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Plyometric Training by Daniel Pare

What is that?  Plyometric activity occurs when maximum strength is utilized in the shortest possible period of time.  Many athletes add this form of training to their workouts in order to reach their top physical condition.

By definition, Plyo is Greek meaning more and metrics to measure. The combination of these two words, plyometrics, describes activities that challenge the muscle to reach maximum force in the shortest possible time. This is achieved via the stretch shortening cycle that results from a powerfully executed pre stretch movement also known as a counter movement into a concentric muscle action. Jumping and skipping are plyometric exercises and can be quite demanding, depending on their intensity

This training is useful for improving sprints, long jumping, vertical jumping, and many other sporting activities that require explosive power.  All athletes involved in sports requiring a quick change of direction while incorporating speed and strength benefit from plyometric exercises. 

Plyometric exercises often include boxes, hurdles and slide boards to name just a few.  Remember first that when you are jumping vertically, you must be aware of both the jumping and the landing.  If one experiences discomfort or awkwardness when squatting then jumping and landing properly will also prove challenging.

A stronger jumper requires a lot of strength especially in the hip and knee areas.  If this is something that you are interested in adding to your workouts, here are a few exercises that will enhance your jumping ability; full squats, power cleans and power snatches.  All of these lifts require technical ability and must be approached with proper form.

Plyometric training will also benefit several activities some of them involving throwing, pulling and pushing motions, some of which would exclude jumping exercises.  Athletes and others will benefit from this kind of training.  Remember that plyometric is not meant for conditioning, and one needs to be conditioned in order to benefit from it. 

Daniel Pare, N.C.C.P., C.S.O., C.S.P.S., C.S.T.S.
Strength and conditioning coach
St. Thomas Ontario, Canada
email stsa1258@aol.com




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