You may have heard the word “Plyometrics” or “Plyo” being thrown around by those in the “fitness” know. But what does it mean? And why would you need it as part of your training?
Plyometrics is actually jumping (with some science thrown in).
In a nutshell, plyometrics exercises are characterised by stretch shortening cycle (SSC) actions. This means that they start with a rapid stretch of a muscle (eccentric phase) and are followed immediately by a rapid shortening of the same muscle (concentric phase).
So, wouldn’t this type of training be reserved for professional high jumpers, long jumpers and basketballers and the likes?
Not at all. Plyometrics training is an awesome addition to anyone’s workout schedule.
Plyo exercises make up a natural part of most sports movements because they involve jumping, hopping and skipping. So whether you’re training as a professional athlete, you play a team sport or you just want to be able to impress people at parties with your incredible box jump ability, plyometric training is of benefit to you.
Research shows that strength, power output, coordination, and athletic performance are all increased by plyometric training exercises, like squat jumps, bench jumps and propulsive lunges. Your ability to generate muscle tension quickly as a result of plyo training results in faster rates of muscle fibre recruitment which leads to gains in speed and strength, making it an awesome way to tone and shape muscle. Ask your fitness professional how you can add plyometric training into your training, or check out a Les Mills GRIT Plyo session.