Plyometrics (‘jump’ or ‘shock’ exercises) are defined as “exercises where muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time, aiming to increase power and speed.” Typically performed with just your own body weight, plyometrics can be a useful tool in your fitness arsenal. They were invented by a Russian sports science coach, Dr. Yuri Verkhoshansky in the late 1960’s and early 70’s. They were once viewed as “childish” and overlooked due to a perceived lack of usefulness in athletic training. Over half a century later, plyometrics are now viewed as an ESSENTIAL part of any athlete’s (casual or professional) training regimen. Read on for our Top 5 Benefits of Plyometrics!
Due to plyometric exercises mainly consisting of bodyweight-only (callisthenic) movements, there is a certain level of convenience that comes along with performing them. These exercises develop coordination, speed, agility, power and explosiveness simultaneously, with just your bodyweight. For example, “box jumps” can be simulated on a set of stairs. Burpees or plyometric pushups can be performed anywhere with minimal space required. With plyometrics and a tad bit of creativity, literally any location can become your gym!
2. Increases athletic efficiency, neuromuscular adaptation, explosiveness & power
Plyometrics result in increased athletic efficiency, which means your body will expend less energy when doing more explosive movements while playing sports. Track and field athletes that implement plyometrics typically sprint faster and jump further as well as higher, bodybuilders or powerlifters will have more explosive, controlled lifts and boxers’ footwork is much more “springy” with their punches packing more of a “pop”! The benefits of increased movement efficiency can be applied to virtually any sport.
Even more convenience and flexibility is derived from plyometrics when they are performed in “HIIT or Tabata Cardio” style. (Just so you know, Tabata is based on effective 4-min training bursts researched by Japanese scientist Dr Izumi Tabata where you; workout hard for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds and complete 8 rounds.) Plyometric workouts are versatile in the sense that they can be used as either a very intense cardio workout or as part of your athletic agility and strength training.
Check out this workout video consisting of plyometric training, cardio, as well as strength training all rolled into one!
4. Increases endurance
As a result of training the body with plyometrics, your body will be able to last that much longer in the gym, on the field and even in the ring. Combined with sport-specific training, muscular endurance, along with your power and explosiveness will increase.
5. Increases lean muscle mass
As a result of a proper diet and effective training program, plyometrics will certainly aid in helping you sculpt the body that you desire. Intense cardio and strength sessions will rev-up your body’s metabolism and shed fat quicker than you expect. Even if performed in a basic “sets and reps” fashion, plyometrics will undoubtedly make you stronger, lithe, aesthetic and put the bounce back into your step, literally!
Plyometric exercises will satisfy the needs of both the casual fitness fanatic and the budding competitive athlete alike. You’re bound to have a huge amount of fun jumping about if you’ve done sufficient, basic pre-conditioning for it. Individuals who perform these exercises see all-around improvements in performance, general fitness levels and aesthetically too. You’re only a few “Depth Jumps” away from all-around improvement. So “HIIT” the deck and get to work. Let us know how implementing plyometrics into your routine has accelerated your gains below or @KeepFitKingdom !