Many bodybuilders rely on weight training as their sole means of building muscle. They focus their training programs around the use of weights and machines. This philosophy leads to athletes missing out on some very effective training programs. Plyometrics training is one of those programs.
Plyometrics training involves explosive movements using your bodyweight, medicine balls, or other lightweight implements, for resistance. There are many different exercises that can be used in this type of program. Many traditional athletes use plyometrics to increase their vertical jump, speed, and agility. There are many tools such as plyometric boxes, medicine balls, and dot drill mats, among others, but these are not necessary to get started. A good basic program can be started with just some open space.
Adding one or two exercises to the end of your workout can make a big difference. The explosive movements add a new degree of hardness to the muscle. They also help increase strength in the other exercises and pull many muscles into one exercise. Plyometrics also add a little spice to the training schedule and make the program a little more dynamic. When done properly, plyometrics have been shown to increase metabolism for a long time after completion and improve overall flexibility.
There are many possible ways to incorporate plyometrics into your training program. You can use them after a general warm-up to prepare the muscles for the intense workout to follow. An example of this would be to warm up with a light jog for ten to twelve minutes and then perform two sets of power skips for 50 yards and then two sets of explosive push-ups off a box or raised platform. This prepares the muscles and tendons for the weight workout to follow.
Another option is to incorporate them into the workout, just like any other exercise. They make great superset additions. For example, complete a set of squats and immediately perform a set of explosive jumps. Then rest and complete another superset. This works well with bench presses and medicine ball chest passes, as well. Or, a set of calf raises followed by a timed set of a specific dot drill, or simple skier jumps, will ignite the calves for explosive growth.
And, of course, you could simply add a couple of plyometric exercises to the end of the workout. After an intense chest workout a set or two of explosive push-ups and a set of medicine ball chest passes will finish of the last of the fibers in the pectorals for explosive strength and muscular growth. After a leg workout, a few sets of plyometric box jumps will tear down the quadriceps and hips for a strong, solid foundation.
It is important to learn the proper technique for plyometric exercises before trying them. A personal trainer, training video, or book about plyometrics might be the best starting point. Start with just a few exercises and perfect those before adding new ones. Once you have a good selection of exercises you will find the new growth and development from adding these into your program addictive. You will wonder how you ever trained without them. Don’t miss out on the additional benefit of these dynamic, explosive exercises.