Beginner’s Guide to Plyometrics
People who are into fitness workouts must have certainly executed some routines that belong to a category of exercise training called plyometrics. They may not know it but using the jumping rope, doing the squat jump, and even the jumping jack are all exercises that fall under this class. For athletes, however, training and warm-up activities include many such movements. In fact, these involve exercises that specifically address the physical need of the sport they are into, especially those very active ones such as soccer, basketball, and track and field games.
Fast and powerful movements of the body are what distinguish plyometrics from other routines. These improve the condition of the nervous system. Of course, with frequency, these will also enhance athletic performance. The areas focused in the exercise are the muscle groups in the arms and legs. In fast sequences, these are repetitively stretched and compressed to enhance its strength, innervations, and elasticity. The natural result would be ones ability to hit harder, run quicker, and jump higher, after a period of constant exercise.
One does not have to be involved in active sports to do plyometric exercises. While it does address the need for muscle strength and agility among athletes, it also improves the conditions of the heart and the blood circulatory system. Just like most cardio routines, this definitely can be everyone’s daily pursuit. Since it does not need any piece of fitness equipment but perhaps a good pair of rubber shoes, one can perform it at home, after a few laps at a track, or even to finish an early morning run at the park.
Athletes, however, spend more time with plyometric routines in high intensity. Their usual movements mimic those that they normally do when playing the sport they are in. Basketball players make vertical leaps with arms stretched upwards as if they are rebounding for the ball. Tennis players also sprint across the court, do swift lateral motions, and swing their arms just as they when in an actual game. Through that, they enhance their athletic abilities. If you are just a newbie, however, you should not perform exercises just as the athletes would or else you could run the risk of getting an injury.
Even professional athletes are required perform plyometrics with caution. The activity demands a lot from one’s muscles and tendons. Executing it the wrong way or without preparation, can lead to sprains and other similar injuries. The key to prevent these from happening is to condition the body first with a series of warm-up exercises such as stretching. The more repetitions done for every particular warm-up exercise, the safer plyometric exercises become.
Plyometric exercises can also be done by those in ages thirteen and below but they are advised to do it in just a few repetitions and in lower intensity. Even for those who are in their late teens and beyond, safety measures must also be considered. These include surface softness, the correct techniques and body weight.
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