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Plyometrics Training

Plyometrics Training Exercises


1. Plyometric Phases

Speed and strength are integral components of fitness found in varying degrees in virtually all athletic movements. Simply put the combination of speed and strength is power.

For many years, coaches and athletes have sought to improve power in order to enhance performance.

Throughout this century and no doubt long before, jumping, bounding, and hopping exercises have been used in various ways to enhance athletic performance.

In recent years, this distinct method of training for power or explosiveness has been termed plyometrics.

Plyometrics is based on the understanding that a concentric muscular contraction is much stronger if it immediately follows an eccentric contraction of the same muscle.

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2. Muscle Mechanism

The maximum force that a muscle can develop is attained during a rapid eccentric contraction.

However, it should be realized that muscles seldom perform one type of contraction in isolation during athletic movements.

When a concentric contraction occurs (muscle shortens) immediately following an eccentric contraction (muscle lengthens) then the force generated can be dramatically increased.

If a muscle is stretched, much of the energy required to stretch it is lost as heat, but some of this energy can be stored by the elastic components of the muscle.

This stored energy is available to the muscle only during a subsequent contraction.

It is important to realize that this energy boost is lost if the eccentric contraction is not followed immediately by a concentric contraction.

To express this greater force the muscle must contract within the shortest time possible.

This whole process is frequently called the stretch-shortening cycle and is the underlying mechanism of plyometric training.

3. Choose the method to fit the sport

The golden rule of any conditioning program is specificity.

This means that the movement you perform in training should match, as closely as possible, the movements encountered during competition.

If you are a rugby player, practicing for the line out or a volleyball player interested in increasing vertical jump height, then drop jumping or plyometrics box jumping may be the right exercise.

However if you are a javelin thrower aiming for a more explosive launch, then upper body plyometrics is far more appropriate.


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Plyometrics Box Jumps


4. Plyometric Program

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The text below outlines a 10-week program that progresses from low to medium to high-intensity exercises over a period of six weeks.

Remember that this program is only an outline and you can develop your own program with numerous variations.

For descriptions of exercises consult “Jumping into Plyometrics” written by Donald Chu.


Jumping Into Plyometrics
Low Intensity (2 Weeks)

Exercises – Sets/Reps

1. Squat jump – 3x 6-10
2. Double-leg ankle bounce – 3x 6-10
3. Lateral cone jump – 2x 6-10
4. Drop and catch pushup – 4x 6-10

Rest : 2 min

Progression : Add 1 rep each workout


Low To Medium Intensity (2 Weeks)

Exercises – Sets/Reps

1. Lateral cone jump – 3x 8-10
2. Split squat jump – 2x 8-10
3. Double-leg tuck – 2x 8-10
4. Standing triple-jump – 2x 8-10
5. Overhead backward medicine ball throw – 2x 8-10
6. Underhand forward medicine ball throw – 2x 8-10
7. Clap push up – 2x 8-10

Rest : 2 min

Progression : Add 1 rep each workout until reaching 10

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Medium Intensity (2 Weeks)

Exercises – Sets/Reps

1. Standing long jump – 3x 8-10
2. Alternate leg bound – 3x 8-10
3. Double-leg hop – 3x 8-10
4. Pike jump – 2x 8-10
5. Depth jumps – 2x 8-10
6. Medicine ball throw w/ Russian Twist – 3x 8-10
7. Dumbbell arm swings – 2x 8-10

Rest : 2 min


Add 1 rep each workout until reaching 10
Reduce weight each workout, max 20 lb


Medium To High Intensity (2 Weeks)

Exercises – Sets/Reps

1. Double-leg tuck – 3x 10-12
2. Single-leg zigzag hop – 3x 10-12
3. Double leg vertical power jump – 3x 10-12
4. Running bound – 3x 10-12
5. Box jumps – 2x 8-10
6. Dumbbell arm swing – 3x 12
7. Medicine ball sit-up – 3x 10-15

Rest : 2 min

Progression : Add 1 rep each workout until reaching 10-12


High Intensity

Exercises – Sets/Reps

1. Single-leg vertical power jump – 2x 12-8
2. Single-leg speed hop – 2x 12-8
3. Double-leg speed hop – 2x 12-8
4. Multiple box jumps – 2x 12-8
5. Side jump and sprint – 5x 3
6. Decline hops – 2x 12-8
7. Spring arm action – 2x 12-8
8. Medicine ball sit-up – 3x 15-20

Rest : 60-90 sec


Stress for and maximum explosion w/ each rep.
Decrease reps from 12-8 over two weeks.
Start w/ 5 LB and reduce to 1 LB stressing rapid arm action


5. Ways to Build Explosive Power Without Olympic Lifting and Plyometrics Box

The following is a guest post by Tanner Martty of Tanner Martty:

So your gym owner doesn’t believe in the importance of an Olympic lifting or plyometrics box. He thinks it’s too loud or his risk manager eighty-sixed the idea.

Don’t worry there are still great ways to build explosiveness using bodyweight and things every gym has available.


The following five exercises will ignite your fast-twitch muscle fibers for explosive power.

My goal with this system was to include instinctual movements that come naturally, allowing you to apply high levels of power from the day you start.

They are easy to learn and apply without too much thought – thinking makes you slow when you want to be explosive.


While I love Olympic lifting, it is not the most accessible system.

The learning curve is steep for an inexperienced lifter.

In addition to needing the right setup, you also need good coaching and a lot of hours of practice to learn the technique that is safe and actually translates to explosive power.

On the other hand, presuming you have basic mobility and movement skills, you should be able to start reaping the benefits of this system immediately because training time from day one is devoted to the execution of quick and aggressive movements.





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