Plyometrics is a type of workout that relies on higher intensity, faster movements, jumping higher, and doing bigger movements. It is an excellent workout when you want to burn a lot of fat and calories, while also building muscle. It can also be a lot of fun as something different to do other than traditional cardio or weight training workouts.
Here are some things to know about plyometrics.
Examples of Plyometric Exercises
Some of the best examples of plyometrics exercises are games that were designed for children. These include certain movements in activities like those in jump rope, double Dutch, hop scotch, and jumping jacks.
Impact exercises like these can help greatly to contribute to the strength of bone by stimulating a slight increase in bone density. While very similar in theory, plyometric training for children is very different than that of adult athletes.
Children’s bodies have not yet developed the bone density or muscle power to execute deep jumps and squats. When doing the exercises, a good rule to follow is that muscles can be used to jolt upwards or outwards but landings should always be controlled and softer.
Parts of Plyometric Exercise
Plyometric exercises have two parts. The first part, is the lengthening phase, where your muscles are stretched out much like a rubber band that is going to be released.
The second portion is the shortening phase, where the energy is released. It is characterized by an explosive or sudden contraction of the muscle. Over time, an athlete will be able to increase their power enough to allow them to jump higher and farther than they were previously able to jump.
How Athletes Use Them
Professional athletes typically use plyometrics for training. Athletes need to be able to jump, grab a ball, and do a variety of intense physical activities, from soccer to baseball.
Athletes that are at this high level of performance are expected to have extreme control in unpredictable circumstances. During the course of a single game, a player may be called upon to jump for a ball, hurdle an opponent, sprint in a sudden opposing direction, and protect an object with their hands. Plyometrics are completely essential to running, jumping, and landing with composure and balance.
You can either join a gym that offers plyometrics or do home workouts with DVDs. Try working out with a friend to gain a little more momentum.