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About Plyometric Training

Published: 05 Mar 2006 - 11:09 by rippa rit

Updated: 25 Sep 2008 - 20:42

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A further look at components of fitness and how to train.

"Case study from The World Sports Science Training Workbook:

How weight training releases the awesome power of ‘plyometric training’


Have you ever watched a top sprinter and realised just how fast they are running? Kim Collins would get a speeding ticket in built-up areas! And what about the slam-dunk in basketball? How on earth do players like Shaquille O'Neal leave planet earth and attain such height? And what of Matthew Pinsent and James Cracknell? Unbridled, these rowers would seem to be able to tear their boat apart!

Wherever you look in the world of top-class sport, power counts; and the following case study from The World Sports Science Training Workbook shows one of the best ways to develop this most precious commodity is through plyometric training.

Plyometric exercises
Plyometric exercises develop fast muscle fibre. It’s based on the understanding that a concentric (shortening) muscular contraction is much stronger if it immediately follows an eccentric (lengthening) contraction of the same muscle. It’s a bit like stretching out a coiled spring to its fullest extent and then letting it go: immense levels of energy are released in a split second as the spring recoils.

Plyometric exercises develop this recoil. Muscle fibre stores more elastic energy and transfers more quickly and powerfully from the eccentric to the concentric phase.

Combining weight training with plyometrics
Weight training, used correctly, has a vital role to play in laying the foundations for generating specific sports-related power. Unlike traditional weight training, plyometric drills can closely mimic both the movement pattern and the speed of execution of actual sports performance.

A larger and stronger muscle built up by weight training will be able to generate greater force plyometrically, and strengthened tendons and muscles will be less prone to strains and pulls. Combining weight training with plyometrics is also used for a heightened fast twitch muscle fibre response.

Power workouts for your sport
The World Sports Science Training Workbook module on power workouts gives you quality plyometric drills that replicate the speed and movement patterns of your chosen sport."

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