What is it?
Plyometric training is something that I have been incorporating into my exercise routine on a weekly basis for about a month now. I usually do it on a leg day. Plyometric training involves mostly bodyweight exercises making it efficient and practical for all. Plyometric training includes explosive movements such as jumping, hopping, skipping, etc. These movements are usually performed on different planes of movement, such as left-right, forward-backward, and up-down.
Plyometric exercise is one of the most time-effient training methods available, and has arguably the greatest transfer to sport application.¹
The purpose of plyometrics is to train muscle elastic strength and explosiveness. It utilizes high-intensity and explosive movements to enhance an athletes overall power and agility with the stretch-shortening cycle–which is basically taking advantage of the muscle elasticity and the stretch reflex (eccentric loading immediately followed by a concentric contraction). It has been studied that the quicker the muscle is stretched eccentrically, the greater the force will be on the following concentric contraction.² This will help you to be more explosive and powerful at sprinting, explosive during your lifts–really can be applied to any sport or situation.
After researching, I found many studies that proved positive results for the training style. The first study evaluated the effects of plyometrics on muscle-activation in female athletes. To skip the boring and straight to the facts, the analyses showed an increase in firing of muscles and muscle activity with plyometric training, and the females involved in the training group showed an overall increase in vertical jump height after the 6-weeks of plyometrics.³ Also, found that females who participated in plyometric training had a significant decrease in number of serious knee injuries.³ Thus concluding,
“plyometric exercises should be incorporated into the training regimens of female athletes and may reduce the risk of injury by enhancing functional joint stability in the lower extremity.”³