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What Is The Best Plyometrics Workout?

What is the best plyometrics workout? Find out what plyometrics really are and what they are meant to do. The forum members have spoken.

By: Workout Of The Week


TOPIC: What Is The Best Plyometrics Workout?

The Question:

Plyometrics are a great way to increase leg strength, stamina, jumping, etc. Plyometrics can also be one of the most killer workouts of all!

What is the best plyometrics workout? Be specific.

What are the benefits of plyometrics?

Who would get the most benefit out of plyometrics? Any specific athletes?

How many times per week should plyometrics be performed?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners:

    New Prizes:
      1st place - $75 in store credit.
      2nd place - $50 in store credit.

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1st Place - TUnit

    "Think of your favorite athlete in your favorite sport and what do you see? Most likely you see smooth, quick, efficient, supple and effortless movements coupled with extreme and lightning fast displays of power. The movement efficiency of a cat coupled with the explosiveness of a bolt of lighting.

    This is the ability that separates the elite from the average. What allows this display of combined elegance and power is a strength quality known as Reactive or Plyometric ability."

- Kelly Baggett

What exactly are plyometrics and where did they come from? Plyometrics can be traced to Russia approximately 40 years ago. Dr. Yuri Verkhoshansky is credited with creating the principle which at the time was known as "shock training." While observing some Olympians, he realized that they had more strength and power coming out of a higher altitude landing when their muscles were stretched as opposed to a normal jump.

This led to the creation of the two true plyometric exercises: depth jumps and depth drops. Since then, almost every exercise that involves some sort of jumping movement has been categorized as plyometric. This often confuses athletes because the general guideline states that you should be able to squat 1.5 times your bodyweight before doing plyometrics.

This principle only stays true for depth jumps and depth drops. A simple example involves little kids running and jumping in playgrounds - can they even squat 25 pounds? Probably not. So to clear up the confusion, it is perfectly safe to perform low to moderate intensity plyometrics such as ankle hops or rim jumps even if your squat is not 1.5 times your bodyweight.

Over time, plyometric training increases the amount of force you can produce and therefore plyometrics are effective in making you more explosive. This leads to improved sports performance, a higher vertical leap, and faster sprinting times. A study proved that lifting weights (squatting) in addition to plyometrics caused the greatest increases in vertical jump height.

Effect Of Squats & Plyometrics On Vertical Jump
Exercise Type Vertical Jump Increase
Only Squats 3.30 cm
Only Plyometrics 3.81 cm
Squats + Plyometrics 10.67 cm

Plyometrics are also categorized by their amazing ability to increase reactive strength and jumping skill and coordination. Plyometrics improve reactive strength by utilizing the Strength-Shortening Cycle (SSC) in order to create maximal power output.

Plyometrics are based on the principle that the SSC can create much more power than a normal muscle contraction because the muscles are able to store the tension from the stretch for a short period of time - causing the muscle to react like a rubber band. The greatest force can be achieved when the stretch is performed as fast as possible.

Over time, as part of a planned cycle, plyometrics are able to increase the number of fast-twitch muscle fibers in a certain muscle group. However, the effects are not immediate.

Actually, when you first begin with plyometrics, your body tends to create more slow-twitch muscle fibers in response to the new training stimulus. However, when you deload (decrease the volume) or stop training for a week or two, then the results are simply incredible as more and more fibers become fast-twitch than there were before.

Heavy Load Weight Training Light Load, Explosive Power Training Plyometrics Olympic Lifting Isokinetic Or Hydraulic Resistance
Maximal Strength Excellent Fair Poor Good Good
Maximal Rate Of Force Development Good Excellent Good Good* Fair*
Stretch Shortening Cycle Ability Poor Good Excellent Poor None
High Velocity Force Production Poor Excellent Poor* Good* Good
Maximal Mechanical Power Good Excellent Fair Excellent* Good
Jumping Skill & Muscle Coordination Poor Good Excellent Good Poor
Periodization Preparation
Pre-Comp
Competition
Pre-Comp
Competition
Late Pre-Comp
Competition
Pre-Comp
Competition
Preparation
Early Rehabilitation

* No study available (Source: www.gssiweb.com)


Workout:
What is the best plyometrics workout? Be specific.

In my mind, there is no best plyometrics workout because everything depends on the skill level and experience of the athlete in question. However, there are many effective plyometrics programs that work for athletes of varying skill levels.

The best plyometrics workout is one that focuses on the weaknesses of the athlete so that the greatest gains can be achieved. Some athletes may be deficient in absorbing force, releasing force after they absorb it, speed of movement, or a combination of these.

The best way to know which program is best suited for you is to perform a reactive strength test. First, find out your standing vertical (Highest touch - Reach with arms fully extended). Record that number and then take a series of boxes in 6 inch increments. Stand on the box, step off, and jump as high as you can.

Keep increasing the height of the box by 6 inches until your jump off the box is lower than your standing vertical. For example, if your standing vertical is 30 inches and your jump off a 6-inch box is 25 inches, then you need a lot of plyometric work.

However, if your vertical is 31 inches and your jump off a 36-inch box is 32 inches then you know that you need to focus on getting strong in the weight room and just maintain your plyometric ability (Information adapted from Kelly Baggett).

That being said, here are some effective plyometrics + weights programs that will improve your sports performance. The weight lifting portion is optional but it is a good idea to lift weights in addition to plyometrics because the greatest gains can be seen when the two are combined.

Beginner Athlete:

    (Vertical Leap less than 20 inches, Squat less than 1.0 times bodyweight, less than 6 months experience lifting weights)

    Weeks 1-4 (Week 5 - No Weights On Friday, Test Vertical Leap):

    ankle hops ankle hops
    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Ankle Hops.

    Ankle Hops Video Guide:
    Windows Media (163 KB)
    MPEG (1.1 MB)


    Click Here To Enlarge.
    Line Jumps.

    Weeks 6-9 (Week 10 - No Weights On Friday, Test Vertical Leap):

      Monday:

      • Line Jumps - 3 Sets x 15 Reps
      • Rim Jumps - 3 Sets x 10 Reps
      • Squat Jumps - 4 Sets x 8 Reps

      • Weights:
      • Full Squats - 3 Sets x 10 Reps
      • Snatch-Grip Deadlifts - 3 Sets x 10 Reps
      • Bench Press - 3 Sets x 10 Reps
      • Rows - 3 Sets x 10 Reps
      • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Monday.

      Wednesday:

      • Ankle Hops - 3 Sets x 30 Reps
      • Standing Broad Jumps - 4 Sets x 6 Reps
      • Tuck Jumps - 3 Sets x 10 Reps

      • Weights:
      • Split Squats - 2-3 Sets x 10-12 Reps
      • Leg Curls - 2-3 Sets x 10-12 Reps
      • Incline Bench Press - 2-3 Sets x 10-12 Reps
      • Chin-Ups - 2-3 Sets x Max Reps

    broad jumps broad jumps broad jumps
    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Broad Jumps.

    Broad Jumps Video Guide:
    Windows Media (357 KB)
    MPEG (299 KB)

    tuck jumps tuck jumps
    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Tuck Jumps.

    Tuck Jumps Video Guide:
    Windows Media (147 KB)
    MPEG (431 KB)

      Friday:

      • Line Jumps - 3 Sets x 15 Reps
      • Ankle Jumps - 5 Sets x 3 Reps
      • Squat Jumps - 4 Sets x 8 Reps

      • Weights:
      • Full Squats - 2-3 Sets x 10-12 Reps
      • Snatch-Grip Deadlifts - 2-3 Sets x 10-12 Reps
      • Bench Press - 2-3 Sets x 10-12 Reps
      • Rows - 2-3 Sets x 10-12 Reps
      • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Friday.

      This program would allow a beginner to get their vertical to approximately 20-25 inches and get their squat to at least 1.0 times their bodyweight. After this, they would be ready to go to the intermediate program. The greatest gains would be seen in Week 5 and Week 10 as the recovery time would be better and would allow the athlete to jump higher or run faster as a result.

Intermediate Athlete:

    (Vertical Leap 20-30 inches, Squat between 1.0 times - 1.5 times bodyweight, Less than 1 year training experience)

    Weeks 1-3 (Week 4 - Cut Volume In Half And No Friday Workout, Testing Vertical Leap, Squat And Bench Press On Friday Of That Week)

      Monday:

      • Rim Jumps - 3 Sets x 10 Reps (2 Sets x 10 Reps Week 4)
      • Standing Broad Jumps - 4 Sets x 6 Reps (2 Sets x 6 Reps Week 4)
      • Tuck Jumps - 3 Sets x 10 Reps (2 Sets x 10 Reps Week 4)
      • On-Box Jumps - 4 Sets x 5 Reps (2 Sets x 5 Reps Week 4)

      • Weights:
      • Full Squats - 4 Sets x 6-8 Reps
      • Split Squats - 3 Sets x 8-10 Reps
      • Glute-Ham Raises - 3 Sets x 10-12 Reps
      • Bench Press - 4 Sets x 6-8 Reps
      • Rows - 4 Sets x 6-8 Reps
      • Lateral Raises - 3 Sets x 8-10 Reps


    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Box Jumps.

    Box Jumps Video Guide:
    Windows Media
    MPEG

    Weeks 5-7 (Week 8 - Cut Volume In Half And No Friday Workout, Testing Vertical Leap, Squat And Bench Press On Friday Of That Week):

      Monday:

      • 3-Steps + Jump Bilateral Jumps - 5 Sets x 3 Reps (3 Sets x 3 Reps Week 8)
      • Standing Broad Jumps - 4 Sets x 6 Reps (2 Sets x 6 Reps Week 8)
      • Tuck Jumps - 3 Sets x 10 Reps (2 Sets x 10 Reps Week 8)
      • On-Box Jumps - 4 Sets x 5 Reps (2 Sets x 5 Reps Week 8)

      • Weights:
      • Full Squats - 4 Sets x 6-8 Reps
      • Split Squats - 3 Sets x 8-10 Reps
      • Glute-Ham Raises - 3 Sets x 10-12 Reps
      • Bench Press - 4 Sets x 6-8 Reps
      • Rows - 4 Sets x 6-8 Reps
      • Lateral Raises - 3 Sets x 8-10 Reps
      • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Monday.
        print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Monday Week 8.

      Wednesday:

      • Weighted Pullups - 4 Sets x 6-8 Reps
      • Incline Bench Press - 4 Sets x 10-12 Reps
      • Barbell Curls - 3 Sets x 8-10 Reps
      • Skull Crushers - 3 Sets x 8-10 Reps
      • Calf Raises - 4 Sets x 6-8 Reps
      • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Wednesday.

      Friday:

      • Ankle Jumps - 5 Sets x 3 Reps (3 Sets x 3 Reps Week 8)
      • Standing Broad Jumps - 4 Sets x 6 Reps (2 Sets x 6 Reps Week 8)
      • Tuck Jumps - 3 Sets x 10 Reps (2 Sets x 10 Reps Week 8)
      • Low Drop Jumps - 4 Sets x 5 Reps (2 Sets x 5 Reps Week 8)

      • Weights:
      • Full Squats - 4 Sets x 6-8 Reps
      • Split Squats - 3 Sets x 8-10 Reps
      • Glute-Ham Raises - 3 Sets x 10-12 Reps
      • Bench Press - 4 Sets x 6-8 Reps
      • Rows - 4 Sets x 6-8 Reps
      • Lateral Raises - 3 Sets x 8-10 Reps
      • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Friday.
        print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Friday Week 8.

    Weeks 9-11 (Week 12 - Cut Volume In Half And No Friday Workout, Testing Vertical Leap, Squat And Bench Press On Friday Of That Week):

    Monday:

    Wednesday:

    • Weighted Pullups - 4 Sets x 6-8 Reps
    • Incline Bench Press - 4 Sets x 10-12 Reps
    • Barbell Curls - 3 Sets x 8-10 Reps
    • Skull Crushers - 3 Sets x 8-10 Reps
    • Calf Raises - 4 Sets x 6-8 Reps
    • Lateral Raises - 3 Sets x 8-10 Reps
    • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Wednesday.

    Friday:

    • 3-Steps + Jump Bilateral Jumps - 5 Sets x 3 Reps (3 Sets x 3 Reps Week 12)
    • Standing Broad Jumps - 4 Sets x 6 Reps (2 Sets x 6 Reps Week 12)
    • Depth Jumps - 4 Sets x 5 Reps (2 Sets x 5 Reps Week 12)
    • 30 Yard Sprints - 4 Sets

    • Weights:
    • Explosive Box Squats - 5 Sets x 2 Reps @ 50-60%
    • Jump Squats - 5 Sets x 5 Reps @ 15-20%
    • Snatch-Grip Deadlifts - 5 Sets x 5 Reps
    • Bench Press - 4 Sets x 6-8 Reps
    • Rows - 4 Sets x 6-8 Reps


Click To Enlarge.
Depth Jump.

Depth Jump Video Guide:
Windows Media Player Format (32 KB)
MPEG Format (216 KB)

Advanced Athlete:

    (Vertical Leap 31+ inches, Squat at least 1.5 times bodyweight, more than 1 year training experience)

    Weeks 1-3 & 5-7 (Week 4 & Week 8 - Cut Volume In Half And No Friday Workout, Testing Vertical Leap, Squat And Bench Press On Friday Of That Week):

      Monday:

      Wednesday:

      • Incline Bench Press - 4 Sets x 10-12 Reps
      • Barbell Curls - 4 Sets x 8-10 Reps
      • Skull Crushers - 4 Sets x 8-10 Reps
      • Barbell Shrugs - 4 Sets x 8-10 Reps
      • Lateral Raises - 3 Sets x 8-10 Reps
      • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Wednesday.

      Friday:

      • 3-Steps + Jump Bilateral Jumps - 5 Sets x 3 Reps (3 Sets x 3 Reps Week 4, 8)
      • High Depth Jumps - 4 Sets x 5 Reps
      • Drop Jumps - 4 Sets x 5 Reps
      • 40 Yard Sprints - 3 Sets

      • Weights:
      • Explosive Box Squats - 8 Sets x 2 Reps @ 50% (Rest 1 minute between sets)
      • Power Cleans - 6 Sets x 2 Reps (Rest 2-3 minutes between sets)
      • Bench Press - 3 Sets x Max Reps @ 65-80% of 1RM
      • Chin-Ups - 3 Sets x 10-12 Reps
      • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Friday.
        print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Friday Week 4, 8.

    This 8-week cycle would be used right before the season begins in order to maximize athletic ability when you need it. You would need to take a week off after this (preferably 1 week before the season) in order to maximize your gains.


Benefits:
What are the benefits of plyometrics?

To clear a myth up, plyometrics are not made for improving conditioning or endurance. They are specifically designed for improving reactive strength, explosive strength and the like. Plyometrics offer a wide array of benefits ranging from improved vertical leap, improved sprinting speed, better explosiveness, improved ability to absorb force and better agility.

Plyometrics are meant to be performed fast and with long rest periods for those reasons. Too often you see athletes trying to do 5 sets of 10 depth jumps with 1 minute of rest in between. In the long run, you would not be able to benefit at all from plyometrics if you trained this way.


Who Benefits The Most? Who would get the most benefit out of plyometrics? Any specific athletes?

Generally speaking, basketball and football players usually get the most out of plyometrics due to the nature of both sports. Basketball itself is inherently plyometric because of all the jumping and short sprints involved during a game.

In football, plyometrics would be most valuable to wide receivers, running backs, tight ends, safeties and similar positions because the most running and jumping is done from those positions. Track and field athletes also benefit greatly from plyometrics because it allows them to take all their strength that they build in the weight room and improve certain abilities that sprinting cannot do on its own.

Surprisingly, there is one group of athletes that most people think cannot benefit from plyometrics. However, if used correctly they can see incredible gains. These athletes are also known as bodybuilders. There is one other benefit of plyometrics that usually only works for bodybuilders - muscle growth.

Bodybuilders are so used to slow training in the weight room that after a while the body becomes used to it and shock methods must be employed to stimulate further growth. One of these shock methods that bodybuilders almost never use is plyometrics.

Plyometrics stimulate the fast-twitch muscle fibers, which as we all know have the greatest potential for muscle growth. Dr. J. Simoneau and Dr. C. Bouchard said that you can control 40% of your muscle fiber type which means that you can convert a lot of your slow-twitch muscle fibers into fast-twitch fibers with proper training.

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Studies have shown that bodybuilders who used plyometrics for the first time (such as depth jumps and sprints) immediately broke plateaus in calf and quadriceps development as fast-twitch fibers were stimulated. The same principle can be applied to other body parts, especially the upper body.

Here are some of the best plyometrics exercises for certain body parts that should be applied to stimulate further growth.

Chest:

  • Clap Pushups
  • Medicine Ball Chest Pass


Click Image To Enlarge.
Clapping Pushup.

Clapping Pushup Video Guide:
Windows Media (235 KB)
MPEG (775 KB)


Click Image To Enlarge.
Medicine Ball Chest Pass.

Medicine Ball Chest Pass Video Guide:
Windows Media (972 KB)

Calves:

  • Depth Jumps
  • Ankle Hops
  • Most Lower Body Plyometrics

Quadriceps & Hamstrings:

  • Sprints
  • Jump Squats (No weight or very light dumbbells)


How Often? How many times per week should plyometrics be performed?

Dr. Verkhoshansky's original guidelines for plyometrics were that advanced athletes should not perform more than 40 reps of depth jumps or depth drops per workout and should not perform more than 3 such workouts per week, with at least 1 full day in between each workout day. That means at least 48 hours in between workouts and a maximum of 120 reps of depth jumps or their variations per week.

High intensity plyometrics such as depth and drop jumps should not be performed year round because their effects will not be as great. They should be used to peak athletic performance when you need it most. Based on those guidelines, plyometrics should be performed approximately 2-3 times per week.

I would start 3 times per week when you are beginning because the intensity of the exercises is much lower so your body can handle it rather easily but as you become a more advanced athlete I would stick to 2 times per week of high intensity low volume plyometrics such as depth jumps and sprints.

Also, the guidelines change if you want to perform plyometrics in-season. In that case, I would perform 3-4 sets of a depth/drop/on-box jump variation once a week to maintain reactive strength. You won't need much more than this especially if you play a sport like football or basketball.


2nd Place - ravadongon
What Are Plyometrics?

You've probably heard the word 'plyometrics' thrown around before and maybe you don't know what people really mean when they talk about plyometric exercise. Well here's your chance to find out.

A plyometric exercise is any exercise in which a group of muscles are stretched before contracting; i.e. when a group of muscles are contracted eccentrically (lengthening of muscle fibers) then immediately concentrically (shortening of muscle fibers). Common examples of plyometric movements are sprinting, jumping, leaping and bounding.


Workout:
What is the best plyometrics workout? Be specific.

There is no single best plyometric workout, as plyometric exercises and routines can be used to satisfy different goals. Below are examples of workouts that will help fulfill your varying goals:

Goal = Speed:

    5 min low intensity warm-up (e.g. jogging, cycling, bodyweight calisthenics circuit etc.) + dynamic stretching

  • Standing Triple Jump - 2 x 10 reps (2-3 min rest/set)
  • Box Jumps OR Depth Jumps - 2 x 10 reps (2-3 min rest/set)
  • Overhead Throw (Med Ball) - 2 x 10 reps (2 min rest/set)
  • 10m sprint x 5 (1 min rest/set)
  • 20m sprint x 4 (2 min rest/set)
  • 30m sprint x 3 (3 min rest/set)
  • 40m sprint x 2 (4 min rest/set)
  • 50m sprint x 1

  • Click Image To Enlarge.
    Overhead Throw.

    print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Speed Workout.

Goal = Increased Vertical Jump:

    5 min low intensity warm-up (e.g. jogging, cycling, bodyweight calisthenics circuit etc.) + dynamic stretching

  • Lunge Cycle Jumps - 2 x 10 reps (2 min rest/set)
  • Box Jumps OR Depth Jumps - 2 x 10 reps (2-3 min rest/set)
  • Tuck Jump - 2 x 10 reps (2-3 min rest/set)
  • 5m sprint x 4 (30 sec rest/set)
  • 10m sprint x 3 (1 min rest/set)
  • 20m sprint x 2 (2 min rest/set)
  • 30m sprint x 1

  • Click To Enlarge.
    Lunge Cycle Jump.

    print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Vertical Jump Workout.

Goal = GPP/Recovery:

    5 min low intensity warm-up (e.g. jogging, cycling, bodyweight calisthenics circuit etc.) + dynamic stretching

    1-3 circuits with 10-30 seconds rest between exercises

  • Burpees x 30 seconds
  • Mountain Climbers x 30 seconds
  • Skipping Rope OR Jumping Jacks x 30 seconds
  • Split Shuffle x 30 seconds

  • Burpee.


    Mountain Climber.


    Split Shuffle.

    print Click Here For A Printable Log Of GPP/Recovery Workout.

    OR

    5 min low intensity warm-up (e.g. jogging, cycling, bodyweight calisthenics circuit etc.) + dynamic stretching

    As many circuits possible in 12 minutes, minimize rest periods

  • Squat Push Press (Med Ball) x 10 reps
  • Backward Overhead Throw (Med Ball) x 10 reps
  • Forward Overhead Throw (Med Ball) x 10 reps
  • Burpees w/push-up x 10 reps

  • Squat Push Press.

    print Click Here For A Printable Log Of GPP/Recovery Workout.


Benfits:
What are the benefits of plyometrics?

Performing high intensity, low volume plyometric workouts (e.g. the first two workouts listed) will help improve your stretch shortening cycle ability (conversion of potential energy in the concentric phase to kinetic energy in the eccentric phase - elastic energy) your max rate of force development (how long it takes to generate maximum force), as well as your jumping technique and muscle co-ordination.

Performing low intensity, high volume plyometric (e.g. the last two workouts listed) workouts will help improve your GPP, increasing your overall work capacity and conditioning level as well as promoting active recovery from your high intensity days (e.g. weightlifting and sprinting/plyometric sessions).

Performing plyometric workouts of both types, along with a solid weight training program concentrating on compound free weight exercises such as squats, deadlifts, SLDL, rows, chin ups, bench press, dips etc. you will see significant improvement in your overall performance.


Who Benefits The Most?
Who would get the most benefit out of plyometrics? Any specific athletes?

All athletes involved in speed and power dominated sports (e.g. football, basketball, baseball, soccer, rugby, boxing, MMA, Aussie Rules, hockey, tennis etc.) can get benefit out of high intensity, low volume plyometric workouts (e.g. speed and vertical jump) as well as low intensity, high volume plyometric workouts, which will also benefit endurance athletes (e.g. middle and long distance runners, triathletes, swimmers etc.) and even bodybuilders, as a form of cardiovascular training.

So really anyone and everyone can benefit from engaging in some sort of plyometric workout in their training schedules.


How Often?
How many times per week should plyometrics be performed?

Plyometric workouts can be performed anywhere from 1-3 days per week.

High intensity, low volume plyometric workouts, should be performed 1-2 times per week by well conditioned athletes only, ideally on the same day as you perform your weight training (another high intensity activity).

Just make sure you space both workouts through the day so you are able to recover from both (don't do them together or straight after), generally more than 8 hours, is a good guideline. The spacing between high intensity days should be 48 hours minimum (i.e. every other day at least).

Low intensity, high volume, GPP conditioning/recovery plyometric workouts can be performed 3-4 times a week, ideally on your 'off days' to promote active recovery from your high intensity days and help build up your work capacity.

An example of a schedule for an 'off season' athlete would look something like this (an 'in season' athlete would require a reduction in workload):

    Monday (AM): HI/LV Plyometric Workout (speed or vertical jump)
    Monday (PM): Weight Training

    Tuesday (AM): Skills Training
    Tuesday (PM): LI/HV Plyometric Workout (GPP/Recovery)

    Wednesday: Weight Training

    Thursday (AM): LI/HV Plyometric Workout (GPP/Recovery)
    Thursday (PM): Skills Training

    Friday (AM): Weight Training
    Friday (PM): HI/LV Plyometric Workout (speed or vertical jump)

    Saturday (AM): LI/HV Plyometric Workout (GPP/Recovery)
    Saturday (PM): Skills Training

    Sunday: REST

If you would like to perform the high intensity plyometric workouts but you are not conditioned enough to do so, I would recommend building up a good strength base in the weights room with compound free weight exercises, as well as performing GPP/recovery workouts on your 'off days,' to build up your conditioning to your desired level, rather than jumping straight into things (no pun intended!) and inflicting an injury on yourself.

Take care and best of luck with your training,
Ravadongon

Links:


3rd Place - bigcalves
What Is The Best Plyometrics Workout?


Introduction

To most people, Plyometrics is a foreign concept. What exactly is it? The dictionary defines it as the process of muscular activity, which involves the eccentric loading of a muscle, followed by an immediate concentric unloading of a muscle. What does that mean?

Imagine a jump? You go all the way down, then explode all the way up. This is it. The word sounds so complicated, but it's easier to understand. Now, it's not only jumping up and down, but there are tons of different exercises that are designed with the same basic theory.

It's an effective method for athletes to improve. It originally came from Easter Europe. Most Olympic athletes used it, and scientists/researchers and trainers began to notice the strength and explosiveness that the athletes got. As research came about, plyometric exercises began to become more and more popular.

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More and more athletes took advantage of the benefits from this workout. In this article we will discuss the benefits, and I will pinpoint selected exercises and workouts so you too, can apply this highly effective method of training.


Workout:
What is the best plyometrics workout?

Plyometrics is the eccentric loading of muscle, followed by concentric unloading. So the best workout would be a jump. But now depending on what you want to achieve, what sport your play and what your goal is the workout will vary. Here is the best plyometric workout that will benefit you the greatest.

Here are a few exercises. You will apply them 3 days a week, preferable after a low intensity aerobic workout. These will benefit you greatly.

You will apply these workouts every MON WED and FRI.

Lower Body:

    90 Second Drill:

      Get a box that's about 1.5-2 feet high. Start out by standing in an athletic position with feet shoulder length apart, and begin to jump on and off the box. Remember to suck in your feet, and try to get your knees to touch your chest as you jump. Perform this in 3 sets of 90-second jumps. This will work mainly your legs. It's great for vertical jumps and explosive sports such as sprinting.

    Drop Jumping:

      This is basically the same concept as jumping on the box, but this time the starting position is the top of the box. You jump down and go all the way down and stretch what is mainly your hamstring and calves. This is great for explosive sports and perfect for getting that vertical jump up, and finally making those dunks!

Upper Body:

    Press Ups:

      This is a fancy way of saying a push-up. Except you will clap on the way up, and then let your chest drop and feel that eccentric, stretching of the muscle. It works the upper body, obviously hits the chest, shoulders and arms. It also hits your core and that's perfect. It's great for sports such as basketball and boxing.

    Medicine Ball Push:

      A partner will drop a medicine ball on you. You will catch it, and stretch out your muscles. Then push it back and repeat for 90 seconds. Have about 3 sets of this. Again we are going back to the jump up/jump down theory. It's basically all the same because it has the same method, except it's not on your lower body; instead you are hitting the upper body with the highly beneficial method of plyometrics.

Medicine Ball Push Medicine Ball Push Medicine Ball Push
Click Image To Enlarge.
Medicine Ball Push.

Medicine Ball Push Video Guide:
Windows Media (267 KB)
MPEG (1.8 MB)


Benefits:
What are the benefits of plyometrics?

Plyometrics give you more flexibility and endurance. It helps to give that explosive factor that athletes need. I mean, unless your sport is chess, you can somehow benefit by plyometrics. It's great since it conditions slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscle fibers. Provides a nice stretch and helps make the ligaments and tendons stronger so the risk of injury is highly reduced.


Who Benefits The Most? Who would get the most benefit out of plyometrics? Any specific athletes?

All athletes can get benefits. Even bodybuilders can experience better flexibility. Power lifters can experience a slight increase in agility and a small increase in poundage, but at their level 5-pound increase can mean a win or a loss.

Basketball players can greatly benefit by increasing their vertical jump, adding strength to their legs and increasing the endurance factor for all those countless jumps on court. By following the upper body workout, boxers can increase their flexibility and endurance in their upper body to help them take advantage in those late round moments where it's all on the line.

Aside from professional and amateur athletes, everyone else can benefit. Small children perform plyometrics unknowingly on the play ground every day. In turn they are more flexible, healthier and active. Senior citizens can greatly benefit by doing a slower, less intense of the workout but still getting the good flexible and energetic effects.


How Often?
How many times per week should plyometrics be performed?

As I showed in my workout section, you should do it 1-3 times a week. Preferably 1 time upper and 1 time lower body. Along with weight training this will greatly improve your strength, flexibility and overall performance. If you do it more than 3 times a week you might get over trained since that won't be the only thing your doing.

I strongly recommend doing it 2 times a week, along with cardio and a regular weight lifting split. I guarantee you that you will notice results and that your will improve, in the gym and on the court.

This method of training, or should I say aid to training, has been around for about 40 years and every athlete that has tried it has reported the impressive results that they get. Incorporate this into your workouts and you won't be sorry!

Good Luck!

Reference:


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josh_a

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    More research on content length acceptable to the publisher (read articles they already publish), better conversational style and more readable structure will help bring this work to the next level.


bp221

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biggold89

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What Is The Best Plyometrics Workout?

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MiroMido

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MiroMido

how long i take rest between reps?

Mar 24, 2013 6:48am | report
 
Rozen30

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Rozen30

no rest between reps.

Jul 9, 2013 12:01am | report
Rozen30

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Rozen30

How long should the rest between sets be?

Jul 9, 2013 12:01am | report
 
DL3315

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DL3315

This is just a lower body workout program, right? (Referring to the beginner workout in 1st place) And can I do this during basketball season? Games havent started yet. Practice on mon, tue and thurs

Oct 21, 2013 11:20am | report
 
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