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Published on April 10, 2017

Get a Jump on Workouts with Plyometric Training

Your quickness, coordination, balance, power, explosiveness, speed and strength are all components of plyometric training. What's that big word mean?

It's simple: it's jump training, and it can really improve any aspect of your routine, since power can drive performance.

While speed may be the primary component track & field athletes consider as their seasons get started, plyometrics and the way it can boost other aspects of athletic performance are a reason why we recommend it, even if you're no track star. Having the ability to explode out of the blocks or to get max power from a single-leg stance during a jump is important for those athletes looking to set new records or win races. But anyone who implements jump training into their routine can reap its beneficial rewards, no matter your age or ability. And if you are not worried about speed and strength, plyometrics can still help you stay balanced, coordinated and less apt to suffer injury.

We do a wide range of "jump training" exercises when working with athletes, including line jumps, box jumps, broad jumps, vertical jumps, squat jumps and ski jumps. We even work the old-school medicine ball into the workouts. Most of these exercises can be done on single or double-leg, and each has its own points of focus. These efforts work best if performed about twice a week with an effort to progress from “easy” to “hard” both within your workout as well as your weekly training schedule.

Single-leg line jumps or box jumps challenge the athlete to control their center of mass while targeting the neuromuscular pathways associated with improving speed, strength and the force they can bring to their jump off the ground. When performing any plyometric drills, the goal is explosive; you want to produce as much force as you can and perform as many repetitions as possible in the least amount of time.

This style of training is a great way to build lower body strength and power, and the drills we mentioned target the muscles that provide explosiveness, namely the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and glutes. These essential force-generating muscles, when made stronger, can help prevent injuries. While they are simple, sometimes getting started can take a little help.

Avera Sports offers the Plyo Press, an Athletic Republic proprietary piece of equipment that allows for strength and power training, and gives us a distinct advantage compared to our competitors. We enjoy sharing how it works with many athletes, from those gunning for state track meets this summer or ones who want more power for any aspect of their life.

Take in any track meet this spring and you'll see the necessity for those intense and explosive, short-burst skills. While we identify them as part of track & field events, plyometric drills are a great addition to any training routine and can have you ready for your upcoming season, no matter when it starts.

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