What Is Plyometrics?

We engage in Plyometrics all the time. What is it? It is an exercise that involves using simple yet effective movements to build power and speed. There are no weights used in plyometric exercises because of the intensity. Only body weight is required.

These types of exercises are popular among athletes. It is a way to boost their potential. A single movement can become explosive after plyometric training.

Still a little foggy about what it is? Think about playing tennis. The movements needed to change direction in a second and hit a ball hard enough to return it across the net are both plyometric movements. Other movements that fall into this category are jumping on one foot through a maze, jumping squats and jumping on and off of a box.

While they may seem like simple exercises, plyometrics are actually demanding. Your body needs to be in good shape before attempting them. To prepare your muscles for the impact, participate in regular weight training to build strength in muscles and bones. Moving in so many unpredictable ways can cause injuries to joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles.

Before you begin any plyometric training, be sure to stretch properly. A muscle that is not stretched is a disaster waiting to happen. Get the body warmed up first so that muscles are easier to move without injury.

You can perform plyometrics for any muscle in the body that you want to improve. The most common muscles that are targeted are the leg muscles. Most sports and exercise classes use the legs considerably because they are the largest muscles in the body. The goal is to teach your muscles to respond quickly without any problems.

Know that you can handle the training before participating. If you have problems with your knees, jumping up and down on a box or winding through a maze of cones is not a good idea. Plyometric movements are high impact. Even for the conditioned body it is recommended that you start slow and simple and not at an advanced level right away.

Prepare your area for doing plyometrics. Use a soft surface like a mat or cushioned floor to absorb most of the shock. Also wear shoes that have sufficient support for all areas of your foot. Hard surfaces can cause injuries to your body.

Plyometric exercises are used to increase your strength and power. They have been used for years by Olympic athletes and others in competitive sports. But, the everyday athlete can also benefit from using these techniques to better their performance. Find a personal trainer who is familiar with plyometrics to show you the ropes and give you a good workout.