Why You Should Be Doing Plyometrics

How you can use plyometrics to build more muscle than ever before

Have you ever heard of Plyometrics training? This form of training is becoming very common in professional athletics and in everyday fitness. Plyometrics has a unique way of working systems that are not usually touched in your typical gym routine.


What are plyometrics? Plyometrics was first developed by Dr. Yuri Verkhoshansky of the former Soviet Union, in and around the 1960s and '70s. Before eventually being introduced in the United States in the 1980s. Initially labeled the shock method, it was changed to plyometrics and the emphasis was put on the jump exercises.


Essentially a plyometrics exercise can be categorized as anything with a sort of jumping movement in it. Plyometrics can be very very useful for building more muscle, increasing your speed, and increasing power. Plyometrics training involves movements such as jumps, hops, skips, or bounds.


The reason it is so effective in increasing your strength is based on the stretch-shortening cycle (SSC). The SSC involves an eccentric contraction (lengthening under a load), followed by a move into the concentric contraction (shortening under a load). For example, when your foot lands after stepping, your Achilles tendon will eccentrically contract, followed by a concentric contraction as you push off that foot into your next step.


The theory behind the SSC and plyometrics is there will be much more force behind the eccentric (stretch) phase, so there will be more force put out when the muscle shortens in the concentric phase. This will allow you to produce more power than a normal muscle contraction and creating more growth in the muscle cells.


Keys to Plyometrics


The most important factor in training plyometrics successfully is the speed at which each exercise performed. For optimal results, it is important to perform the movements as fast as possible. During the SSC, a lengthened muscle can store a large amount of energy for a short period of time. If the movement is performed quickly, the muscle will act almost like an elastic band. This will maximize the power output that the lengthened muscles can produce.


Although plyometrics are required to be done quickly, it is essential that each movement is performed with good form and control. This type of training deals with explosive movements so the risk of injury is higher than usual if proper form is not maintained.


Who Can Do Them


Plyometric training can be done by anybody. It is especially beneficial for athletes in sports such as football or basketball that rely on fast-twitch muscle fibers and explosive movements like jumping or sprinting.


However, plyometrics can be done by anybody to see great improvements, even bodybuilders can do them!


If you feel like you have reached a peak in your fitness level than adding plyometrics to switch things up could be perfect for you. After sticking to the same routine for a long time your body could get used to it and may stop adapting. To break past this plateau you will need another stimulus to cause your body to continue to grow. As previously stated, plyometrics works muscles that are not normally used in usual strength training. This makes it a great addition to your plan.



Workouts


A plyometrics workout uses the fast-twitch muscle fibers which have a much bigger opportunity for growth. To fully utilize the potential benefits it is recommended to compliment plyometrics with a strength training routine.


The level that you are at greatly determines the type of exercises you can do when it comes to plyo. These exercises put a high level of stress on joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, so it is very important to start slow and work up when it comes to plyometrics. If you don't have a high enough level of strength and begin with advanced level exercises then there is a high probability of getting injured. Here we will give three different levels with requirements for each.


Beginner - For anybody new to plyometrics

You should give yourself 48-72 hours between each plyometrics workout

Should be completed 2-3x per week


Plyometrics

Ankle Hops - 3 sets of 20 reps

Line Jumps - 3 sets of 20 reps

Box Jumps - 3 sets of 5 reps

Broad Jumps - 3 sets of 10 reps


Strength

Squats - 3 sets of 10 reps

Bulgarian Split Squats - 3 sets of 10 reps (each leg)

Calf Raises - 5 sets of 15 reps

Lunges - 3 sets of 10 reps (each leg)


Intermediate - Can squat 1x bodyweight

You should give yourself 48-72 hours between each plyometrics workout


Plyometrics

Squat Jumps - 3 sets of 15 reps

Ankle Hops - 4 sets of 20 reps

Box Jumps - 3 sets of 5 reps

Low Drop Jumps - 3 sets of 5 reps


Strength

Squats - 4 sets of 8 reps

Single-Leg Romanian Dead Lifts - 3 sets of 8 reps (each leg)

Deadlifts - 3 sets of 10 reps

Calf Raises - 5 sets of 15 reps


Advanced - Can squat 1.5x bodyweight

You should give yourself 48-72 hours between each plyometrics workout


Plyometrics

Ankle Hops - 5 sets of 10 reps

Drop Jumps - 4 sets of 5 reps

Box Jumps - 4 sets of 6 reps

Depth Jumps - 4 sets of 5 reps


Strength

Squats - 5 sets of 5 reps

Deadlifts - 4 sets of 6 reps

Romanian Deadlifts - 4 sets of 8 reps

Calf Raises - 5 sets of 15 reps


When?

The beginner workouts can be completed up to 3 times a week, ensuring that there is 2-3 days between each session.


The intermediate workouts can be completed 2-3 times a week, also ensuring that there is 2-3 days between each session.


Important


Complete all workouts with good form to avoid injury. Between sets take full recovery, the goal is not to take short recovery so you become tired, which could lead to poor form. The goal is to take full recovery so you can do each set at maximum power, giving you the greatest results.


Each stage - beginner, intermediate, advanced - should be done for 6-8 weeks before moving on to the next. This will ensure your body is fully adapted to the more demanding and intense exercises in the next step. This will decrease your chance of injury.


Plyometrics can be challenging when you first start but once you get the hang of it you will reap the benefits.

Thank you, stay safe and let us know how it goes!

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