Athletes need to stay in good shape. Mainly because sports is a profession where the livelihood depends on fitness. Be it cricket or badminton, football or basketball, full-contact combat sports like boxing, MMA and Muay Thai or track and field sports like running, high jumping or throwing, all need the athletes to be fit and healthy. With fitness come, other attributes required for these sports including strength, stamina, and endurance. Plyometric training is an ideal routine for athletes to step up the fitness game. Plyometric advantages go well beyond just sports because it conditions the body and the mind for better performance. It improves and enhances your overall fitness level, stamina and strength.
This is especially true for fighters. One of the main plyometric advantages is that it conditions the mind and body. This conditioning makes the most difference in a fight. For combat athletes, conditioning the mind and body is as important as developing the right skillset and technique. Plyometric advantages go far and beyond the body. The conditioning plyometric training puts the heart, the mind and the body to test all at once.
What Exactly is Plyometric Exercise?
Plyometric exercises practice explosive strength and speed. These exercises make the muscles to exert maximum force in a small interval. These explosive routines involve muscle stretching to the maximum followed by quick contraction. These are usually fast jumping movements and soft landings to increase the speed, agility, stamina, and strength of the athletes. The compound explosive body movements in plyometric training use bodyweight or very lightweight to work up each muscle group in the body. Here, time is the key. Each particular exercise trains the body and mind to exert maximum force within the smallest time interval possible i.e. explosively. Agility, strength, and endurance are the main plyometric advantages.
Plyometric should be a regular part of your training. Incorporate plyometric for high jumpers, boxing and plyometric track and field into your routine fitness training. Practice those explosive, short, sharp and sudden movements twice a week for the best results.
10 Benefits of Plyometric Training
Plyometric advantages are in the explosive style of movement it involves. Plyometrics include power jumping, repetitive bounding and shock force in a systematic manner. There is a high chance of injury if you are an amateur beginner with little to no skill level. This is because sudden jumping can strain muscles and joints. Moreover, a simple landing at the wrong angle has the potential to wreak havoc to your training. Despite the risks, plyometric advantages surpass the disadvantages. In fact, the long list of plyometric advantages makes it an ideal training to boost muscular power, strength, and speed. It uses bodyweight to facilitate weight loss as well as body toning.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a professional athlete, a fitness geek or train for fun, Plyometric advantages make it perfect for everyone. Here are the top 10 benefits of plyometric exercises to encourage you to incorporate them into your weekly fitness schedule.
1. It is Easy
One of the biggest plyometric advantages is that you don’t need much, only Yourself and the will to improve. It is the main one of the 10 benefits of plyometrics. Just use your own bodyweight with the right set of movements and techniques. You will be surprised how your own body weight can help you lose weight, get stronger, faster, better physically. Get a little creative. With explosive muscular stretches and contractions, you can convert any place into your gym. Think box jumps on the stairs and plyometric pushups in your passage.
2. It is Versatile
The versatility of an exercise makes it more appealing and beneficial. You can reap double the benefits in minimal time. Versatility is a great plyometric advantage. You can add the explosive plyometric movements into any of your routine stretching and muscular workouts. From skipping, to box jumps, to burpees, pushups, pull-ups, and whatnot, plyometric is applicable everywhere. All you have to do is turn the same movements into sudden explosive bursts. Moreover, the benefits of plyometric exercises increase even more when you do it Tabata style. Tabata is a series of 8 rounds of intense 20 seconds workouts followed by 10 seconds of rest. As we said, plyometric is versatile to do it Tabata style or as a regular part of speed and strength training, you will gain plyometric advantages either way.
Apart from this, another plyometric advantage is that it engages the whole body using almost all muscle groups in the body. It can focus on specific muscle groups buy mostly it works up the full body. Therefore, it improves the explosive strength of the punches while improving the footwork as well for boxing and combat sports. Plyometrics track and field are equally beneficial for high jumpers, sprinters and more.
3. Improves Athletic Efficiency
Another one of the top 10 benefits of plyometric exercises is that it improves athletic efficiency. This means you will expend less energy to perform more fast and powerful explosive movements with time and practice. One of the main plyometric advantages is that it improves mind-body coordination. As the neuromuscular adaptation improves, so does the speed and strength of the athletes. Plyometric track and field exercises adapt the bodies of the athletes to have more explosive energy. This allows them to run faster, jump farther, lift better. It will also make the boxers more light on their feet, explosive and powerful in strength. Plyometric for high jumpers are ideal too since it offers more explosive strength for better jumping range.
4. Helps Weight Loss
Another plyometric advantage is that it helps with weight loss. This is because plyometric exercises require a lot of energy. Moreover, it works up all the muscles in the body. The rapid stretching and contraction in sudden explosive manner buns up a lot of calories, fast even in a single session. Plyometric is the ideal way to tone your body. Lose weight effectively in a balanced way since plyometric exercises incorporate all the muscle groups in your body actively.
5. Body Toning
Body toning is another one of the 10 main benefits of plyometrics. Since your whole body is engaged in the sudden explosive bursts of muscular concentric and eccentric movements, plyometrics is a great way to tone your body, the intense workout burns calories and helps get rid of extra fat. At the same time, it tones the muscles and the overall physique. It sculpts your body the way you want. The intense exercise boosts the metabolism and helps the body to burn unwanted fat fast while making you stronger and agile.
6. Develop Strength
Strength is another of the 10 benefits of plyometric exercises. Since the muscles contract and stretch in sudden explosive bursts and each successive movement is quick, your body develops speed as well as strength. The plyometric exercises involve jumps, landing, and catching. This strains the muscles to make them stronger. With sudden shocks and bursts of explosive movement, there is a resistance. Be it the landing back or the catching of the medicine ball. This develops muscular strength. The jumping exercise develops lower body strength in the legs and the lower pelvic region. The throwing and pushups use the upper body. Therefore, they develop the upper body, strength, and stamina.
7. Increase Endurance Level
Another plyometric advantage is that it enhances the endurance level. As the muscles in your body learn to hold and manage your own body weight, they adapt to faster, stronger movement too. The continuous explosive movement, muscular contraction, and expansion in minimal time condition your body for intense physical activity. This improves your overall endurance level. Your body will be on your side when training or fighting. Incorporate the plyometric track and field with other sport-specific training and you will be surprised how your own stamina and endurance level will improve.
8. Improves Foot Work for Fight Sports
Improved footwork for boxing and combat with plyometric track and field is another one of the plyometric advantages. You are working up your whole body. The box jumps, the burpees, the skipping, and the plyometric for high jumpers involve sudden explosive jumps and landings. This makes you light on your feet and improves your footwork. Footwork is one of the main factors that can win you a fight. When you can move around your opponent fast for both offensive as well as defensive purposes, there are greater chances of you winning the fight.
The successive sudden explosive bursts of movements including jumps, push-ups and more are meant to be done in minimal time. The main purpose if these successive bumpy explosive jumps are to kick start your body to develop speed. Plyometric for high jumpers and plyometric track and field exercises train you to minimize the time you stay on the ground before each next jump. Thus, the fast movements improve your overall speed.
10. Agility and Power
Plyometric involve fast explosive bursts of jumps, burpees, pushups and more. it is, therefore, an ideal way to improve your speed, agility, and power. The power and strength for the combat sports, track, and field as well as high jumpers come from the core. It starts from the feet and runs its course up to the rest of your body. Even for punching, you channelize the strength from your feet to the core to your arms and into that popping punch. Plyometric track and field exercises and plyometrics for high jumpers is an ideal way to increase the explosive strength as well as the speed of your punches. The body learns to transfer that kinetic energy faster for explosive power punches, higher jumping range and faster, sprints. Therefore, they improve your agility and power.
These 10 benefits of plyometric are enough to encourage ant professional athletes to incorporate it into their training routine regularly.
The Disadvantage of Plyometric Exercises
Yes. Plyometric is easy to start with. You don’t need many accessories and still work on your strength, stamina and endurance level. You can customize the plyometric exercises by incorporating them with sport-specific or even routine fitness exercises for greater benefits of plyometrics. And yet, like anything else it also has some disadvantages.
The most important and probably the only real disadvantage of plyometric track and field is that there is a high-risk potential of injuries. This is especially true for beginners and amateur athletes who are not very comfortable with intense physical activity. The explosive movements are not for everyone to start with. It is a complete no for those suffering from arthritis, joint or muscular problems. Unless they first consult their doctor and get permission.
Beginners must always start with light exercise and regular stretches, pushups, and pull-ups. Once they are comfortable, proceed on to light jumping. Starting with skipping or jump rope is a good idea. Once you are strong enough to land on your own limbs to hold and balance your own weight effectively, you can proceed further with more explosive exercises. However, successive jumps can strain your joints so never overwork your body. Stop if you feel you are losing balance or your joints are in stress. After all, it is better to stop and avoid injuries instead of overworking yourself and regretting later.
Plyometric Track and Field Exercises
Plyometric track and field exercises improve the explosiveness, strength, power, and speed of the athletes. These attributes decide the overall performance in almost all track and field sports. For the sprinters, plyometric exercise improves the explosiveness to jump-start the sprint. For the throwers, it improves the power and thus the range of the throw. Plyometric for high jumpers increase their jumping ability and range for the better. In short, plyometric advantages are so vast you can customize it by incorporating into any sport-specific workout routine.
Plyometric for High Jumpers
Plyometric for high jumpers can be very beneficial. It can improve their speed, as well as jumping ability, power, and range. Plyometric depth jumps are a great exercise for high jumpers. Explosive exercises and bounding drills are a great way to improve the jumping range as well as the overall performance of the high jumpers.
Plyometric Exercises for Boxing
Boxers can also reap the benefits of plyometric by incorporating the right explosive exercises into their regular training routine twice a weak. Here are some of the plyometric exercises for boxers.
Squat jumps are the plyometric version of the regular squats. All you have to do is to get into squatting position with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees bent and stomach sucked in with thighs parallel to the floor. Now push yourself up into a standing straight position using force from your legs and land on your feet as softly as you can.
Plyometric pushups are the modification of the regular pushups into explosive exercises. Hold the push up position laying as close to the ground as possible. Using force from your hands, push yourself up removing your hands from the ground. Land back softly on your hands.
Medicine Ball Pass
A medicine ball is a simple explosive exercise. You throw a medicine ball as fast as you can from a distance onto the wall and catch it back then throw again. Repeat. Be creative and try different variations. Practice with one hand. throw with one catch with the other. Or even add jumps or squats after throwing the ball before catching it back to work up your speed and agility.
Free Standing Jumps
Freestanding jumps are rather simple. You get into a squat position and try to jump as far as you can to land straight on your feet. Repeat. You can do different variations. Even use stairs and squat jump on them.
Power skipping is to jump a rope as fast as you can for 20 to 30 seconds. You can do this with or without a rope. Just maintain the same position as you would with a rope in case you are not using one.
Box jump uses a box as the name indicates. To simplify, you can call it a modification of the squat jumps. You stand straight and firm in front of the box and jump high enough to land on the box and get in a squat position. Then jump down on the floor into a straight standing position.
Plyometric exercises use bodyweight so always remember to warm up before the exercises and cool down properly afterward. Be very careful and start with light exercises as there is a high risk of injury.
Plyometric advantages are many. These unique exercises are an ideal way to train and condition the body for power punches and explosive strength. Whether you are training for combat sports, fitness or any other sport, benefits of plyometric track and field exercises are sure to improve your strength and performance.