The term “plyometrics” refers to a class of exercises that involve having the muscles exert maximum force in the briefest time period possible. These specific exercises force muscles to move from full extension to contraction rapidly to build explosive power. The method has been used to train athletes since the 1980s for sports such as high jumping, but they have gradually become standard training tools to build performance in nearly all sports, including basketball, baseball, and football. While this is a method that elite athletes depend on for developing maximum potential, beginners will also see tremendous improvement in their overall fitness and skill levels by incorporating even a few plyometric exercises into their fitness routines.
Plyometric exercises condition the muscles of the body using resistance to rapidly stretch and contract muscles. Examples include jumping exercises in which the quadriceps of the legs are targeted to strengthen them while increasing vertical jumping ability. While increasing strength, plyometric exercises also improves the body’s ability to absorb shock, thereby reducing impact and potential damage to the joints. While extremely effective for building fitness at all levels, it’s very important to implement proper safety measures to prevent injury, especially when first starting out. Improperly done, it can be easy to cause damage to muscles and joints, especially if you attempt exercises that exceed your current level of strength and flexibility. If you are a beginner, consider consulting with a personal trainer or sports training coach to help you learn how to properly perform plyometrics exercises to maximize the benefits while reducing the risk of injuries.
There are many examples of plyometric exercises. The one we will focus on today is called knee tuck jumps. In this exercise, you start in a standing position, legs together, with your body weight evenly distributed between both feet. Jump up with both feet and bring (or “tuck”) the knees towards your chest at the top of the jump. Land with both feet on the ground. This exercise builds tremendous strength in the legs and core, which results in an increase in explosive power. To maximize the effectiveness of the exercise, try to keep your torso as straight as possible during the jump. This maximizes the work done by your legs and core. Try to do the jumps in quick succession, as part of the benefit of this exercise is to develop speed as well as power. This exercise is highly beneficial for anyone looking to improve general fitness, as well for any athlete looking to improve their performance in sports like basketball or football. It is recommended to do 10-15 repetitions for a total of 2-3 sets. Take a rest period of about 1-2 minutes in between sets to fully recover before starting again.
The knee tuck jumps exercise is not just for athletes. It’s actually a great workout for anyone who wants to burn off extra calories and body fat. Whether it’s for a New Year’s Resolution, a reunion, an upcoming beach vacation, or a desire to just get fit, millions of people seek quick solutions to help them shed fat, tone and build muscle and improve their overall health. Much research has been done to explore methods to effectively achieve these results. One method of exercise, called plyometrics, is a powerful tool that can be used by both advanced athletes and beginners to build speed and explosive power that is critical for success in many sports as well as for improving general fitness levels.