"Getting Started" (In Plyometrics)
By: Vincent Belviso CSAC, SCS
Jump training can serve as the foundational element of power training before any type of external loading is applied. Maybe you haven’t started lifting weights yet or you have a younger child that you want to be more explosive on the field/court but are not sure their bodies are ready for the weights just yet. Jump training can serve as that introductory to force development.
Similar to almost every exercise out there, plyometrics have progressions and regressions. The important thing is to identify the base level, what we may refer to as an “assessment” in the fitness industry.
If someone wants to learn how to squat with the barbell, they should not just start throwing plates on the bar to see where they might collapse. Personally, we have every client perform a bodyweight squat initially. If someone is not efficient at controlling their own body in space, demonstrating the proper skills required in a squat (knees out, back flat, reaching proper depth), how can they be efficient in the movement once a load is applied?
In the same light, one should not just start stacking bumper plates on top of a box until they can no longer jump that high without mastering the fundamentals first. We want to train to perform better; not to fail. This requires being able to train on a consistent basis without having to take extended time off due to being so sore you can’t even walk for days or, even worse, injury.
Take care of one aspect (perfecting the basics) before trying to move on to the next level (progression)!
The following phases will detail lower intensity plyo work, feel free to use as THE workout in the beginning and gradually turn it into a warm-up as you become ready to progress:
I highly encourage you to begin here and perform this as your entire ‘plyo routine’ until you are comfortable and efficient at each movement, and to learn how to control your body so you do not feel like you are “crashing down” on every jump. As Tony Gentilcore would say, “land like a ninja.” The ability to control one’s own bodyweight in space needs to be the foundation of any plyo program. Do not rush through these steps- they are the building blocks for more advanced training.
Use this as a warm-up if you are interested in increasing your vertical, want to become better at jumping, or to feel better force production from your legs on heavier squats, deadlifts, or olympic lifting sessions. If you do, let me know how it goes. If you have any questions on how to implement plyometrics into your routine, let’s chat.
Vinnie can be reached at Vincent@freedomfitgym.com
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