What is a Plyometric? – A Great Training Tool!

In this article, I answer the question, what is a plyometric? Plyometrics can be a highly useful training tool for a variety of reasons. In this article, I will be giving a definition, their relation to our training and how you can implement them! Let’s get into the article!

Plyometrics Explained:

I like to describe plyometrics as releasing from the weight you are pushing so you can propel yourself, or the weight. What this causes you to do is use your explosiveness to actually accomplish this. In other words, a plyometric is when you must generate enough force to separate yourself from the resistance you are pushing against.

To give an example of this, think of a box jump. You must generate enough force to separate from the resistance you are facing in order to leap onto the box. The resistance would be the floor. This is because if the floor could move, you would be pushing the floor away. Another example of this would be a plyometric barbell curl. You would need to generate enough force to propel the barbell into the air slightly, before catching it and performing another rep.

Plyometrics in Relation to Our Training:

Now that we know what a plyometric is, it is time to talk about how utilizing them may be beneficial in our training. There are a couple of main instances for their use, with the first being teaching our muscles how to produce force. The second benefit of these is being able to work on muscle activation, this ties into power training in the sense of being able to accomplish this with minimal weight. Plyometrics could also be great for warm-ups.

For example, if someone is looking to develop power, in regards to their hip extension specifically, a great exercise for this may be the frog hop. This is because you must use an immense amount of muscle activation to propel yourself, and it requires hip extension to a large degree to actually complete the movement.

Implementing Plyometrics:

When it comes to implementing plyometrics, the first thing to consider is your goal. If you are looking to train for power, then consider implementing a fair bit of them as accessory exercises. This may look like performing a power exercise such as the snatch, followed by some frog jumps.

If you are just looking to prime your muscles to produce force before a training session, consider doing something like box jumps without fatiguing yourself, done prior to your main movement. I find box jumps are a great way to get some power going before a main movement such as squats.

 

The Gist on Plyometrics:

At the end of the day, plyometrics are a great way to work on force production from your muscles while using low to no external loading. They have a couple of main applications in training from accessory movements to warm-ups. Think of the specific parts of a plyometric exercise that best apply to your goal to see which movements may work for you!

I thank you for taking the time to read this article! Give plyometrics a try if they seem right for you. As always, if you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to leave them below and I will be sure to reply!

 

Until Next Time,

 

Kohl Johnson

Please refer to my liability disclaimer to ensure you know who is responsible for use of this information after reading.

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Kohl Johnson

I am a 16-year-old fitness fanatic! I have learned nothing but quality training and nutrition information from the utmost well-respected individuals in the field. Now, my only focus is to share this knowledge with you for your benefit, in the most honest way possible. We are all in this together! LET'S GO!

2 Responses

  1. Hi, there, Kohl Johnson.

    Wow, you just provided me with great advice. I’m doing targeted leg-muscle training 6 days a week now. While I’m diligently making my warm-up sessions, I never even thought about box jumps! What an awesome change into my regular routine. I have been looking everywhere to find something to add a little diversity. Thank you so much!

    Also, I will have to take a closer look at the plyometrics. I’m strength and endurance training, thus, they seem to be good for challenging my agility and coordination, right? I’m curious if I could implement them into my cardio workout, as well? Any suggestions regarding that?
    Love your post; learned something new.

    Cheers

    • Hi Alexa, 6 days a week is quite a lot for legs! Make sure you’re allowing adequate time for recovery! I am glad box jumps may be able to benefit your warmup routine! 

      Plyometrics certainly can be beneficial for agility and coordination as they add another element to the movement that better challenges those aspects. While there are better exercises to specifically work on those things, plyometrics certainly can be beneficial for them!

      If you were to perform plyometrics in circuit style training, they could certainly work on the cardiovascular system as well. However, ensuring form does not break down is crucial to reducing your injury risk. I say this because form breakdown is typically higher when doing conditioning style training.

      I am very glad you liked the post, thanks for the support!

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