May 19, 2020, by Charlotte Gauja

Training Methods: Plyometrics

During our training methods series, University of Nottingham Sport’s fitness instructor, Cameron Whitham, will provide advise around specific training methods that you may wish to incorporate into your training routine. This week, Cam focuses on plyometric training.

Power is the ability to exert maximum muscular contraction in explosive bursts of movement. The two components of power are strength and speed. For example, jumping or a sprint start.

A way to improve power is to use plyometric training, this is used to improve leg power for most sports. This is done by using the stretch reflex to ensure that you use more muscle fibres during the specific movements. Plyometric training needs the participant to use maximum force during concentric contraction (shortening of the muscle) and then immediate maximum force during eccentric contraction (lengthening of the muscle).

Examples of plyometric exercises:

Split Jumps – to complete this you stand in a split stance, and then descend quickly into a squat position. Jump immediately as high as you can possibly go then land in a reversed stance and repeat again continuously. This has to be constant with no pauses. For this to be effective three sets of six repetitions have to be completed.

Push up Claps – in a push up position with your legs out straight with support on hands and toes; lower your chest near to the ground to complete a push up. When rising from the push up use the power in the arms to lift up the body and clap to then land back on the hands into the starting position. Repeat this of three sets with six repetitions.

Sergeant Jumps – this involves jumping again for maximum height and during the jump bringing the hopping foot back towards the buttock, and landing with the leg slightly flexed. Keep repeating this with three sets of six repetitions to get the power working within the legs.

Benefits of Plyometric Training:

The Benefits include burning calories, increasing muscles strength and improving power with explosive movements. Plyometric exercises require a lot of energy because they are highly intense. They utilize the whole body and activate most muscle groups, therefore burning many calories in a single session and aiding in weight loss.

Repetitive landing causes your entire leg muscles to contract, helping to improve overall tone and definition. Plyometrics combine strength training and cardiovascular exercise, allowing you to “kill two birds with one stone.”

You can meet with one of our fitness instructors in a virtual fitness consultation to get personalised advise on plyometric training.

To view a range of fitness sessions delivered by University of Nottingham Sport be sure to visit our Health and Wellbeing Home:

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