There is great variability possible in plyometrics, limited only by knowledge and creativity of the coach or practitioner. Choose exercises that simulate part or all of the movements used in the sport. Choosing the safest and most effective exercises requires an intimate knowledge of movement in a given sport, and the direction force must be applied to facilitate the movement. An experienced strength and conditioning coach or trainer who doesn’t specialize in your particular sport can watch video of a sport and pick up on the main movements requiring speed and decide which specific plyometric exercises can be chosen. If an athlete has a particularly weak area of his or her game, emphasis can be placed on that movement.
Plyometrics for lower body can include: jumping, bounding, rebounding after dropping from a height (depth drops), weight-release jumps, hopping on one leg. Any of these can be performed for vertical height or vertical distance. They can also be performed in place, forward, backward or laterally. To perform weight-release jumps, hold weights in the hands and drop them as the feet leave the ground during the jump. The idea in all these methods is to rebound as rapidly as possible.
Upper body and midsection plyometrics include some of the same techniques, but primarily use medicine balls for catching and throwing in various directions with a partner, bouncing off a wall or rebounding trampoline or doing twisting movements with a medicine ball with ropes.
Volume and intensity of plyometric training must initially be low and increase over time. Within the athletes’ program, the volume of training and the intensity are inversely proportional. Bounding drills are less intense than single-leg hops, which are less intense than depth drops. The intensity of depth drops is directly proportional to the height of the jumping platform. In medicine-ball drills, intensity varies directly with the weight of the ball and the speed with which it is thrown, bounced or dropped. Continue reading “Plyometric Training Basics. Part 2” »