Plyometrics places a large amount of stress on the human body's superstructure. These exercises should not be preformed until you meet the min exercise base:
1) You should have no existing muscle, ligament, tendon, hip, shoulder, knee, back, or ankle injury.
2) You should be able to squat 1.5 to 2.0 times you body weight, 1RM.
3) Athletes weighing >250 lbs should be able to bench their body weight.
4) Athletes weighing <250 lbs should bench 1.5 times their body weight.
5) Obese weight >198 lbs or > 20%BMI.
Even after the min base is achieved; you should use care in performing them, so that injury will not occur. Why bother with Plyometrics if it seems so hazardous? Please understand people use Plyometrics everyday life: sprinting to catch the bus; jumping over a hazard; catching a thrown apple; or throwing a newspaper at a porch. Plyometrics development will aid in your navigation of day-to-day activities. What Plyometrics do is train your muscles respond (with max strength) rapidly (explosively) in a short amount of time. This is not one of the number of weight loss posts; Plyometrics is not for weight loss. Plyometrics develop the neuromuscular system (fast-twitch muscle fibers) and not aerobic or strength systems. Think rapid reactions in sports or reflexes. Generally, a Plyometric circuit is done at least once a week for basic fitness needs, never more than x2 a week. Strength workouts and Plyometric training should not be preformed on the same body area on the same day. Respect Plyometrics, unless you want to injury yourself! If you are ready, then try these basic Plyometric exercises to start:
Jumping and Bounding Routine:
- Set a 20m straight line on a firm level surface
- Perform each drill x6, with easy walk recovery from end point back to starting point. Think “rapidly” getting off the surface on landing.
- Watch for proper form in drill.
- Repeat circuit x2 for 4 weeks, then x3 after that.
Drill 1: Jump from left foot to right foot straight down the line.
R R R R
Start ------------------------- End (center line)(all not to scale)
L L L L
Drill 2: Jump from right foot to left foot, crossing over the middle line.
R R R R
Start -------------------------End (center line)
L L L
Drill 3: Hop on the same leg 4x and other leg 4x straight down the line.
Start R-R-R-R-L-L-L- L-End (center line)
Drill 4: Double leg jumps in a straight line for 10m , then double leg jumps from side to side for 10m.
LR LR LR LR
Start LR-LR-LR----------------------End (center line)
LR LR LR
* * *
Sprit Program (Acceleration Speed):
- Mark out a set distance on a level firm surface – football field, track, or yard.
- Accelerate from the start to “all out speed” you can reach in the distance run.
- Perform the sets.
- Allow three minutes of recovery between sets. (easy walk recovery)
- Chart your progress.
Set 1: Sprint 20m then jog back x12, recovery 3 min
Set 2: Sprint 40m then jog back x8, recovery 3 min
Set 3: Sprint 60m then jog back x4, recovery 3 min.
Set 4: Sprint 80m then jog back x2, recovery 3 min.
It is difficult to write a blog post on such a large subject. What to include? What to leave out? How much theory to add? When to stop? The above should be enough to get you started. Comments/Corrections are always welcome. Next post on Plyometrics for the core and upper body, -work allowing.
No Claim to original works, References:
-Land Forces Command Fitness Manual(CFPSA) NATO, Dr. Howie Wenger, B-GL-382-003/PT-001
-NSCA Performance Training Journal, vol 8, issue 4. www.nsca-lift.org/perform.
- The Navy SEAL Physical Fitness Guide, Dr. Patricia Deuster, Uniformed Service University of Health Sciences, 1978.