Physical preparation methods are incorporating new exercises and techniques to improve athletes’ performance. In recent years, a new modality has become popular: plyometric exercises or plyometrics. This training method basically consists of performing intense and fast movements.
General principle of plyometrics
The muscles in our body are made up of muscle fibers, with tendons at the ends. The training causes an intense contraction in the muscle, that is, first there is a stretching and then a shortening (this process is known as CEA or stretching and shortening cycle). Plyometrics
Specialists in physical preparation consider that before this training, it is convenient for the athlete to acquire sufficient muscular strength. Thus, first overall strength is developed and, later, plyometric movements are introduced to develop specific muscle power.
A type of exercise not recommended for all athletes
Some typical exercises of this modality are as follows:
1) jump with your feet together over a box,
2) perform alternative jumps over a box,
3) do squats with open and closed heels,
4) take alternative jumps on the ground and with great speed and
5) take small jumps with your toes.
The duration of each exercise should be brief (eg 30 seconds) and accompanied by a similar rest period. Movements and exercises are based on accelerations, decelerations, jumps and throws. Typically, this training is performed in circuit form. Plyometrics
Furthermore, the movements are performed at various intensities and with all kinds of variations.
Obviously, plyometrics need to adapt to each athlete’s physical form to avoid injury or produce adverse effects. As with any sporting activity, it is convenient to be supervised by a qualified coach.
It should be noted that this type of exercise is not always recommended, as it has a strong impact on the body. In fact, this method is not recommended for those who suffer from any back, knee or overweight condition.
Coaches use this technique in sports such as football, rugby or basketball. This method is also used in the preparation of runners, whether sprinters or marathon runners. Plyometrics