The primary goal of all strength training methods is to help an individual reach peak performance. To achieve this, the most important quality an athlete needs is power. One of the most effective means of training for power is through plyometric training. If you aren’t sure what plyometric training is or what it can do for your fitness goals, continue reading to find out!
What is Plyometric Training?
Unlike typical strength training exercises that involve long, slow movements designed to increase muscular strength and mass, plyometric training consists of quick, explosive movements designed to increase speed and power. Plyometric exercises involve a stretch of the muscles, immediately followed by a contraction of the same muscle group, which is why it’s sometimes referred to as jump training.
Some examples of Plyometric exercises include:
Benefits of Plyometric Training
Strengthens Muscle Fibers
In order to increase your power, you need to increase and strengthen the muscle fibers that are responsible for converting strength into speed. These fibers are referred to as fast-twitch fibers, and plyometric training can strengthen them and increase the ratio of fast-twitch fibers to slow-twitch in your body. The stronger the fast-twitch fiber, the faster the muscle contraction, which leads to an increase in power.
Increases Muscle Tendon Strength and Reduces Injury
Stronger tendons mean fewer injuries. Plyometric training strengthens the tendons and improves their elasticity by placing stress on them in a controlled setting. There are numerous studies that support the use of plyometric exercises to reduce injury.
Makes You Faster
The stretch-shortening cycle is put into action every time your muscles stretch rapidly. When this happens, a signal is sent from your brain to your muscles via your neuromuscular system. The more efficiently your neuromuscular system can transmit this signal, the faster you can contract and relax your muscles, which in turn increases your speed and power. Plyometric training improves the efficiency of this system.
In summary, plyometric training will improve your speed and power, while also improving your coordination and agility too. If you would like to learn more about plyometric training or would like to schedule a consultation with a personal trainer, please contact us today!