The summer is coming to an end and your first week of training is approaching quickly. Start by adding another dimension to your training with plyometrics. Your poor summer habits caused a little slack on the fast twitch muscle fibers – speed, agility, and power. So start working on the right muscle fibers during the preseason to get off to a great start. Plyometric training is definitely important to building that quickness back up from the summer.
How Plyometrics works?
Most people think of plyometrics as bounding, but any kind of quick and repetitive movement such as jumping, skipping and throwing is included. It is known that plyometrics help improve your speed, agility and power.
For example, during repetitive vertical jumps, when you land from one jump you must generate enough force to jump again immediately. The principal behind this is rapid force development. By doing this you are overloading the muscle and buliding explosiveness.
5 Plyometric Exercises
1. Quick Jumps
Start by picking a spot on the wall and stand with your shoulder facing the fall and hand up the wall. Jump up and hit that spot without bending your knees and keeping your feet together. Land in the same spot and immediately jump up and touch the same spot. Repeat 15-20 times. The next time you do quick jumps, try and touch a spot a little higher.
2. Line Jumps
Stand with your feet behind a line and quickly jump back and forth across the line 15-20 times. Another variation is to the right of the line and jump side to side across the line.
Bounding is basically running with an exaggerated knee drive. You can start with a couple normal running strides to gain a little speed, then drive your knee upward trying to get further with each step. Make sure each step is powerful and you’re getting a strong push off of the ground.
4. Box Depth Jumps
Stand on a box close to the front edge facing another box. Step off the one box landing on both feet between the boxes and immediately jump off the ground and onto the second box. You can increase the height of the boxes as you become better.
You can end with squat jumps because this can be a taxing exercise. Start in a squating postiion and once your legs become jsut above parallel to the ground, explode and jump as high as you can. Land softly and slowly lower again and repeat as explosive as you can be.
These few exercises can help train those fast twitch muscle fibers back into place to start your training once again, its just like riding a bicycle. Remember to be quick, explosive, and powerful, but also keeping the technique correct during the movements.