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  • Writer's picturePatrick Dossor

Boosting Your Game: How Plyometrics Can Amp Up Your Performance

Updated: Nov 30, 2023


Athlete completing a box jump demonstrating how Modern Plyometrics Can Amp Up Your Performance

Ever wondered how athletes seem to effortlessly soar through the air or zip across the field with lightning speed? The secret might lie in plyometric training – a fancy term for explosive, high-impact exercises that can supercharge your performance in sports [1]. From skyrocketing jumps to lightning-fast sprints, plyometrics is like a turbo boost for your athletic abilities.


Picture this: you're on the basketball court, eyeing that basket. Plyometric exercises like box jumps and squat jumps can help you come closer to touching the basketball ring for a dunk [3]. These moves tap into your muscles' built-in spring mechanism called the stretch-shortening cycle, letting you generate more power and explode into higher jumps.


When it comes to raw power, think of it as your athletic engine's horsepower. Plyometrics can crank up that horsepower. Plyometric movements focus on your fast-twitch muscle fibers – the ones responsible for quick bursts of energy [2]. By training these fibres, you can rev up your sprinting speed, agility, and overall athletic ability.


But there's more – let's talk about ankle stiffness. It might not sound glamorous, but it's a game-changer. Plyometric exercises like pogos and lateral bounds are like armour for your ankles [4]. They strengthen the muscles around your ankle joints, giving you better stability and helping prevent injuries when you're pushing your limits.


And of course, we can't overlook speed. Plyometrics is your secret weapon here too. By zeroing in on rapid movements and explosive actions, you can fine-tune your stride length and frequency [5]. The result? A sprinting ability to beat anyone and the ability to change direction on a dime.


Now, before you start jumping into plyometrics, remember this: technique, progression, and listening to your body are crucial. It's a high-energy training style, and you want to avoid burnout or injury. It's a great idea to work with a coach or a trainer who knows the ropes before diving into a plyometric program.


So, if you're ready to take your game to the next level – whether you're chasing a ball, hitting the track, or just aiming for your personal best – plyometrics might just be your ticket to athletic greatness.


 

References:

  1. Ramirez-Campillo, R., Meylan, C., Alvarez, C., Henriquez-Olguín, C., Martínez, C., Cañas-Jamett, R., ... & Izquierdo, M. (2014). The effects of interday rest on adaptation to 6 weeks of plyometric training in young soccer players. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 28(11), 2970-2976.

  2. Sedano Campo, S., Vaeyens, R., Philippaerts, R. M., & Redondo, J. C. (2009). Effects of lower-limb plyometric training on body composition, explosive strength, and kicking speed in female soccer players. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 23(6), 1714-1722.

  3. Markovic, G. (2007). Does plyometric training improve vertical jump height? A meta-analytical review. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 41(6), 349-355.

  4. Chaouachi, A., Hammami, R., Kaabi, S., Chamari, K., Drinkwater, E. J., & Behm, D. G. (2014). Olympic weightlifting and plyometric training with children provides similar or greater performance improvements than traditional resistance training. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 28(6), 1483-1496.

  5. Malisoux, L., Francaux, M., Nielens, H., Renard, P., & Theisen, D. (2006). Stretch-shortening cycle exercises: an effective training paradigm to enhance power output of human single muscle fibers. Journal of Applied Physiology, 100(3), 771-779.

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