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Add Plyometrics Today….Just be Safe

If you want to add more energy to your exercise routine, plyometrics can help! Plyometrics are also called plyos, and they consist of powerful and fast movements. These exercises improve the working of your nervous system and improve your overall performance in sporting events. Plyometrics are not meant for everyone and should be monitored by an exercise specialist.
The muscular endurance and power generation abilities of the lower body are important factors for fitness and athletics. Exercises aimed to increase muscular endurance are performed at a relatively slow speed with a load corresponding to 15−20 repetitions maximum (RM) or 50−65% of one repetition maximum (1 RM) (Sugisaki 2014). Exercises aimed at improving muscular power are generally performed at a high speed (explosive motion) with a relatively low load or without load (i.e., body weight plyometric exercise). Athletes who aim to improve both muscular endurance and power often perform exercises that involve similar joint actions such as hip and knee extension and flexion. Both lifting conditions are considered to train the same muscles because the major muscles involved are usually used according to the event of exercise without regard to the lifting conditions, e.g., the gluteus maximus (GM), hamstrings (Ham), and quadriceps femoris muscles for squat exercises.
Sugisaki (2014) used ten healthy men (age 28 years, height 173cm, weight 69 kg, peak squat jump (PSJ) height 44 cm) voluntarily participated in Experiment 1, and 8 healthy men (age 24 years, height 172 cm, weight 69kg, PSJ jump height 43cm) in Experiment 2. Seven of the subjects in Experiment 2 were also involved in Experiment 1, and they completed all procedures in both experiments. Athletes who aim to improve both muscular endurance and power often perform exercises that involve similar joint actions under different lifting conditions, such as changes in the load or speed, which are implemented at different times during a periodized exercise program or simultaneously. The prescribed exercises are considered to recruit the same muscles even if the lifting conditions differ to each other. The present study aimed to clarify this by examining whether the recruitment of individual hip and knee muscles during the squat exercise differs between lifting conditions adopted for muscular endurance and power training regimens. Moderately trained men performed back squats (BS), with a load of approximately 60% of one repetition maximum, as a muscular endurance training exercise, and they performed plyometric squat jumping (PSJ) for power training. The current results indicate that the individual use of the agonist muscles differs between BS and PSJ, and it does not always correspond with the joint kinetics during the exercises. Therefore, in addition to the exercise type, the lifting condition should also be taken into consideration as a determinant of the major muscles trained during a resistance exercise.
The current results indicate that the difference in lifting conditions produces a different synergist muscle use, even when an exercise with similar movements of the body segments is adopted. Not only the exercise type but also the lifting condition should be taken into consideration as a determinant of the major muscles trained in a resistance exercise.
Personal training at COR focuses on individualization allowing for faster and more precise results. Our individualized personal training programs begin with a movement screen and interview to determine any flaws causing or risking injury, as well as weak points potentially causing physical limitations. Nutrition advice (weight loss or sports performance) and supplement counseling is provided for proper fueling or metabolic efficiency. Mobility techniques (if needed) are used to improve any muscular limitations.Squat jumps aren’t for everyone, but certain plyos can be safely added to everyone

1.  Sugisaki N, Kurokawa S, Okada J, Kanehisa H. Difference in the Recruitment of Hip and Knee Muscles between Back Squat and Plyometric Squat Jump. PLoS One. 2014 Jun 30;9(6):e101203.

Written by Chris Barber, CPT