Plyometrics


Some of you might have heard me or some of my MK Adademy (former WMAC members) talk about the Plyometric training we have on Friday evenings before Taekwondo sparring classes. Other than the fact that it's hard and sucks the life out of me everytime i train, I know little about what it was really all about. So last night I did a little googling on the subject and presto! Here we are with a quick low down on plyometric exercise. Material curtosey of Wikipedia. The full wiki entry can be found here and a more detailed guide can be found here


Plyometrics is a type of exercise training designed to produce fast, powerful movements, and improve the functions of the nervous system, generally for the purpose of improving performance in sports. Plyometric movements, in which a muscle is loaded and then contracted in rapid sequence, use the strength, elasticity and innervation of muscle and surrounding tissues to jump higher, run faster, throw farther, or hit harder, depending on the desired training goal. Plyometrics is used to increase the speed or force of muscular contractions, providing explosiveness for a variety of sport-specific activities.

Procedure

Plyometric training involves practicing plyometric movements to toughen tissues and train nerve cells to stimulate a specific pattern of muscle contraction so the muscle generates as strong a contraction as possible in the shortest amount of time. A plyometric contraction involves first a rapid muscle lengthening movement (eccentric phase), followed by a short resting phase (amortization phase), then an explosive muscle shortening movement (concentric phase), which enables muscles to work together in doing the particular motion. Plyometric training engages the myostatic reflex, which is the automatic contraction of muscles when their stretch sensory receptors are stimulated.
Plyometric exercises use explosive movements to develop muscularpower. Plyometric training acts on the nerves, muscles, and tendons to increase an athlete's power output without necessarily increasing their maximum strength capacity.

Physics of muscular power

Muscular power is determined by how long it takes for strength to be converted into speed. The ability to convert strength to speed in a very short time allows for athletic movements beyond what raw strength will allow. Thus an athlete who has strong legs and can perform the freeweight squat with extremely heavy weights over a long duration may get less distance on a standing long jump or height on a vertical leap than a weaker athlete who is able to generate a smaller amount of force but in a shorter amount of time. The plyometrically trained athlete may have a lower maximal force output, and thus may not squat as much, but his training allows him to shorten the amount of time required to reach his maximum force output, leading to more power from each contraction.

 So basically it's an exercise to make you faster, stronger and more "explosive".... will talk more about what we do in our plyometric training next week. the weekend has begun and i have to get off my arse!