Sep 27, 2016
Fundamental Plyometrics

Plyometric exercise has become a popular method for enhancing sports performance over the last two decades. Stemming from early Russian/Soviet Union practices, plyometrics started as simple exercises involving hopping and/or jumping, both in a vertical and horizontal direction. The sophistication has increased over the years, and with that sophistication, both coaches and athletes have gravitated toward complex movements to expedite the power/strength curves. With this expedited approach comes the potential risk of injury and/or overtraining. The fundamental approach to integrating plyometrics starts with basic movements in all standard directions – forward, lateral and diagonal. Once these directional movements are established, complex applications can be added and progressed to enhance performance.

Plyometrics, by definition, typically involves any movement, vertical, horizontal or lateral, that places the muscle in a stretched or lengthened position, followed by an immediate contraction or shortening of the muscle. Regardless of intensity, this mode of exercise attempts to mimic athletic competition movement, i.e., running, jumping, or throwing. Similar to these movements, if plyometrics can be properly progressed to allow adequate adaptation of soft tissue (muscles, tendons and ligaments), individuals are positioned better for athletic improvement.

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Fundamental plyometrics involve the accommodation to traditional ground-reaction forces through directional movement patterns, allowing proper adaptation of the muscles, tendons and ligaments. Perform-X Training Systems has designed a pattern that combines directional movement with built-in progressions. This method was first established, in the United States, by John Frappier through specific line drill patterns. Don Chu, Ph.D., later outlined this concept in his book, “Plyometrics

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