Beginner’s Guide to Plyometrics

by Brett on May 21, 2010 · 59 comments

in Health & Sports

I’m always looking for ways to mix up my workouts in order to avoid the monotony of lifting weights and spinning my wheels on the elliptical machine. In my quest to diversify my fitness routine, I often turn to my high school football days for inspiration.

One of the routines my teammates and I underwent during summer conditioning was a series of exercises first developed by Soviet countries during the Cold War. Called plyometrics, these exercises were designed to increase speed, power, and explosiveness. After every plyometric workout I felt like battery acid was pumping through my veins. But the exercises worked. My teammates and I developed the speed and power we needed to explode off the line of scrimmage and dominate the other team.

While I no longer snap footballs, I figure I can still benefit from plyometric exercises and have started doing them once again. If you’re like me and looking for something to add to your fitness routine, today I provide a short primer on plyometrics and a simple routine to help get you started.

What Are Plyometrics?

Unlike typical strength training exercises that involve long, slow movements designed to increase muscular strength and mass, plyometric exercises involve quick, explosive movements designed to increase speed and power.

A plyometric exercise consists of three phases. The first is a rapid muscle lengthening movement called the eccentric phase. Second comes a short resting period called the amortization phase. Finally, the athlete engages in an explosive muscle shortening movement called the concentric phase. The athlete repeats this three part cycle as quickly as he can.

The goal of plyometric exercises is to decrease the amount of time in-between the eccentric and concentric movements. By reducing the time in-between these two movements, a man can become faster and more powerful.

A Brief History of Plyometrics

Plyometrics were developed by Soviet Bloc scientists during the Cold War. The leading researcher of plyometric training was a Russian scientist named Yuri Verkhoshansky. Dr. Verkhoshansky developed a system of exercises called “Jump Training” that used repetitive jumping in order to increase the speed and explosiveness of Russian track and field athletes. He published the results of his studies on this new form of training in 1964.

During the 1960s and 70s, Soviet Bloc countries dominated the Olympics thanks in part to Dr. Verkhoshansky’s exercises. Seeing that the Americans were getting their asses handed to them by the Commies, American track and field coach Fred Wilt started to investigate how they were training. He saw that the Soviets were doing a bunch of crazy jumps from boxes and skipping around like school children. Wilt took some notes, went back to America, slapped the moniker “plyometrics” on these new exercises, and started implementing them with his athletes.

Since then, sports teams across the U.S. and the world have incorporated plyometrics into their training regimens to help their athletes become faster and more explosive.

The Benefits of Plyometrics

Plyometrics improve the functions of muscles, tendons, and nerves so that you can run faster, jump higher, and hit harder. In short, plyometric exercises can help you improve your pick-up basketball game or prepare your body for when you have to save your own life.

Benefits to muscles. Physical power is the ability to convert strength into speed as quickly as possible. In order to increase your power, you need to increase and strengthen the muscle fibers that are responsible for converting strength into speed. These fibers are often referred to as fast-twitch fibers. Plyometric movements can strengthen and even increase the number of fast-twitch fibers in your muscles. The stronger the fast-twitch fiber, the faster the muscle contraction.

Benefits to tendons. In order to increase the power and speed of muscular movements, you need to increase the strength of your tendons. Moreover, stronger tendons mean fewer injuries. Many men I know have had to undergo surgery because they tore a tendon while playing soccer or basketball. They might have been able to avoid these injuries had they only worked on increasing strength and elasticity in their tendons. Plyometrics strengthen your tendons and boost their elasticity by placing stress on them in a controlled setting.

Benefits to nervous system. A final component in increasing power and speed is your nervous system. Every time you contract your muscles, a signal is sent from your brain to your muscles via your neuromuscular system. The more efficiently your neuromuscular system can transmit this signal, the faster you can contract and relax your muscles, which in turn increases your athletic speed and power. Plyometrics boosts this efficiency.

Plyometrics for Beginners

There are dozens of different types of plyometric exercises. In fact, you can find books filled with hundreds of pages of them. I couldn’t possibly include them all here in one post, so I’ve narrowed the list down to the ones a beginner could easily try. But before we get to the exercises, let’s discuss some general guidelines to keep in mind as you get started.

Safety First. Plyometrics are by their nature intense. You’ll be putting a lot of load on your joints and tendons. If you haven’t worked out in awhile, I recommend holding off on adding plyometric exercises to your routine until you’ve built up your strength and flexibility with regular cardio, weight training, and stretching.

When you first start off, take it slow and focus on performing the exercises in a controlled manner. You should always warm up with some light jogging and stretching before you begin. Allow adequate resting time between plyometric workouts. I usually only do two plyo days a week: one on Tuesday and another on Saturday.

Sets, reps, and rest. Perform all of the exercises listed below. With each exercise, I like to perform 3 sets of 12 reps with 1 minute rest in-between sets. In-between exercises I rest for 3 minutes.

Exercises

Squat Jumps. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Squat down and jump as high as possible. Upon landing, squat and immediately jump up again.

Lateral Jumps. Stand next to a cone or another object that you can jump over. Jump sideways to the opposite side of the cone. Upon landing, immediately jump to the other side. Remember to make the jumps as quickly as possible.

Power Skipping. Remember skipping as a kid? Well, you’re going to do it again, but this time you’ll put a bit more oomph into it. Perform a regular skip, but jump and lift your knee as high as you can. Just like this guy:

Tuck Jumps. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Explode and jump as high as you can. As you rise, pull your knees into your chest. On the way down, straighten your legs and land softly on the balls of your feet. As soon as your feet touch the ground, perform another tuck jump.

Alternate Leg Bounding. Bounding is sort of like running, except your steps are longer and higher. Drive off your right foot and bring your left knee up. Try to stay in the air as long as possible. Land on your left foot and repeat with the right foot.

Box Jumps. Stand in front of a box or other suitable platform (like a park bench). Try to find a box that’s at least 18″ off the ground. As you get stronger, increase the height. Jump onto the box and immediately back down to the same position. Immediately repeat. Perform the jumps as quickly as possible.

Vertical Depth Jump. Start off by standing on top of a box or other platform. Hop off the box and land on both your feet. As soon as your feet hit the ground, jump as high as you can. Get back on the box and repeat.

Plyometric Push-up. Assume a normal push-up position. Lower yourself to the floor. With explosive force, push off the floor with enough force that your hands leave the floor. Repeat.

Do you do plyometrics? What plyo exercises do you recommend? Share your suggestions and advice in the comments.

{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kayaker May 21, 2010 at 2:12 am

Clap pushups are some of the best plyometrics you can do, right after clap pull ups, but those can be difficult to land.

2 William May 21, 2010 at 2:39 am

I usually lower to the point of my chest touching the ground for my push-ups. After the plyometric push-up video, I wonder. Am I doing it wrong?

Also, good article. I’ll look into putting plyometrics in my workout.

William

3 Joel | Blog Of Impossible Things May 21, 2010 at 3:00 am

I thought you were joking at first when you said it was developed by the soviets. =) Plyos are so hard, I can see them being instituted as some sort of punishment back in the day.

I don’t do plyos anymore, I’m focusing on my running, but I’ll probably work them back into my routine when I start lifting again.

4 Greg (who blogs at Jigblog) May 21, 2010 at 5:25 am

I love and hate plyometrics. There’s nothing like it to make you feel weak and feeble, but it definitely improves your soccer playing. The leg bounding will be good for the stabilising joints in the legs, but I reassert what Brett said about not going straight into it. You need to be used to exercise otherwise you’re might end up injuring yourself.

Also, make sure you stop your box jumps BEFORE you catch your toe on the edge and fall flat on your face. It’s safer to build it up by repeating sets, rather than trying to squeeze out one more rep with bad form.

Basketball players can benefit from doing wall-rebound throws,moving back and forward towards the wall. Soccer players also doing jump taps, having a ball at your feet and tapping one foot then the other on top of it, and trying to increase your cadence. Doing it along with a metronome click (or the beat of your music) can actually be useful in developing control, just like musicians training their muscle memory.

I also recommend side jumps, jumping either side of a log/tyre. Sideways, backwards, forwards…I’ve seen guys put their hands on a handrail then jump over and back. The point is to develop useful movement speed, and train all those small supporting muscles which are often the ones to tear and strain.

5 Beau May 21, 2010 at 8:48 am

Plyometrics are indeed useful.

I am currently involved in the P90X system by Tony Horton. He also incorporates plyometrics into day three of the seven-day workout. Absolutely amazing results.

6 Mitch Rhymer May 21, 2010 at 9:08 am

Plyo is awesome. I love it and I have the scars on my shins from mistimed box jumps to prove it. It is considered by some to be hard on the joints but when you practice landing softly the muscles absorb most of the impact pressure. This is the probably the most important thing to being successful at plyo.

So be sure when you do it you work on form primarily at the beginning. Plyo is one of those exercises that requires form over function.

My 2 cents.

7 Turner May 21, 2010 at 9:27 am

I remember doing plyo training years ago in high school as part of our weight training and conditioning course. I scored plenty of bruises in the process, especially when we took to doing plyo on stairs.

It’s interesting to see it coming back “in style” with P90X.

8 Dilgen May 21, 2010 at 9:51 am

CrossFit…that is all.

9 Sonny May 21, 2010 at 10:17 am

I agree with Dilgen. This sounds alot like what CrossFit does.

10 Jerry May 21, 2010 at 10:58 am

Dilgen & Sonny…no…CrossFit sounds like what Plymotetrics does. Plyo is CrossFit’s wiser grandfather.

11 Jon Christner May 21, 2010 at 11:08 am

Don’t forget the most basic of all plyo exercises, the jumping jack. Basic, simple, and for most of us, the first one we learn. I may have missed it but the classic burpee with the explosive jump at the end fits into this category as well.

12 Albert May 21, 2010 at 11:42 am

The principles underlying plyometrics are tacitly found in many martial arts as well.

13 ThatOneGuy May 21, 2010 at 11:48 am

This is a lot of what is in P90X. I don’t want to sound like a commercial or something but it works! Lots of plyometrics. Challenging too. Got my once flabby self into shape with it.

14 Phillip Shuart May 21, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Finally an article I was compelled to read.
Thanks

15 Kevin May 21, 2010 at 12:51 pm

I do love plyos. If you have knee or ankle problems but still want to do plyometrics, try doing any of these exercises in sand to reduce the impact on your joints. It is not quite as effective for explosiveness as a hard surface (less eccentric phase), but has the added benefit of strengthening foot muscles if you are barefoot. No beach nearby? It’s ok, your local High School long jump pit will work fine.

16 Darrin May 21, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Yeah, plyometrics are awesome for building speed and power, two components of fitness that most guys forget about in their lazer-focused strength goals.

17 Scott Pratt May 21, 2010 at 3:17 pm

I’m also a P90X veteran, and I can say that the Plyo X workout was the most challenging in the series. It was also the one I was most proud to conquer. INSANITY is another high-impact program from the same folks who made P90X, and it incorporates a lot of plyometric moves as well. The results you get from workouts like these are awesome, so long as you use good form and keep your knees and hips happy.

18 Rob May 21, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Burpie + Pull/Chin Up
Though I think I can start working in the push-off push-ups

19 Jon May 21, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Plyo is a great way to get and stay in shape. Here is a routine that I found to be pretty good.

- walking lunges (6-8 times up and down)
- squat hops (6-8)
- frog jumps (6-8)
- box jumps (2 or 3 different sizes, 20 times, 3 sets)
- jumping lunges standing in place
- calf raises
- lateral line jumps
(the last 3 in a circuit, 20 times, 3 sets)

Also, if you are into baseball betting, click on my name to go to my blog.

20 Kyle Uhlig May 21, 2010 at 4:47 pm

I remember my trainer making me do mountain climbers (I’m assuming these are a form of plyometrics, they seem to fit the description) and man were they tough on me. I’m 6’7” and built like an offensive center so quick and explosive is not what my body wants. However this article showed me that maybe this is what my body needs to stay healthy because I exert a lot of power when playing sports.

21 Egon Donnarumma May 21, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Burpees….life changing….

http://youtube.com/watch?v=c_Dq_NCzj8M

22 gus May 21, 2010 at 10:56 pm

In Basic Training we did Gorilla Stomps. Start in a squat, jump up while beating your chest, repeat, FASTER MAGGOT!!!

23 gus May 21, 2010 at 11:00 pm

I used to bound as a kid, I was imitating Bugs Bunny!

24 Paul Cook May 22, 2010 at 10:44 am

Funny you start off mentioning doing this in high school football. When I started doing P90X I thought back to my high school track days. Our coach had us doing plyometrics one season and he was a high school football coach as well. That was one of our more successful seasons as a unit and I think plyometrics played a part in that. It’s a great way to improve athletic performance.

Great article on the subject. Thanks!

25 Hans Hageman May 22, 2010 at 10:54 am

Plyometrics is often the missing component in a fitness program for those of us who are over 50. The loss of elasticity eventually shows up in functions as simple as getting up from a chair.

Maintaining muscle mass and elasticity are key for older athletes/people. If plyo pushups hurt too much in the shoulders, wrists, or elbows, a medicine ball thrown against the wall or to a partner is great. Jumping rope is an underestimated plyo exercise with the added benefit of improvement in agility.

26 Hitler May 22, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Before jumping in, you might want to make sure you’re body is working correctly. Get with a functional movement specialist, PT, or something like that first.

27 Ryan Ransom May 22, 2010 at 7:51 pm

If you want a workout that involves all of this as well as strength, is constantly varied, and will own you every time then checkout http://www.crossfit.com. If you are new to working out I highly recommend clicking the “start here” tab on the left hand side of the main page and then BrandX Scaling. Email me if you have questions!

28 Chris Cooper May 23, 2010 at 3:35 am

I enjoyed the article and it’s given me some ideas for my next routine. I actually had jump squats in a previous routine and loved them, so I’d like to do more of that kind of thing in my next routine.

Anyway, except for the plyo push ups, this looked mostly focused on the lower body. Of course the abs get involved in some of the jump exercises, but are there any other plyos that focus on building explosiveness in the core and upper body?

29 Taylor May 23, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Another good plyo exercise is hurdle hops or a depth jump into hurdle hops, use 3-5 hurdles. Also for bounding you can progress to RRLLRRLL or RRRLLL . Plyometrics along with weight training has the potential to greatly increase ones power, speed, and explosiveness. I would advise to start with tuck jumps and squat jumps before moving to the more intense depth jumps, bounding, and hurdle hops.

30 Max May 23, 2010 at 8:52 pm

Definitely CrossFit. You get all the box jumps, tuck jumps, and squat jumps you can handle, plus other explosive exercises like olympic lifts. CrossFit has allowed me to drop 20 pounds, add my own bodyweight onto my deadlift, run a 5k far faster than I used to. I’m stronger, faster, and have far more endurance than when I started two years ago. I’m doing this on the daddy plan (aka my only time to workout is on weekends or occasionally late at night), if you have the time to get to the gym a few more days a week you’ll be a beast.

31 SteveRe May 24, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Great article. I was a very serious high school and college athlete and all my coaches were very high on using plyos. If you are a serious athlete or just love to workout, I would have to agree with all you have said.

32 Omar May 26, 2010 at 11:50 pm

I tried Crossfit. it incorporates plyos and other strength training exercises to develop functional strength (loads of other similar programs out there). You get real results but it beats you up and you tend to need a variety of equipment and it involves loads of lifts that could be damaging to a newbie who doesn’t have a trainer to watch their form. Please be careful doing Crossfit or start it once you have built a solid base.

As for Plyos…they are a GREAT addition to your workout – but dont add them until you have added some strength to your legs and posterior chain (glutes, lower back) and start with depth jumps to train your body to land and absorb impact

33 Beau May 27, 2010 at 12:53 am

Are there any Plyo core exercises???

34 Ozone May 31, 2010 at 3:58 pm

A lot of what plyometrics does has been incorporated into martial arts regimes for hundreds of years. Any well rounded combat system will incorporate similar dynamic movements. But certainly something like plyometrics would be a great supplement to any fitness regime.

35 warriorpoet912 June 2, 2010 at 11:07 am

Absolutely love plyos as they greatly improve your overall athletic ability. Since I didn’t see it mentioned, I will add that the rest duration while doing sets of plyos should be longer than usual. This is because of form. Injuries occur on box jumps and the like because the athlete begins to forsake form for speed. In other words, it’s better to do 5 box jumps at a time at a slower clip with good form than to blast through 10 at a time, landing imbalanced and out of control. I do martial arts and pair up plyo exercises with weights for a strength and power workout. The plyos activate the muscles to wake them up, and the weight allows your heart to recover while adding the element of strength. Some of my favorite combos to make a full body workout:
Chest- Plyo (clap) pushups followed by bench or DB press 10 each x3
Front of legs-Box jumps followed by squats with a bar or DB 10 each x3
Back- Med ball slams (hold ball high overhead then slam on floor) 15-20x followed by DB rows or pullups 10 x3
Back of legs- Single leg jump lunges 10-15/leg followed by split squat with DB or plate (1 leg out front, other rests on a bench behind you; DB in each hand or plate held over chest) 10/leg x3
Stretch when done and you’re good to go.

36 Gabriel June 3, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Odd that you would start off an article about Cold War era science using a picture of the greatest pre-WWII athlete in the world – Jesse Owens. The picture of him winning the gold medal for the long jump (one of his four gold medals in the 1936 Berlin Olympics) is a classic shot. He was the first American to beat the Nazis. And he’s a Buckeye.

37 seb June 5, 2010 at 3:40 pm

As a marathon canoe racer — a sport that requires both endurance and power — I’ve benefited greatly from incorporating a power / plyometric training phase into my annual strength training program. I’ve adapted Tudor Bompa’s periodization approach, found in his books “Periodization” and “Periodization Training for Sport.” By sandwiching a power / plyometric strength training phase between max power training phases, all of my single repetition max lifts improve. It’s amazing.

Since my sport is core / back driven, I incorporate sets of 8-10 rep “inverted rows” (like a bench row, but upside down) using body weight or body weight plus a weight vest, done at max speed; single-hand cable pressdowns done at max speed; and pullups done at max speed. I’m careful to control the amortization phase so as to not injure my joints, particularly my elbows which are prone to tendonitis. Form counts. I also do jump squats to try and maintain balanced development.

As to core training, isn’t the core primarily made up of slow-twitch muscle fibers? This may limit the applicability of plyometric training to the core, which I believe chiefly benefits fast-twitch muscle fibers like those in your quadriceps, glutes, and triceps.

38 Curt June 14, 2010 at 11:45 pm

Great post. A couple of other things about plyometrics.

1. To really increase explosive power you need to make sure the amortization phase (time between when your foot/hands touch ground then explode up again) is as short as possible. Dr. Mel Siff wrote that it should be less than 1.5 seconds.

2. You need to build a strength base first. Soviet coaches write that you should be able to squat 1.5 times your body weight before doing depth jump plyometrics (jump off box to ground and then explode up). Less intense plyometrics require less of a strength base.

Dr. Mel Siff’s book Supertraining has great info on plyometrics. Dr. Donald Chu’s book on the subject has tons of great exercises for anyone who wants more info too.

Curt

39 Vincent June 17, 2010 at 12:31 am

Burpee’s are one of the greatest exercises period. The can add huge benefit to your plyometrics workout.

40 Jan June 18, 2010 at 3:08 pm

My favorite are plyometric lunges. You do a lunge, and then instead of standing back up and lunging with the other leg, you just jump and then lunge with the other leg. WAY harder.

41 bova July 5, 2010 at 7:57 pm

I do a exercise in which i take a 15 lb gel core medicine ball and i throw it against a wall with one hand, pick it up as it rolls back to me with the other hand, throw it against the wall with that hand, pick it up with the first hand, and repeat. i have found that not only does it increase the power of the blow i can make with the heel of my hand, as i can do it for longer periods of time, it also can help my cardiovascular development. i do this exercise because i am a defensive lineman on my high school football team. i use a gel medicine ball that it really difficult to grip and it helps my wrist and grip strength. i guess you could do it with a normal medicine ball, but you would lose that small bonus. also, people who dont play a sport that requires as much upper body strength as football might consider using a smaller weight.

42 Tom Baker July 14, 2010 at 2:34 am

I just wanted to mention that the following point may require amending as it’s not actually possible… “Plyometric movements can strengthen and even increase the number of fast-twitch fibers in your muscles.” I agree that muscle fibres (both fast and slow twitch) can be made stronger and potentially quicker however it’s a well documented scientific fact that you can NEVER increase the number of muscle fibres and individual has.
This is the reason why some people are built for explosive activity and some people regardless on the training regime will never develope into this kind of athlete.

A certain percentage of your fibres from birth are fast twitch and a certain percentage are slow twitch, this is probably largely heriditary (Hense sons often following in their farthers foot-steps in sporting performance and often even event selection).

Further more it is worth pointing out that understanding your individual muscular build can greatly help in chosing the best sport for you. Someone with great ability when performing plyo’s or who tends to be a good short distance (100/200mtr) runner probably has a high percentage of fast twitch fibres and would also make a great jumper, thrower or short distance cyclist, sprint swimmer or other athlete requiring power.

Those athletes who respond well to plyo’s and short distances but who also have some ability when training with stamina training probably have an even mix of slow and fast twitch fibres and make excellent Boxers, middle distance runners (400, 800, 1500 mtrs upto around 5k), swimmers and hockey players.

Those who struggle to train with plyo’s, those who can’t seem to improve their times when sprinting and generaly those of a small musculature probably have a higher percentage of slow twitch fibres (these are harder to hyper-trophy [increase in size]) and should basically maintain their fast twitch fibres regularly but concentrate on stamina and endurance training and sports as NO amount of training of any kind will ever make you a sprinter (trust me I’ve tried :S) – Don’t get me wrong you can still improve (it will take longer and the end result may not be as great). These athletes make excellent long distance athletes (10,000mtrs+, long distance cyclists etc) due to their light body weight and highly oxidative abilities.

43 Jen July 28, 2010 at 11:17 pm

I was looking for some drill/conditioning for my son who is going into 8 grade football from Rocket and found your site. First off, great drills and ideas! As a former gymnast and Big Ten scholarship athlete, I can attest to the amazing thing that plyo can accomplish. I increased my verticle jump by 12 inches in a month with intense plyo while out from wrist surgery. If you have an injury you are rehabing, plyo can work along with your therapy to help you strengthen and improve all at the same time. Keep the ideas comming guys:)
Thanks
happy football mom

44 Buccal August 16, 2010 at 4:11 pm

It looks like there has been a recent interest in plyometric training, or at least that’s what I gather from some workout program/videos I’ve been trying out.
I gotta admit it’s pretty tough for me to complete the exercises at their maximum explosiveness because of my weak joints.

45 Leonidas August 16, 2010 at 4:48 pm

As a former football player and competitive weighlifter and bodybuilder I reiterate a point too briefly touched on. BE VERY CAREFUL. Fact is if you’re above the age of 25 this is more likely to cause you injury than the fitness results you want. Box jumps are especially strenuous on aging knees and low backs more accustom to an office chair than a gridiron.

One plyometric exercise you can do that is low in shock but high in intensity is board runs. It is an exercise I have deployed with great success with many of the people I have trained. Here is my best effort at describing it:

1. Place a 2×4 on the ground in front of you and stand with your toes facing it just a few inches away from the board.
2. In a running motion (higher the knees the better here) run across the board forward and as soon as both feet have made contact on the opposite side of the board repaeat the motion backwards returning you to the other side of the board.
3. Continue doing this as fast as you can for at least 1 minute (2 minutes is optimum).

After 2 minutes of this I assure you that you will wish you were dead. Take a one to two minute breather and repeat.

This exercise can also be done laterally with a starting position of the sides of your feet facing the board. Other variations include jumping or hopping. All are evil.

46 ramesh December 13, 2012 at 8:00 am

thanks for good and useful information

47 ramesh December 13, 2012 at 8:29 am

thanks for good and useful informaton

48 Brian February 14, 2013 at 7:28 pm

You guys should checkout this plyo workout http://youtu.be/rxm5H8F7HH0

49 luke March 16, 2013 at 12:15 pm

We did a lot of all of these exercises in the Marine Corps

50 Kenneth April 5, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Great beginners workout! THANK YOU!

51 Jim Powers April 14, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Look up Hackenschmitt Jumps. You squat in front of a bench or platform, about 12-18″ tall. Jump over it, land in a squat position, and jump backwards on top of the bench, step down and repeat. Be careful .

52 M Bivens April 24, 2013 at 9:31 pm

Creating a plyometric routine for a sport-specific program requires understanding the mechanics of the sport by doing a needs analysis, breaking down skill patterns into their most elementary parts. For example, a volleyball spike depends largely on being able to make a short approach, convert horizontal movement into vertical lift, and perform a swinging motion at the top of the jump. Plyometric training should focus on developing the vertical component of jumping.

53 Niki May 31, 2013 at 8:12 pm

I’m a skimboarder, which involves a lot of sudden, explosive maneuvers and jumps. These plyos are awesome because they mimic a lot of the same movements… love me some plyos!

54 Patrick June 5, 2013 at 10:09 pm

I play tennis and do plyo for personal training. I’m a lot faster, stronger, and more powerful because of it. To strengthen hip, glute, and hamstring muscles and start faster, we do a lot of starts from assorted positions, like from one knee or lying down. They really improve sprinting power.

55 shaun.o June 30, 2013 at 7:56 pm

Hey hey.

I am doing a 4 routine strength training routing (with a couple of phases as one develops), but i would like to do something like this (the poly…) in the park *once* per week to start off with.

any ideas for good for a session:
(i suppose my athletic interests lye in soccer tennis and rugby if that helps).

56 Timothy July 3, 2013 at 7:59 am

In order to train for Ultimate Frisbee I’ve been doing a lot of plyometric exercises. One that I enjoy is a set of 24 mountain climbers, 12 each leg, without touching at the top. Then you immediately sprint 10 yards. The key is quick leg movements with high knees.

57 Al August 10, 2013 at 1:00 pm

I did a lot of plyos in crossfit, excellent exercises. Now that I tore my ACL, unfortunately plyos are like the worst thing you I can do. Definteky need to know that many of these types exercises put trmendous agree on joints tendons. Be careful.

58 George November 17, 2013 at 10:41 am

Thanks for info! Am 67 and hope to increase my vertical 8″ by next May.
Plan to ease into this CAREFULLY.

59 Ross February 1, 2014 at 10:53 pm

How would you recommend structuring this workout for someone whose in shape but has never done plyos before?

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