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Plyometrics: Building Speed and Power
Plyometrics is a style of resistance training that involves the SSC (Stretch-Shortening-Cycle) of muscles, and focuses primary on developing the greatest force within a short period of time. Plyometrics involve explosive movements that help to improve the muscles' response time, tone, improve balance and also increase flexibility.
Plyometrics is not generally recommended for beginners in strength training and is aimed more at sportsmen and women who would look at plyometrics to help them improve their sport. Plyometrics focuses on the development of reactive strength, which is a key factor among many of these athletes.
Due to the high degree of explosiveness, it is easy to get injured doing plyometric training, especially if you are not supervised by a personal trainer or sports coach who is proficient in the training style. Generally, plyometrics would only be recommended for athletes who have an already high degree of developed musculoskeletal strength.
A typical example of a plyometric move would be a drop jump. In this movement, the athlete stands on a chair or bench and drops down from a set height. As he/she drops down, their knees automatically bend, resulting in a stretch of the extensor muscles. Then, without any pausing, they jump straight up as explosively as possible, extending the legs which results in a shortening of the leg extensor muscles.
Author: Dimi Ingle
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