Plyometrics (also known as "plyos" and "jumping") is a type of exercise training designed to produce fast, powerful movements, and improve the functions of the nervous system, generally for the purpose of improving performance in sports. Plyometric exercises may also be referred to as explosive exercises. Plyometric movements, in which a muscle is loaded and then contracted in rapid sequence, use the strength, elasticity and innervation of muscle and surrounding tissues to jump higher, run faster, throw farther, or hit harder, depending on the desired training goal. Plyometrics is used to increase the speed or force of muscular contractions, providing explosiveness for a variety of sport-specific activities. Plyometrics has been shown across the literature to be beneficial to a variety of athletes. Benefits range from injury prevention, power development and sprint performance amongst others.

 

Procedure
 
Plyometric training involves and uses practicing plyometric movements to enhance tissues abilities and train nerve cells to stimulate a specific pattern of [muscle contraction] so the muscle generates as strong a contraction as possible in the shortest amount of time. A plyometric contraction involves first a rapid muscle lengthening movement (eccentric phase), followed by a short resting phase (amortization phase), then an explosive muscle shortening movement (concentric phase), which enables muscles to work together in doing the particular motion. Plyometric training engages the myotatic reflex, which is the automatic contraction of muscles when their stretch sensory receptors are stimulated.
 
Muscular power and muscular strength are two different things. Muscular strength refers to how much force can be applied (The ability to lift a heavier weight as opposed to a lighter one). Strength alone is good indicative of speed. Although muscle strength is correlated to sprint performance, research has shown that combining both resistance training and plyometric training will have better effects on training. While plyometrics assists in rapid force development (power), weight training assists in maximal force output (strength). Power refers to the combined factors of speed and strength. Performance in many sports is based on different types of power. In American Football, a lineman and a receiver may have the same power, but they have different limitations in how their power is delivered. The lineman would be speed-limited, whereas the receiver would be strength-limited. The purpose of plyometrics is to emphasize speed-based power. One activity that requires speed-favored power is high jumping: ultimately, jump height is determined by how fast one is moving once one's legs have left the ground. Good jumpers may not have exceptional leg strength, but they can produce it at exceptional speeds. Studies have shown that training a plyometric activity such as drop jump allows the athlete to increase the pre-activation and pre-stretch of the muscles and allows the coach to assess landing techniques that are vital to the production of force [3]. With the increase of force production, an athlete becomes more powerful explosive and stable when performing tasks decreasing risk of injury and increasing overall performance on the playing field.
 

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