COMBINING STRENGTH AND SPEED BY BUILDING MORE EXPLOSIVE-REACTIVE POWER
Functional plyometric strength training will enhance the relationship between maximum strength and explosive power. It is not a general fitness activity. It is highly specialized.
Plyometric training can best be described as “explosive-reactive” power training. This type of training involves powerful muscular contractions in response to a rapid stretching of the involved musculature. This rapid stretching (loading) of the muscles activates the myotactic reflex, which sends a strong stimulus through the spinal cord to the muscles. This stimulus causes them to contract powerfully.
"DEVELOP POWER YOU CAN USE!"
The stretching of the muscles, prior to the explosive contraction that follows, is often referred to as "loading". The faster and greater the load, the more powerful the myotactic reflex and subsequent contraction. Plyometrics refers to any activity or movement that enables a muscle to reach maximum force in the shortest possible time. The muscle is loaded with an eccentric (lengthening) action, followed immediately by a concentric (shortening) action.
A good example would be to jump off a 10-15 inch platform, hit the ground and immediately jump up onto a 25 inch platform. The landing from the lower platform loads the legs quick enough to create the stretch reflex (myotactic reflex), needed in plyometric training. The response to this greater load is a greater contraction by the legs and a higher jump height. For maximum effectiveness, plyometric training needs to be trained in conjunction with other power-development methods.
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Correct technique in execution of exercises and proper progression must be emphasized for maximum training effect. If not, there is a higher risk of injury and minimum training effect. The goal of plyometric training is to have minimum risk of injury and maximum training effect.
Plyometric training is only one form of power training. A true plyometric exercise must contain a very fast loading phase. That is, for the stretch reflex to invoke a powerful contraction, it must occur very fast.
Remember, plyometric strength training is highly specialized and very demanding. Inappropriate use of plyometric training has been associated with "over-use" injuries such as patellar and Achillies tendinitus as well as plantar faciitus. Don't do this type of high intensity training without consulting a plyometric professional (such as a CERTIFIED STRENGTH and CONDITIONING SPECIALIST). The key to safe participation in plyometric training is professional supervision and proper progression.
"HIGH-POWERED PLYOMETRIC TRAINING"
Plyometric training is a staple of every great strength and conditioning program. By performing these 'jump-stretch' workouts, you will train your body to jump higher, run faster and become a more powerful athlete.
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