Plyometric exercise refers to movements that involve a high-intensity eccentric (muscle lengthening) contraction immediately after a rapid and powerful concentric (muscle shortening) contraction. This type of exercise can improve balance, vertical jump height, and power production for the general population.
Specifically, in 2017, Nobre et. al conducted a study related to plyometric training, they found that a 20-minute plyometric session, training twice a week for 12 weeks, improved handgrip strength, sit and reach, curl-ups, standing long jump, running speed in 7–9-year-old boys who were overweight.
Plyometric exercise should be incorporated into your workout routine because it not only can strengthen your major muscle groups, but it can also be modified to excellent cardiovascular exercise if the intensity and repetition are chosen correctly. In addition, plyometric training requires continuous high-intensity movements which is also a great way to challenge your stamina.
In the following, we will show you three simple plyometric exercises. These exercises are good for increasing the power and agility of the lower limb, and at the same time improve your hip, knee, and ankle joint stability.
Start with standing up tall, jump as far to one side as possible, without pausing, jump to the opposite side as far as possible. Make sure you are not jumping forward or backward. Perform 10 jumps per side.
With both feet, jump up as high as possible. Land in a squat position on the way down. Without pausing, jump up again from a squat position. Perform this exercise 10-15 times in a row.
Depends on the individual ability, find a sturdy platform that is 20 cm to 40 cm above ground. Using both feet, jump up to the platform and land on both feet. Jump backwards and down and land with both feet. Perform this exercise for 10 times.
For untrained or individuals who are new to plyometric training, start with a total number of jumps of 50 per session, twice a week. Then increase the total number of jumps by 10 for every 2 weeks.
Plyometric training is not for everyone. Individuals who are healthy can start plyometric training at any time. However, if you have osteoarthritis or any other medical conditions, please consult your medical professionals before starting plyometric training.
Reference: Nobre, G. G., de Almeida, M. B., Nobre, I. G., dos Santos, F. K., Brinco, R. A., Arruda-Lima, T. R., ... & Santos-Silva, S. M. (2017). Twelve weeks of Plyometric training improves motor performance of 7-to 9-year-old boys who were overweight/obese: a randomized controlled intervention. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 31(8), 2091-2099.