Thursday, June 2, 2016

Plyometrics

     Plyometric exercise refers to quick, powerful movements, using both the natural elastic components of muscle and tendon, and the stretch reflex. By integrating plyometrics into your training program, you will enhance your ability to successfully complete the obstacles in the Beast on the Bay. You will be jumping up and over obstacles, which will then require you to safely land on the other side. In order to safely perform these movements, you need to be adept with takeoffs and landings in a training setting. So, I’ve put together a number of warm-up drills and exercises that will address these skills. The following table consists of examples of plyometric warm-up drills.

Drill
Explanation
Marching
Mimics running movements
Emphasizes posture and movement technique
Toe Jogging
Heel doesn’t touch ground
Straight-Leg Jogging
Minimize knee bending
Butt-Kickers
Allow heels to reach glutes
Skipping
Emphasis on quick takeoff and landing
Lunging
May be multidirectional (forward, back, side, diagonal)

Plyometric Exercises for the Lower Body
Jumps in Place
Jumping and landing in the same spot without resting between jumps
Emphasis on vertical component
Standing Jumps
Emphasis on vertical and horizontal component
Maximal effort with rest between jumps
Multiple Hops and Jumps
Emphasis on horizontal component
May form a zigzag
Bounds
Multidirectional movement
May be single-leg or double-leg
Box Drills
Jumping on the box or stepping off and landing
May be single-leg, double-leg, or alternating legs
Depth Jumps
Emphasis on landing, then immediately jumping vertically, horizontally, or onto another box
May be single-leg or double-leg

     To establish a plyometric training regimen, we have to address frequency, recovery, volume, program length, and progression. Frequency refers to the number of training sessions per week and can range from 1-3, with 48-72 hours between sessions. Due to the nature of plyometrics requiring maximal effort to improve anaerobic power, it is imperative to have adequate recovery between repetitions and sets. For example, recovery for depth jumps may be 5-10 seconds between repetitions and 2-3 minutes between sets. Work-to-rest ratios are a great way to determine recovery time between sets. Ratios of 1:5 to 1:10 are common for plyometric training. So, if the drill requires 30 seconds of work, you should rest anywhere from 2 ½ -5 minutes until you perform another set. Training volume refers to sets and repetitions per workout session and is expressed as foot contacts on a surface, or distance covered.

Plyometric Experience
Volume in Contacts Per Session
Beginner (no experience)
80 – 100
Intermediate (some experience)
100 – 120
Advanced (considerable experience)
120 - 140

     The length of your plyometric program should range from 6-10 weeks, which gives you plenty of time between now and the Beast on the Bay. Throughout your program, you should be increasing training frequency, volume, and intensity by way of progressive overload. As intensity increases, volume decreases. Reassess these aspects of your program every 2-3 weeks, to ensure that you are improving either the number of foot contacts, or distance covered per session. I know that you will enhance your performance in the Beast on the Bay by employing the drills and exercises I’ve listed. Please contact me with any questions.  
               

                

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