It is recommended that people have 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week. But the part of this advice that people often ignore is that we should do muscle-building exercises twice a week.
When we think of muscle-strengthening exercises, we often imagine people lifting weights in the gym. But there are actually many ways to build muscle that don’t involve going to the gym. For example, carrying shopping bags from the car or even walking uphill can help us build strength.
Athletes often improve their strength and performance through a method called plyometric training. This includes any exercise that uses jumps, jumps, or leaps. The goal of plyometric training is to train the muscles, tendons and nervous system to better utilize their elastic energy. This allows athletes to have faster, more powerful movements that require less muscle effort to perform. So if a sprinter practices plyometric training, they may find it easier to reach their top speed and maintain it during runs.
But while we might think plyometric training is a type of exercise only athletes should do, it can actually have health benefits for everyone, whether you’re a beginner or an avid exerciser. exercise.
Benefits for the whole body
“Explosiveness” – which helps athletes jump higher or sprint a bit faster – isn’t the only benefit of plyometric exercises.
Studies have shown that plyometric training improves strength, muscle size and muscle speednext to improve coordination. These changes can all lead to best athletic performance – improved jumping, sprinting, strength and even endurance.
And it’s not just athletes who will benefit from plyometric training. Research shows that older people who perform plyometric exercises (such as vertical jumps) are better able to jump and climb stairs compared to those who only do strength training or walking. It has also been shown to improve posture, bone health and reduce body fat in the elderly.
In adolescents, jumping rope (a form of plyometric training) improves strength, flexibility and bone density. For adults, it can help improve everything from jumping and sprinting ability to lower body strength. it can even get better cardiovascular fitness and flexibility in men and bone density in women.
Since plyometric exercises help improve coordination, they are also commonly used to help people avoid and recover from injuries.
What there is to know
Although plyometric training can be very beneficial, it can also cause injury if the exercises are performed incorrectly.
In the past, it was suggested that people shouldn’t perform plyometric training if they couldn’t squat one and a half times their body weight – in addition to being able to balance on one leg in position half-squatting for 30 seconds. This could be relevant for more advanced types of plyometric training such as drop jumps (where you drop a platform on one or both legs and quickly jump back on impact) and delimitation (run with a long, bouncy step). But there are many types of plyometric training, which even beginners can do.
For example, activities such as jump rope are lower in intensity – so they impact our muscles and bones less than other types of plyometric training (like jogging). Many people are probably already doing plyometric exercises without realizing it.
The risk of injury with plyometric training increases with landing strength – so exercises such as drop jumps and jumps should be avoided until you have more strength. But if plyometric training is done in a way that suits your abilities, it has a low risk of injury.
If you want to try plyometric training, there are a few moves you need to master to reduce your risk of injury.
First, learn how to land properly. When you land, he should be on a full foot with ankles, knees, and hips bent to absorb the force. You can work this by simply balancing on one leg and then lightly jumping and landing on both. To progress, try balancing on one leg but landing on the opposite leg when jumping.
Once you’ve learned how to land, it’s important to learn how to jump. Choose an object of appropriate height that you feel comfortable jumping on – like a small step – and practice jumping and landing techniques to properly absorb impact.
When you have mastered landing and jumping, you can move on to jumping in place repeatedly, like jumping. Start with two feet at a time and progress by alternating single legs. As you become more confident and proficient, you can then begin to increase the height of repeated jumps in certain places, such as squat jumps (perform a squat as usual, but explode into a jump at the top of the movement) and tuck jumps (similar to a squat jump, but tucking your legs into your chest at the top of your jump). To go further, try jumping forward or sideways. Remember that the main goal of plyometric training is to be elastic. That’s why it’s important to aim to be “springy” on all your jumps.
The most demanding plyometrics are known as shock jumps or deep jumps. These consist of dropping a bench or box (usually more than 30 cm) on the ground and performing an instant jump. These jumps will have high landing forces and should only be done when you have mastered all the other techniques and can do them with confidence.
Plyometric training is a cost effective and fast form of exercise that can improve your health and fitness. If you want to try plyometric training, try doing plyometric exercises one to three times a week.