Plyometrics play a big role in improving an athletes quickness, explosiveness, and vertical jump.
Before I get into the nitty gritty of the different plyometric exercises and drills, let’s take a walk down memory lane and examine its history…
The History of Plyometrics
Plyometrics are exercises that evolved from old Soviet training methods created by Yuri Verkhoshansky around the 60′s and 70′s.
It was originally called shock training, and this training method started getting popular because East European athletes began dominating the sports world in the 1970′s.
They were outclassing athletes from other countries in the olympics, winning medal after medal.
Their success was largely attributed to their unique training method.
The term “Plyometrics” is believed to have been coined in 1975 by an American track and field coach called Fred Wilt.
As the years went by, plyometrics grew in popularity, and today, they are very common in training programs for any sport that requires explosive movements e.g. basketball, volleyball, mixed martial arts, and most sports in general.
Benefits Of Plyometric Exercises
- Plyometrics develop the Type II fast twitch muscle fibers which are crucial in improving your vertical jump.
- Plyometrics train your Central Nervous System (CNS) to handle explosive movements associated with jumping higher.
- Plyometrics develop your reactive strength (elastic strength), which increases your quickness and explosiveness.
- Plyometrics complement strength training to ensure maximum vertical leap gains.
Plyometric Training Guidelines
1.Minimize ground contact time
- Doing this will enable you to rapidly increase your reactive strength and see the best results possible.
2. Don’t Overtrain
- Plyometrics are deceiving because they fatigue your CNS instead of your body.
- This means that your body won’t get as tired as compared to when performing regular exercises.
- This makes most athletes overtrain.
- Never do plyometric drills more than 3 times per week, because your CNS needs 24 hrs to fully recover between training sessions.
3. Start slowly and progress slowly
- If you have never done plyometric drills before or it has been a while since you last did them, you should always start with low reps.
- For an exercise like depth jumps, begin by only doing the ‘landing’ portion of the exercise. Simply drop off the box and absorb the impact (do not jump up).
- Also for depth jumps, start with a small box that is between 12-24 inches in height and only progress after you get the form down and are comfortable.
4.Make sure you are strong enough for plyometric training
- Most trainers advice that you should be able to squat at least 1.5 times your bodyweight before attempting plyometrics.
- This is because if you are not strong enough, you increase your chances of getting injured while performing plyos.
Plyometric Drills & Exercises
IMPORTANT:This is only a list of the various plyometric training exercises and drills. If you want detailed illustrations and ways to incorporate them into a solid workout that dramatically improves your vertical jump, get the Jump Manual, the #1 rated vertical jump program.
1.Lower Body Plyometric Drills
- Depth jumps
- Squat jumps
- Split squat jumps
- Tuck Jumps
- Hops (several ariations)
- Bounds (several variations)
- Hurdle Jumps
2.Upper Body Plyometric Drills
- Medicine ball throws
- Plyometric pushups
- Upper body depth jumps
Plyometric training is a great way to increase your vertical jump.
However, if they are not performed correctly, they can result in serious injury.
Because of this fact, it is important to follow a vertical jump program that incorporates correct plyometric training principles into its workouts.