Training Tip: Keep Your Feet Moving
Plyometrics is a buzzword and everybody seems to want to do them, but how many people really understand what it means? Plyometrics involves the eccentric stretch and elastic contraction of muscle (most often the hamstrings, though plyos can be done with a variety of movements). Muscle can eccentrically load 140% of it’s concentric strength. This means that when the foot strikes the ground and the hips drop, the hamstrings snap back and generate power through the hips.
As a learning drill (by learning, I mean teaching the Central Nervous System (CNS) to respond faster and more efficiently) one should not perform high volumes of excessive movement and repetition. This becomes counterproductive to speed development and becomes simply a conditioning drill. Also, as coordination degrades, the likelihood of injury increases due to poor form or control. Plyometric movement should always follow good form for running, jumping, or similar triple-extension movements.
Jaime Gamache M.Ed., CSCS, is Owner and Head Strength Coach at The Way Human Performance Institute. Follow us also on Facebook and Twitter. Any questions or requests for future topics, please email email@example.com