24
Jan
Movement RX

Plyometrics: What are They?

By Zac Sheridan

I’m sure that at one point we have all heard the word “plyometrics” whether that was via a viral TikTok video, Instagram reel or one of your friends recommending you include it in your next workout, but what exactly are they?

What are Plyometrics?

Plyometrics simply put, are short intense bursts of activities that target improving the body’s explosive/reactive abilities. They are exercises that involve rapid lengthening of a musculotendinous unit, immediately followed by a rapid shortening. This phenomenon is also known as the stretch-shortening cycle (SSC).

 

Who are they useful for?

Plyometrics have been widely used for their effect on increasing explosive sporting performance such as speed, acceleration and jump height. However they also have some great effects on tissue health, running performance and maintaining athleticism as we get older! For athletes interested in beginning plyometrics, following the plyometric continuum – a graded system of progressions is an effective way to gradually expose yourself to more complex jumping variations.

Today we will be talking about the first two stages: eccentric absorption and concentric development.

If you are a beginner to plyometrics then it is important to create a solid foundation and the ability to decelerate or break and land well. These variations will increase your ability to absorb force with good landing mechanics whilst improving tissue capacity/elasticity. The breaking component of plyometrics is known as the eccentric phase and we can enhance it using the following basic/beginners exercises.

High to low landings:




 

Lunge landings:




 

Altitude landings:




Once you have developed the art of landing you then move onto the next stage of the plyometric continuum – concentric development. A stage which looks to improve your rate of force development (RFD) or explosive strength.

Box jumps:




Pogos:




Pogos with a linear or horizontal direction:




 

How should I start?

These examples demonstrate an intensity that is low level and minimally taxing. Intensity should be progressed  once you have mastered these basics or if you have a more advanced level of plyometric capacity. If you would like to have your plyometric capacity measured using our Vald Force Decks and a program developed that is specific to your ability Book an appointment with us now!

If you are suffering from pain or injuries then it is recommended to be assessed by a healthcare professional prior to starting plyometric training. Here at Movement Rx we have expert knowledge in the assessment and prescription of plyometric exercises.