What are Plyometrics ?
Plyometrics (plyometric or reactive strength exercises) are a type of exercises where you improve the explosive strength of a muscle without using heavy weights. Those exercises use the strength, elasticity and innervation of the muscle and the surrounding tissue. Most plyometric exercises are designed to improve leg strength, speed and vertical leap, but there are also plyometric upper body exercises used to improve throws, punches and pulls. Find exercises at track and field main.

Description: Plyometrics

  • Let's say you can squat 400 lbs. So you have very strong on probably really muscular legs, but that doesn't mean that you can jump very high. Before you scream, "I knew it, big guys are slow" , let me tell you that in fact big muscles are fast. Most people don't know how fast 300 lbs bodybuilders can run. After all only fast twitch muscle fiber can grow that much and therefore bodybuilders must be fast. But what you need to jump higher is not just the right muscle type. Your muscles have to react fast and what you need for this fast reaction is an improved function of the nervous system. That's where plyometric exercises come into play. Those exercises give your muscles "reactive strength"and muscle-internal coordination. So this is about extending the squat as fast as possible. It doesn't matter how much weight you load on your back. But of course, if you can squat your 400 lbs like if you were standing up without resistance, your vertical will be even more impressive (see trainer advice).

Trainer advice: Plyometrics

  • Do both, weights and plyometrics.
  • Stop if a tendon or a joint hurts.
  • Plyometric apparatus include: Boxes, medicine balls, rubber bands etc.
  • After reading this article, please don't do jump squats with a barbell on your back. Plyometric exercises are usually done without weight.

Videos: Plyometrics

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