What Are Plyometrics?
Speed and strength are integral components of fitness found in varying
degrees in virtually all athletic movements. Simply put the combination
of speed and strength is power. For many years coaches and athletes have
sought to improve power in order to enhance performance. Throughout this
century and no doubt long before, jumping, bounding and hopping exercises
have been used in various ways to enhance athletic performance.
Plyometrics can best be described as "explosive-reactive" power training.
This type of training involves powerful muscular contractions in response
to a rapid stretching of the involved musculature. These powerful
contractions are not a pure muscular event; they have an extremely high
degree of central nervous system involvement. The event is a neuromuscular
event! It is a combination of an involuntary reflex (i.e. a neural event),
which is then followed by a fast muscular contraction (i.e. voluntary
muscular event). Sound complicated? Well, it's really not. We all have
seen it, experienced it and continue to use this type of "reactive"
movement pattern to develop power. We all do it everyday.