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Definition: Plyometrics

Plyometrics: Also known as jump training, plyometrics is a form of conditioning aimed at created controlled impact and maximum power and is used primarily by athletes.

This method involves stretching the muscles prior to contracting them and done correctly it strengthens muscles, increases vertical jump and decreases impact forces on the joints. Consciously practicing the technique of landing from a jump in a controlled environment teaches your body how to "land" and your muscles memory will kick in when you cannot focus all your attention on your technique (because you are chasing a rebound or opposing team member). It is great for sports that involve jumping like basketball, volleyball and tennis, but is also really effective for training to ski moguls (especially jumping sideways onto or a "step"). Upper body plyometrics are used to condition for boxing (pack a power PUNCH) and pitching in baseball.

Designed to increase muscular power and explosiveness, plyometrics are not, however, for those who are in poor condition or have an orthopedic condition. Since so much jumping is involved plyometrics can be really hard on the knee joints.

Check out Force Sport Fitness Advisor for some animated explanations of plyo exercises.

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Join The Conversation
Emers Emers 10 years
We used to do these every day when I played volleyball in high school. They really work, but I tried to do them again recently and they were really hard on my knees - I think you probably need to work up to them so you don't hurt yourself!
SU3 SU3 10 years
Even though they're low intensity, those squat jumps can be a killer after a while!
wackdoodle wackdoodle 10 years
I had never heard of plyometrics before December of last year when my figure skater nephew said he need a book on Plyometrics because his trainer wanted him to continue his off ice training at home. My 'phew Andrew swears plyometric helps his joints, tendons, and gives him even more explosive muscle power on the ice. I snuck a peek at the plyometrics books and did some online research and it looks really easy but the caveat is you should be properly trained and watched the first few times you do it to avoid serious injury from bad or improper technique. Other than that it makes a lot of since the way it works.
Annabean Annabean 10 years
Wow, this is interesting.
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