Effective plyometric training relies on deceleration, followed by a progression to quick coupling, where the athlete minimizes the time between eccentric deceleration and concentric acceleration. However, before we literally jump to that ending–body control, landing skills and basic movement progressions are the rule. These foundations must be laid before speed, load and more complex plyometric progressions are considered. An emphasis on whole body control and deceleration—knowing how to stop and control movement—is at the heart of Plyometrics 101. Realize too, that you can train a plyometric effect not only for the lower body, but for upper body and core, too.
In the COREFX PLYO clip, movement fundamentals are apparent, and include proper arm drive, multi directional movement capability, controlled movement before explosive movement, proper arm drive, solid take off and landing skills, as well as overall, sound movement fundamentals.
What and why of plyometrics.
Plyometrics involves quick counter-movement (deceleration) that uses the elastic qualities of the muscle, stimulates the stretch-shortening cycle reflex and increases neural drive to the muscle. Decreased coupling-time is the key to maximizing the effect of the stretch-shortening cycle and the plyometric effect. The link between the end of eccentric deceleration and concentric acceleration is referred to as coupling-time. An effective plyo program results in mobility, stability and unified balance and body control.
The Plyo Training Outcome includes:
- Mobility, which is required to position the body with correct mechanics.
- Stability ensures that optimal positioning, whether static or in motion, is sustained.
- A balance dynamic that is fluid, ever evolving and re-written every millisecond.
- The development of body control and integrated whole body movement.
The end result of plyo training is explosive power and acceleration that is available when you need it. Additionally, efficient movement is timing dependent, and plyos train timing, which is at the heart of athleticism.
Who should train plyometrics?
A quick response might be, “world-class athletes.” The correct answer is “everyone.” Yes, even 80-year old participants can train aspects of plyometrics that are related to deceleration and body control, for example. Both are important attributes for anyone to train. Quick, explosive, reactive movement is essential for developing athleticism, regardless of age or fitness level. If one cannot react quickly and accurately, how would an older adult be able to recover from a stumble? Sequential and linked movement is equally important to train, as well as maintaining “core” integrity/bracing throughout movement challenges. Plyo training helps to organize the body to bridge speed of movement and strength, which results in the optimal power expression. Everyone needs power and everyone needs to be able to express that quality when the body is commanded to do so.
Coaches and trainers need to learn drill mechanics, progressions and coaching cues to successfully scale and implement plyo power training into fitness and sport programs.