What is plyometrics?

by: Shana Bunce

Plyometrics is nothing new to the strength and conditioning world, but is becoming more popular in individuals’ workouts. With an increase of interest in health and fitness, personal trainers and fitness instructors are looking for more powerful, interesting moves to keep people interested in exercise. Plyometrics is an exercise technique that combines strength with speed to achieve maximum power in functional movements. This regimen combines eccentric training of muscles with concentric contraction (Farlex, 2009). Every time you land from a jump, your muscles get a stretch. That gives your next jump even more power. The combination of stretching and contracting your muscles is what gives the fibers more strength. They can be practiced just about anywhere. Just make sure to have a landing surface, like grass or a padded floor.

When performing plyometrics, be conscious of body position. If the exercises are not done properly or done without the presence of a knowledgeable instructor injuries can happen. Landing wrong can create irritation in the ankles, knees, and low back. But when done properly maximal strength testing can be a safe, effective, and reliable method of evaluating muscular fitness in athletes and nonathletes (Masamoto, Larson, Gates, And Faigenbaum 2003).

Some easy exercises to remember are jumping rope, jumping squats and box jumps.



Assistant Professor, Kinesiology and Health Studies department