Plyometrics Training for athletes #1 tweaks for amazing power

1. Plyometrics Training Exercises 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 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.

Plyometrics Training Exercises
Plyometrics Training Exercises

2. Plyometrics Training Exercises Muscle Mechanism

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

However, and should realize 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), and can dramatically increase the force generated.

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 muscle’s elastic components.

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. Plyometrics Training Exercises – 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 practising for the line out, or a volleyball player interested in increasing vertical jump height, drop jumping, or plyometrics, box jumping may be the right exercise.

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


Plyometric Articles
Plyometrics Box Jumps

4. Plyometric Training Exercises Program

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

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

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

Jumping Into Plyometrics Training Exercises
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 pushups – 4x 6-10

(100-foot contacts)

Rest: 2 min

Progression: Add 1 rep to 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-ups – 2x 8-10

(90-foot contacts)

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

(130-foot contacts)

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 – 3×12
7. Medicine ball sit-up – 3x 10-15

(164-foot contacts)

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 boxes jump – 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

(135-foot contacts)

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.


Additional Exercises

  • Stair jumps
  • Bonding hops
  • Depth jumps


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

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

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 body weight and things every gym has available.


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

My goal with this system was to include instinctual movements that naturally allow you to apply high power levels 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 many hours of practice to learn the safe technique and translate it 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.


Are plyometric training and speed, agility, and quickness (SAQ) training the same?

Plyometric training focuses on the ATP Energy system and is primarily used to increase Power, represented as (Speed x Strength).

An example would be a Basketball player wanting to increase their jump. So they’d incorporate short, sharp sets of box jumps or back squats to train the system to increase power.

Plyometric sets are usually done around 6, with reps being low and weight being low. Keep in mind we are training the ATP system, which only lasts about 8–10 secs. That system is responsible for all power activities, i.e., throwing a punch, throwing a ball, a forceful kick, and a jump. Any activity that is short and sharp. You lose ATP (and therefore power), and the movement becomes slower and less effective. I.e., kicking something for 30 secs; after the first 10 sets, you’ll slow down in power and output (unless highly trained).

SAQ is focused on agility and speed. This is because agility can change direction at speed, and speed can cover the distance in the shortest time possible.

Now you can say that in many cases, to increase speed, say over 40m, you’d incorporate Plyometric training as the explosiveness will help you get off the line quicker. 100m sprinters primarily use Plyometrics as their training method to use maximum force for approx 9secs. If you were to train a sprinter by making them run marathons, you’d screw up their performance.

Do I have to do strength training for plyometrics training exercises to be effective (improve speed, agility, jump, etc.)?

This information is a system compiled from various sprint coaches who have had a lot of success. This is not theory & it is not information that I have dreamed up or ideas that I am just throwing out there.

You cannot JUST make sprints every day and hope to get faster—that will not make you any faster—it will get you in good shape. And it will amount to overtraining your legs. That is not the smart way to build sprinting speed.

Anybody can get faster if they know how to train for it—you have to train smarter, not harder. It doesn’t mean you can be a track star—it means you can get faster. You have to know how to train and what to do on specific days to get the best results.

For the best results, you need to work the 3 components: sprints, weightlifting for legs, and plyometrics(jumping drills); for the best results, you need to alternate Speed Day and Recovery Day. On Recovery Day, you train, but light to moderate.

What won’t work

You will not get any faster, just making sprints every day, which most football coaches and others have their teams do every day. So, yes, you will be conditioned and in shape, but don’t expect it to make you any faster.

Track teams do not make sprints every day—you cannot beat your legs down every day, or you will overtrain, and they will not get stronger—you have to train smarter—that’s what the Recovery Day is for—so the legs can rest, recover and grow—So you might do Speed training on Mon, Wed, Fri and do Recovery Day on Tues, Thurs, Sat—complete rest one day a week on Sunday.


So it’s important how you structure your training week

—going back to the 3 components, Sprints would be a Speed day—Weightlifting would be a Speed Day—Plyometrics would be a Speed Day—so if you alternate Speed Day and Recovery Day, you need to do all 3 Speed components on the same day—that’s Sprints, Weightlifting, Plyometrics all on the same day.

The next day is Recovery Day, with light to moderate training, such as walking over hurdles forwards, backward, and sideways, and training hip flexors. Light jog around a track only twice, though—do not jog for continuous laps, or you will be training your body to run slow—there is more, but these are the basics.

Weightlifting would be leg presses, deadlifts, lunges with dumbbells, step-ups on the bench with dumbbells, and a few others—Do not do heavy squats to avoid injury to the back–do not do leg extensions or leg curls as they are a waste of time for sprinters—Deadlift is the most important for sprinters.

Speed Day

On Speed Day, I would train weights first, then sprints, and finish with plyometrics, followed by a warm-down and stretching—Before you make sprints, you will do dynamic warmups—look these up on Youtube.

For Plyometrics, you can start with A-skips, B-skips, short, single-leg hops sideways, one-legged runs, one-legged zig-zag runs, broad jumps, high jumps, bounds, triple jumps on alternating legs, jump over hurdles, rocket jumps(lunge jumps), and more–Do not do “Depth Jumps” as they cause injury to the knees and are not necessary with so many other plyometric drills to choose from.


For sprints, you don’t need to make more than 6-10 sprints after warm-ups–

Work “starts” first, though–which consists of starting in 3 points or 4-point stance and exploding out for only 6 steps or so–

You can do 10 of these in 5 minutes or less–

Then maybe 30-yard sprints x 2; 40-yard sprints x 2; 60-yard sprints x 2; 80-yard sprints x 2; 100-yard sprints x 2, or only 6-10 of these if you choose.

This is a basic blueprint—it doesn’t go into the details of plyometrics, hip flexors, hurdles, weightlifting, and more. However, this should help guide you on your way to beginning & intermediate-level training. For more advanced level training, you might want to consult a sprint coach in your local area if you know of one with a reputation for getting results or buy online packages to research more information.




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