Thoughts on Plyometric Training – Part Three FAQ’s

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The following are common questions and concern regarding Plyometric training.

How often is optimum? Two to three times a seven-day microcycle depending on the phase of the year and the sport is acceptable. Low amplitude remedial in place movements can be done daily as part of warm-up.

How complex should the exercises be? Start with simple movements in place and then add combinations as the athlete achieves mastery. As far as sequence and compatibility with other components, Plyometric training and strength training are very complementary. Plyometric training is also very compatible with speed development. Given this fundamental compatibility with other methods of high neural demand it imperative to take into account the overall stress on the nervous system when combining methods.

Where in the training spectrum does Plyometric training best fit? It must always be there! The number of contacts, the type of exercise and the complexity changes as the season progresses.

Where in the workout is best? Generally early in the workout before there is any fatigue. With the younger developing athlete put Plyometric training before strength training and before sprinting. As the athlete advances in training age then the Plyometric can be blended with the strength training during certain phases and even follow strength training. The sequence is very training age dependent.

At what age is the appropriate to begin Plyometric training? There is no physiological reason why the young developing athlete cannot do Plyometric training. The intensity should be low and the drills and exercises should be play like. Games like hopscotch and jump rope are very appropriate as training and as lead-up activities. How is it best to assess intensity if it is so important? Wherever and when ever possible measure, time, video, watch and listen.

What about progression? When problems do occur it is often because of a lack of progression, too much too soon or an inappropriate selection of exercises. Also poor technique in the actual execution of the exercises can create inappropriate stress. Strength deficiencies either in the lower extremities or the core coupled with the previous two deficiencies can be a major factor in injury.

In summary if properly applied Plyometric training can be a tremendous training tool. Use it progressively and always make sure it is always considered in context with the whole training program.

Plyometric Training Step by Step

  • Learn to land
    • How you land determines how you take-off
    • Use as many joint as possible to reduce force
  • Learn to take-off
    • Triple extension- Use as many joint as possible to produce force
  • Learn to use the ground
    • Progress from:
      • Two foot landing
      • One foot landing
      • Alternate foot landings
  • Get Vertical
    • Project and displace up
  • Get Horizontal
Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta

@coachgambetta

Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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