Many athletes/individuals follow intense training programs for their sport. It’s common place for athletes to incorporate Plyometric training into their program to increase power. Plyometric training contains a very fast loading phase prior to an explosive contraction. Jumping higher for the rebound for a Basketball player or getting that first quick step on your opponent is an obvious goal. Proper plyometric training may also help in ACL injury prevention. This is very important especially for female youth who have a high incidence of ACL tears due to body mechanics & instability. The problem lies when trainees do not have proper landing mechanics to absorb force. No matter your level of training, it is imperative that you be evaluated by a professional so you fully understand proper mechanics and determine your level to begin.
Here are some tips for a successful program:
– Individuals should perform a mix between jumps, hops, bounds & skips.
– Two feet and single leg work should be addressed.
– Plyometric patterns should take you into anterior and lateral movements as sport/life movement takes you in many planes of direction. Follow these movement patterns on different training days.
– Good landing mechanics are quiet. Failure to land quietly shows a lack of eccentric strength and that the exercise is too advanced.
– Only jump over training tools where you can land quietly.
– Athletes should always jump and land from the same position.
– If you are landing in a new spot from your take off, be sure to land stable & quiet without swaying, tilting before you take off into a new landing spot.
Do not shy away from Plyometric training! We do these types of movements in everyday activity. Many youth start intense sports with a high level of plyometric motions at a young age (Ex: Gymnastics, figure skating) so this type of training can help any individual. For fitness and sport success, you must follow the level of training for your goals and for your limitations as too much too soon can lead to overuse injuries.