30 Jul Plyometric training- not just for the elite!
Written By Jackson McKellar , Lead Physiotherapist Stride Physiotherapy and Health Group Moonee Ponds
Plyometric training is often the last component of a well thought out rehabilitation plan or one of the main components of a comprehensive training program. Despite this, plyometric training is often left out of rehabilitation programs post injury and believed to be only for the elite athlete. Read on as we debunk that myth and why we believe they need to be included in most well rounded return from injury programs.
Plyometric exercises, such as jumping and hopping are exercises that exert maximum muscle force over a short period of time. There is scientific evidence that shows that a comprehensive plyometric program can help to improve power and the properties of producing force quickly by the body, important in a lot of activities we participate in such as running.
In nearly every sport that involves short, sharp, explosive movement patterns (AFL, Rugby, Basketball, Cricket etc etc) plyometrics are imperative for ensuring individual participants not only perform at their best but minimise the risk of sustaining an injury!
In injury rehabilitation programs, returning from activities that include impact type movements such as running, plyometric training should be introduced alongside strength exercises to ensure specificity and the best chance of achieving success.
Plyometric progressions can include jumping on one leg instead of two, increasing the height of the ‘drop’ or ‘jump’, or increasing the number of jumps in a rep. A common mistake that is made with plyometric progressions is the addition of weight to exercises i.e. split jumps, whilst holding dumbbells. Holding weights, although challenging, can reduce the quality of plyometric exercises, as the ‘explosive nature’ of the exercise is often decreased.
To ensure you get the maximum benefit out of your plyometric exercises, they should be completed with smaller rep numbers and larger rest times. The focus need be on the quality in the movements and good intent in executing the exercise.
If you haven’t had plyometrics included in your return from injury program, reach out and we can discuss with you how they will help in your situation. Make sure you have given yourself every chance to return and succeed returning from injury. Give yourself more certainty than uncertainty for success.