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Plyometrics (jump training) are exercises designed to produce fast, powerful movements that enhance explosive muscular performance. Many of you may have already used these techniques
and not known they are called plyometrics.

Plyometric exercises may include; jumping, bounding, hopping, arm pushing, and “catching and throwing” weighted objects such as medicine balls. These are movements that involve rapid lengthening (eccentric) and shortening (concentric) muscle action. Box jumps, step-ups and squat jumps are all plyometric movements.

Jump training has been shown to provide many benefits:

  • reduces knee injuries, particularly women
  • improves upper and lower-body explosiveness
  • increases flexibility and mobility in selected joints
  • increases power, strength and agility in target muscles 
  • improves performance and decreases muscle soreness
  • burns calories

If jump training is something you wish to try, there are few things to be aware of before you start:

  1. Ask a qualified trainer or coach to help you learn proper landing techniques to minimize the chance of injury. 
  2. If your gym or club has spring floors or shock-absorbing mats, they are ideal landing surfaces for this type of training. If your workouts are outdoors a grassy surface is ideal; try to avoid hard surfaces like concrete or gym floors.
  3. Before beginning, a 5-10 minute warm-up should be performed, followed by some dynamic stretching to increase blood flow and prepare muscles for the upcoming activity.
  4. A coach or trainer should ensure variety in the training program, first, to provide specificity for a given sport and second, to avoid training boredom and stagnation.
  5. Beginners should perform as few as 30-40 foot contacts during initial sessions and can be gradually moved up to 100 or more foot contacts.
  6. This type of program should only be performed twice a week to allow adequate recovery.

Plyometric training is great because it can be performed at any age or skill level and requires little or no equipment.As with any new exercise regimen, it is important to use caution when introducing plyometrics into your training.

References from the SIRC Collection: 

1. Andrew D, Kovaleski J, Heitman R, Robinson T. Effects of Three Modified Plyometric Depth Jumps and Periodized Weight Training on Lower Extremity Power. Sport Journal. January 2010;13(1):4.
2. Compton C. The Benefits of PLYOMETRIC & AGILITY TRAINING for Cross Country Skiers. Cross Country Skier. November 2010;30(2):27-28.
3. Fowler K. EXPLOSIVE POWER. IDEA Fitness Journal. September 2011;8(8):38-45.
5. Meira E, Brumitt J, Nitka M. Plyometric Training Considerations to Reduce Knee Injuries. Strength & Conditioning Journal (Allen Press). April 2005;27(2):78-80.
6. Ploeg A, Miller M, Holcomb W, O’Donoghue J, Berry D, Dibbet T. The Effects of High Volume Aquatic Plyometric Training on Vertical Jump, Muscle Power, and Torque. International Journal Of Aquatic Research & Education. February 2010;4(1):39-48.

The information presented in SIRC blogs and SIRCuit articles is accurate and reliable as of the date of publication. Developments that occur after the date of publication may impact the current accuracy of the information presented in a previously published blog or article.