JUMPSTART YOUR WORKOUT ROUTINE with Plyometrics
If you feel as though your workouts are getting boring and stagnant or you just want to mix it up, plyometrics may be just what you are looking for. It involves fast, powerful movements and is one of the most effective ways to burn calories and fat.
What are Plyometrics?
Unlike typical strength training that generally involves long, slow movements designed to increase muscle strength and mass, plyometric exercises are quick, explosive movements designed to increase speed and power. A plyometric exercise can be broken down in three phases:
- Eccentric phase—rapid muscle lengthening movement
- Amortization phase—short resting period
- Concentric phase—explosive muscle shortening movement
The ultimate goal of plyometric exercises is to decrease the amount of time in between eccentric and concentric movements enabling you to become faster and stronger.
History of Plyometrics
Developed by Soviet Bloc scientists during the Cold War, plyometrics exercises were created called “Jump Training” that used repetitive jumping to help increase the speed and explosiveness of Russian track and field athletes. Fred Wilt, American track and field coach, took note of the Russians’ many gold medals at the Olympics in the 60’s and 70’s, investigated their training and started implementing them with his own athletes. Plyometrics became the name of these new exercises and since then, U.S sports teams and others around the world have incorporated them into their training regimens.
5 Benefits of Adding Plyometrics to your fitness routine
1. Increase muscle power—plyometric movements can strengthen both muscles and tendons in your upper and lower body by improving muscle explosiveness and their ability to contract and produce force more quickly.
2. Increased Endurance—these exercises can be used to enhance power and endurance. Muscle endurance and stamina is improved allowing the legs to work and perform at a higher intensity for a longer period of time.
3. Burn more calories—not only will you burn more calories during a plyometric workout, but resting metabolic rate will also be increased. This means your body will burn more calories throughout the day at a resting state and even more calories during workouts.
4. No equipment needed—all you need is your body weight, an open space, and things lying around at a park or your house
5. Helps to enhance reaction time and balance abilities
For examples of some great plyometric exercises to kick start your new workout routine, check out these examples from Self Magazine.
Plyometric exercise is for athletes of all ages and skill levels. The physical therapists at Contact Physical Therapy can help to ensure a safe progression from injury based on individual assessment of strength, flexibility, conditioning and landing techniques.
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