If you are bored with your regular weight lifting and daily slogging on the elliptical machine, Plyometrics is exactly what you need to add the thrill to your workout routines. The addition of Plyometrics will not only break the monotony of your workout sessions but also enhance it, and you will see the results sooner.
What is Plyometrics?
Even though Plyometrics are done to boost strength and endurance it is way different from the typical long and slow strength building exercises. Plyometrics involve fast and explosive movements that primarily improve the power of an individual thus boosting stamina and strength. A plyometric move has three phases-
- The speedy muscle lengthening movement which is known as the eccentric phase.
- The brief relaxing phase or breather is known as the amortization phase.
- And finally, the concentric phase wherein the individual shortens his/her muscles rapidly.
Plyometrics, or “jump” training focuses on reducing the amortization phase or the time between every eccentric and concentric movement. Quite overtly, this is a strenuous training process and it takes some amount of time to build endurance, power, and strength.
A Guide to Beginners
There is a wide range of plyometric exercises to choose from. Some are well suited for strength building, some for fat loss, some for building muscles, etc. There are some moves which might not require any equipment whereas some may need a plyo box. Plyometric boxes are readily available in the market and even online. They come in different materials, hard and soft and also with adjustable heights. You can also construct plyo boxes at home which are more versatile, convenient and inexpensive. But before you engage in this training process, here are some tips for you to look into:
- It is important that you are in the presence of a professional when you start out. Correct technique is a significant aspect. The wrong technique can not only be ineffective but also lead to injuries.
- If you have bone problems, consult a doctor before you start jumping.
- Build your workout routine gradually. Start slow with small sets.
- Warm up and cool down before and after your plyometric workout session.
- Wear proper footwear and you can also use ankle and knee straps for more support.
- Choose your plyo box carefully. Look out for splinters and balance which can cause harm.
- Remember to rest between your sets.
- Prepare your body before you engage in Plyometrics training since it can be taxing on your joints and tendons. Stretch and do cardio so that your body becomes ready to take the strain.
Here are some of the moves that you can start off your Plyometrics training with as a beginner:
- Power Skipping
- Lateral Jumps
- Squat Jumps
- Alternate Leg Bounding
- Tuck Jumps
- Box Jumps
- Plyometric Pushup
- Vertical Depth Jump
Why Do Plyometrics?
As the old saying goes, “you reap as you sow”, Plyometrics can be taxing on your body but the results are terrific. Here is how your body will evolve if you engage in Plyometrics:
- Improved cardiovascular health.
- Better coordinated muscle and nerve fibers.
- Fat loss and boosted metabolic rate.
- The body becomes lean and toned since Plyometrics engage the major muscles of the upper and lower body.
- The muscle fibers or fast twitch fibers get strengthened and speeded up and as a result, strength is converted to speed more efficiently which enhances power.
- Tendons become stronger which reduces the risk of injuries.
- Improved balance.
- Developed athletic performance.
- Also, Plyometrics is a very versatile training course and hence no matter if you are a printer or footballer or just a fitness enthusiast, you are sure to benefit from it.
Plyometrics are a great way to become fit but do keep in mind the safety precautions. You do not have to engage in long ardent hours of Plyometrics, a maximum of an hour with warm-ups and cool downs are enough for a beginner. As you progress to the intermediate and advanced levels, you can perk up your plyometric box workouts by adding lifts. But remember to start slow and steady and be considerate about your bones and joints.