The Truth About Plyometrics

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

Examples include:

  • Depth jumps
  • Squat jumps
  • Split squat jumps
  • Tuck Jumps
  • Hops (several ariations)
  • Bounds (several variations)
  • Hurdle Jumps

2.Upper Body Plyometric Drills

Examples include:

  • 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.

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17 Responses to “The Truth About Plyometrics”

  1. Fritz Says:

    Thanks Dan!!!! , I really appriciate your help and resources.


  2. Dr James Stoxen DC Says:

    Shock training is only applicable if the spring mechanism is locked. This is what must be evaluated by qualified physicians before a plyometric program can begin.


    • Dr James Stoxen DC Says:

      Spring Training happens when the spring mechanism is released

      Shock Training happens when the spring mechanism is locked

      One will lead to an injury and other will lead to improved performance

      This is how I define it and how I feel the profession should redefine it for the future

      Why would trainers want anyone to associate healthy training with a word like “SHOCK”

      Dr James Stoxen DC


      • Vision Says:

        hi Dr, can u please elaborate on that further, tnx aloot.. looks like a very serious stuff, therefore, could possibly change pplz life, by preventting them from learing wrong concepts.


  3. Trevor Doge Says:

    c0ol stuff, Im luvin the blurb about not doing it more than 3 times a week:P it gives me time to rest.


  4. Marko aka I played Kobe one on one Says:

    I played kobe one on one.


  5. Terrill Wyche Says:

    Plyometrics have changed my life. I feel better than I have felt in years. My legs and hips have become lean and trim, and I’m able to run and jump like I did when I was in my 20s. I’m 40 now. I lost 70 lbs. and went from a 50 inch waist to a 38 inch waist. When I started, I couldn’t jump 4 inches off the floor. Now I can jump about 24 inches. My goal is to be able to dunk a basketball from a vertical jump.


  6. H Says:

    wat r hurdle jumpz… n plus u said that we can download the new 7 day program to increaze verticle… it can not be downloaded… y don’t u just make a post regarding that..


  7. ash Says:

    wats better:
    double your vertical jump
    jump manual
    flying in four

    thanks alot


  8. Y Says:

    wat r hurdle jumps, how can it be done.. tnx aloot dan.. much appreciated for the info…..


  9. Dr James Stoxen DC Says:


    Im so sorry about not elaborating on what I had discussed in the previous post. Thank you for your interest.

    What we have essentially is a form of training that relies on the spring mechanims to be in tact to perform it safely. If you are going to test the human spring mechanisms through this approach to training and the impacts in competition you must have an intact mechanism. As you know doctors feel that any form of impact is bad for the human body including jumping (aerobics), running and other impact activities. Try to tell that to a coach who is working with athletes.

    When you have 20 athletes in a aerobics class and 10 fall out seeking medical assistance for the typical plantar fasciitis, shin splints, back pain etc and the other 10 are having a good time and reaping the benefits of the exercise there it may be difficult and frustrating for the physicians to explain.

    With my new model of looking at the human body ie the Human Spring Approach patients-athletes either have an intact working human spring mechanism or they dont. The 10 athletes that broke down there is only one explanation for why. They had a weak or locked human spring mechanism.

    The concept that is most misunderstood is that the body is not a collection of bones, muscles and joints. Rather, it is a giant human spring! By looking at your body this way we begin to unravel many of the mysteries that surround the goal of attaining optimal health and wellness.

    In the late eighties, as part of my quest to discover the secrets to human performance, I made numerous trips to eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union serving as the doctor for the US Powerlifting Team, through AICEP and the auspices of the Soviet Sports Committee. While there, I organized the first sports medicine course with the help of Dr. Ed Enos of Concordia University in Montreal and the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic at the famed National Institute of Physical Culture and Sports Sciences in Moscow. It was the first sports medicine course for western doctors ever organized in the former Soviet Union. An accomplishment I was very proud of especially since I was only 26 at the time.

    My main objective for visiting Russia was to learn the secrets to the treatment and training used by the Soviets to fine tune the human body. Something had to be allowing them to produce so many champions. I had read over 100 journals written by Russian doctors and trainers at that time and since I was the organizer and director of the course I got to select the experts who lectured. I decided to focus our studies on the biomechanics of sports movement in hopes of uncovering some of the secrets to human performance. The key lecturer I chose was Yuri Verhoshanski, the founder of modern human spring training, called plyometrics. His teachings played a major role in my research into the secrets to elite level human performance.

    If plyometrics or spring training develops a stronger spring, giving athletes more speed, quickness, balance, coordination agility, and efficiency then — are reduced performance levels, loss of balance, poor coordination, less agility and an overall weakened performance the result of weakened human spring strength?

    The human spring mechanism performs 3 key functions

    1. The human spring protects the body from the 3.6 million collisions with the ground both in simple walking and the more high impact activities of running, jumping and plyometric impact training.A weak, stiff or locked human spring will not allow this recycling of energy and thus effect performance of impact activities and it is in my opinion the main cause of chronic fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome.

    If the spring mechanism serves as a buffer between joints, protecting the body from injuries and allowing for stress- and strain-free motion, then could it be that the reason some patients have injuries that won’t heal is because they have a locked spring mechanism? A weak or locked human spring mechanism is the key factor in why we have a higher risk for acute injuries, chronic conditions and why the body will not heal leading to chronic degenerative changes with every step we take This is the reason for why 400,000 had hip and knee replacement surgeries yearly with that number increasing.

    2. When the foot collides with the ground the mass is loaded into the human spring mechanism and absorbed into the suspension system of the spring from floor 1-7. This stored energy is released back into the system allowing the body to recycle energy. A weak, stiff or locked human spring will not allow this recycling of energy and thus effect performance of impact activities and it is in my opinion the main cause of chronic fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome.

    3. Since the human spring is built into the structure of the human body it must be in tact for alignment of motion Ie If it is not then it leads to abnormal motion, stress and strain, wear and tear, release of inflammation and pain Of course the high chronic levels of cytokine inflammation leads to a host of hormonal imbalances namely reduced GH and higher levels of insulin as the body feels it is under constant attack. This is accelerated aging and reduced performance.

    If Spring strength is the secret to optimum performance then is the loss of human spring the secret to the decline of health?

    If spring defines our youth then does a loss of the spring in the step define aging?

    If we can restore the spring to the step then can we then restore our youth?

    As youth we run barefoot as our human spring mechanism is intact. As time goes by at 3.6 million steps per year we have the foundation of the human spring bound by a leather or rubber binding device. Reverse adaptation leads to an imbalance of strength of floor 1 – 3 which is the arch spring suspension system, ankle joint 1 and 2 leading to the mechanical meltdowns that lead to the majority of acute injuries and chronic conditions

    By age 30 we have collided with the earth over 100,000,000 times and this binding of the protective energy recycling mechanism is starting to take its toll That is in my opinion a logical explanation for why we have the breakdowns at this time of our athletic careers

    As you know medicine and sport treat the body with supports which weaken its ability to support itself.

    From Barefoot to Bedridden – The current misguided standard of care

    -First we are barefoot and as children we fall hard and get up after a cry with no chronic injuries

    -Then we are told that it is mandatory if we are going to participate in high school track we mist wear the binding devices on our feet for all training and competition. This is a support system and a movement altering device that begins to weaken the human spring

    -Then when we start to notice over pronation from a weakness in the spring suspension system we are told to wear “motion control footwear”

    -Then when that doesnt work we put a shim under the arch spring and deaden its ability to protect us from the collisions to spring back off the ground so we end up banging into the ground.

    -When we can no longer support our bodies and lose balance with even athletic shoes and arch supports we switch to orthopedic shoes and a deep counter support system

    -The next step is all those supports plus a can

    -We are told we need more support so we are moved to a 4 prong walker
    then we go to a wheel chair

    -Then we are bedridden

    I realized that my patients and myself were headed down this path. So I developed the protocols for evaluating the human body for weakness, stiffness and locking of the human spring. I developed the treatment protocols for releasing the human spring, strengthening it and supercharging it for maximum performance

    We certainly know a lot about plyometrics now however there is no other complete protocol the focuses on insuring that your spring mechanism can take up the forces of the landings during plyometrics or simple walking for that matter

    At 48 years of age I run 6 miles a day 3 days a week barefoot on solid concrete.

    All these protocols will be given away in my book coming up in september of 2011. It will be 26 years of in depth study, clinical trials study. I am lecturing all over the world on how this works and would be excited to share more with anyone who is interested.

    Please feel free to friend me on facebook or contact me for more information. Im interested in your comments and or additions.

    Dr James Stoxen DC
    President Team Doctors


  10. Zack.M Says:

    Is the p90x plyometrics good and im also doing core synergitics as well!! Will that improve my vertical ? I do those workouts every other day leaving me 1 day of rest for plyo when im doing core is that a good workout schedule ?


    • Dan Says:

      Hey Zack. I’ve heard good things about P90x plyometrics. With that being said, they weren’t designed for basketball/volleyball/football athletes like us, so I’m not sure how well it will work to improve your vert.


  11. Ivan Nondolesmono Says:

    does upper plyometric drill affect my vertical jump??



    Hi Dan,

    I’m 52 years old and have done this morning some plyo warm up exercises I got from the Internet. These are the exercises: 3-5 mns jogging initial warm up; Lunge work with forward trunk reach; high knee lift with tug; Press up walk; Sprint arm action from lunge; sideways skip; backwards running; Turn and run 15m, then I went shooting basketball, laying up, and jumpshots. Is this dangerous for my age? Also, I have a grade 6 son who is playing basketball with for his school, can you suggest any plyo training coach as I want him to jump higher and have a proper warm up before the games. He is kind of a part of the first stringer, thus needs more stamina and strength, and I believe balance when falling down. I will appreciate very much your feedback. Thanks.


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