Plyometrics are any exercise where the muscle is contracted eccentrically then is immediately, contracted concentrically. The muscle is stretched (i.e. loaded) before it is contracted. An example of this is doing lunges or squats quickly one after the other, with the motion of straightening up (not fully by straightening the knees) being almost a jump. Plyometrics increase power. Power is strength or work times speed, or how much you can life or how much energy you expend in what period of time. The faster this is, the more power you have. Power is important if you want to take off at a quick speed or if you want to quickly lift a falling piece of furniture before it gets your foot!
Plyometrics places increased stretch loads on the working muscles. As the muscles become more tolerant to the increase loads, the stretch-shortening cycle becomes more efficient and power increases. You should warm up with stretching or jogging or jumping rope before plyometrics.
Sprints are plyometrics since the action going down loads the hamstring muscles. Doing push-ups with claps in between main movements and jumping (especially is the low movement is very low) are other plyometrics exercises. Catching a medicine ball thrown quickly and throwing it back quickly is also a plyometrics exercise. The further back and then forward your arms go, the more advanced is the movement.
Plyometrics exercises are great if you want to do something different and get off that plateau. These exercises should be done by intermediate and advanced fitness people.
Don't forget to check out www.louizapatsis.com.
Data from http://www.weightsnet.com/Docs/plyometrics.html#what
Accessed on November 4, 2005
Disclaimer: Information on this blog is posted for information purposes, not as a substitute for professional medical advice.