any sort of structured training program, you’re probably already doing some plyometrics training, but a more in depth understanding of plyometrics is essential to maximizing your potential and getting the most out of your training time.

An added bonus of plyometrics is that most plyo exercises don’t require any equipment. Entire plyometrics programs can be done without needing a gym, allowing you keep up your training even if you’re travelling or stuck at home.

What Sports Is Plyometrics For?

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Plyometrics is often thought of specifically as jump training and often at least a part of training for basketball players, volleyball players, or athletes in jumping sports like long jump.

But plyometrics is a powerful tool for all athletes. The training and conditioning of your muscles, particularly lower body muscles, offers an incredible advantages for a variety of athletes:

  • Plyometrics for runners; a good start is critical to success in running events, particular short distance sprints, and a solid plyometrics program is a huge advantage for any runner
  • Plyometrics for hockey; every part of skating is improved with a solid foundation in plyometrics, allowing players to accelarate, stop and turn better than ever
  • Plyometrics for soccer; any kind of training program for soccer will include plyometrics, it’s an essential part of building the explosive strength and speed needed for players to move around and control the field, but many soccer players only incorporate plyometrics exercises without focusing on an actual coherent plyometrics focused program like what can be found with baseketball and volleyball players
  • Plyometrics for football; A proper plyometrics program gives any football player an edge coming off the line, in addition to the agility need to rapidly change direction and explode in any direction as needed, giving a player a critical advantage off the start in any interaction with an opposing player
  • Plyometrics for tennis; the intermittent nature of tennis means a player who has a focused plyometrics program automatically has an advantage in being able to get more power from their legs and a distinct advantage in ever aspect of the game from serving to lateral movement
  • Everyone else; as a general training routine, the explosive and high intensity nature of plyometrics offers everyone the advantages of strength, speed, increased endurance and a high fat burning workout that’ll help tone the body

What Kind of Equipment Do I Need For Plyometrics?

One of the great things about plyometrics is the ability to workout without needing equipment. However, for those who want to take their training to the next level there is a variety of equipment they can use to further boost their training. This equipment is often fairly simple, and some of it can be even substituted or made from household materials.

  • Boxes; boxes can be stand alone or come in stackable sets, they offer different height levels for jumping, are fairly simple and low cost, or can even be made from materials at home or simply use strong, existing boxes at home or find areas nearby that have different height levels and enough surface area to safely land on. If you use something homemade, just be sure to make sure the surface has enough traction you won’t slip off and get hurt
  • Jump Ropes; self-explanatory, jump ropes are a super useful tool for exercise in general and are cheap enough that everyone should have a set
  • Hurdles; More for people who actually run hurdles but can be used by anyone training plyometrics, available in a variety of heights, they’re a little more specific but can be quite useful
  • Jump Trainers; jump trainers are a system of resistance bands used to generate more resistance between parts of your body to enhance your training, it can also be combined with other equipment and a variety of exercises

How Often Should You Do Plyometrics?

Plyometrics should be a regular part of your training routine but like any training you have to be careful not to overtrain, which will hurt your results and increase the risk of injury. Plyometrics shouldn’t just be thrown into your training sessions without regard for your other workouts and how they might affect each other. Two to three times is a good rule of thumb, but will vary with your individual needs and programs.

For the best results, consider an actual plyometrics program, you can check out our Top Three Plyometrics Programs for some information on those. If you’re interested in a quick guide, you can also download our free eBook ‘How To Jump Higher in 45 Minutes’, which isn’t a plyometrics program, but does have some tips and methods to maximize your existing vertical leap potential, and you might find useful to quickly and easily increase your current explosive potential.

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