Almost in every athletic sport speed and strength are the core components of athletic movements. In other words, speed + strength = power. Throughout the years, running, jumping and bounding have been used in different ways to improve athletic performance.
The origin of the word "plyometrics" is unknown, but we do know that the method of training is to enhance the "explosive" reaction through quick and powerful contractions or movements.
The maximum amount of force a muscle can attain occurs during a rapid contraction. Muscles rarely perform only one type of contraction in isolation during athletic movements. When a muscle contracts (muscle shortens) immediately followed by an eccentric contraction (lengthening of a muscle) then the force generated can be greatly increased. How plyometrics works is through the process of generating great amounts of force in the least or shortest amount of time possible. This is the foundation of plyometric training, generating great amounts of force in the shortest amount of time.
In all training programs, specificity in training is a must. That is the movements that you perform in this kind of training has to closely match what you'll perform in your athletic event. Before doing any kind of plyometric training an athlete should have a firm foundation in strength and endurance conditioning. Further, experts state that a good weight-training regimen is the prerequisite to plyometric training. Being thoroughly prepared for this intense training helps you body adjust to the pressure that is placed on the musculoskeletal system. On the other hand, less intense plyometric training can be used periodically or as a way to introduce plyometrics to younger/inexperienced athletes.
To illustrate how plyometric training can be implemented in your weight-training regimen, a sample work-out has been included in this article.
1 a) Bench Press: 3 sets of 10 super setting with explosive bench press.
2 a) Explosive Bench Press: 3 sets of 10.- Plyometric training.
1 minute of jumping rope or 10 box jumps.
1 a) Rows: 3 sets of 10.
2 a) Pull-ups: 3 sets of 10.
15 long jumps.
In this sample work-out the movements are explosive to create greater muscle stimulation. Athletes aren't the only ones who can benefit from plyometrics, so can the average working man or woman. If done properly, athletes will see greater improvements in their performance and physique.