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Increase Explosive Muscle Power with Plyometrics

May 4, 2011 Print This ArticleShare

Author: Michael Greeves


Training for Strength & Power

Plyometrics is a form of exercise that has been created to increase explosive muscle power in an athlete. When used in training, plyometrics produces fast and powerful movement in the athlete and improves the nervous system, also increasing the performance of that athlete. Therefore, when applied, plyometrics training makes a runner run faster, a jumper jump higher and a boxer pack more punch. The thing about plyometrics training is that it is not like other more traditional forms of training; it is one which focuses on performance and is done quickly and explosively. Muscles are lengthened and shortened in rapid succession and this method has been shown to have numerous benefits for the athlete.

An athlete who is looking to improve performance by increasing explosive muscle power within the shortest time possible should perform some plyometrics training several times a week. Studies have shown that this type of training can improve athletic performance in almost any type of sport including mma, soccer, hockey, running, cycling and boxing amongst others.

There are different types of plyometric exercises that can be performed to increase explosive muscle power in an athlete and the list is almost inexhaustible including water plyometrics. However, a good plyometric workout would probably involve some jumping, hopping and bounding exercises.

Even though plyometric exercises are most often used by athletes to improve their performance, it is also used by those who just want to boost their overall fitness. However, without proper training, plyometric exercises can be harmful with the danger of injury. This can be avoided if proper stretch and warm up exercises are carried out before the plyometrics begin and if sufficient time is given to cool down afterwards. Protective gear such as cushioned shoes should also be used during plyometrics training.

Also, before a training session begins involving plyometrics, careful planning needs to take place. This is because each person is different and so are the goals. A runner would have a different set of muscles to develop than a boxer for instance and the fitness goals of an athlete are often different from that of people who are just looking to get generally fit.

Sometimes, minor injuries occur during plyometric exercises and when that happens, it is important to see a doctor. As in any form of training, if an injury occurs, no matter how minor, the muscles should be rested until they are better. Applying an ice pack could also solve the problem. There are also pain relievers that could be used to ease the ache of an injured muscle, however, be sure to study them carefully and use those associated with less side effects.

When plyometric training is first introduced, the effects are generally negative in the first few weeks thereafter, but with constant training it gradually turns positive as you see your performance begin to improve greatly. It is not generally recommended that plyometrics be done as a sole form of training; it should also be combined with other forms of training such as weight lifting to balance the effect plyometrics has on the muscles.

Introducing plyometrics to a training routine is essential if you want to increase explosive muscle power and exponentially improve performance. Before you begin any plyometric exercise though, don't forget to do some stretch exercises and warm up adequately. The same goes for cooling down afterward. In this way, you will easily avoid unnecessary injury.



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