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Plyometrics for elastic strength

Various sports require different types of strength and plyometrics is one type of exercise that can offer a great deal of positive benefits.

Plyometrics are classified as any type of training that will be geared towards improving your power or explosiveness. Common forms that are performed include jumping, bounding and hopping. These will all aide in increasing the elastic strength that is shown in the lower body muscles.

Plyometrics are going to depend on the rapid muscular contractions that take place in order to move your body in a very short period of time. This will usually take place on the eccentric portion of an exercise so that's what's most often going to be stressed in the training exercises you perform. However, with most of the exercises you cannot separate eccentric from concentric, both types of movements will be utilized. Note too that if the eccentric portion is not following the concentric portion immediately, much of the elasticity force developed will then be lost.

When choosing the type of training you wish to do, consider what will closely resemble the actions you make in the sport you play. This will then provide the best direct transfer over of skills and therefore prove to be most beneficial.

Some examples that you could include in your program are:

  • box jumps - jumping off a box and then rebounding off the floor upon landing
  • double-legged bounds - bounding as far of a distance as you can off two feet
  • tuck jumps - jumping up and tucking the legs into the chest
  • squat jumps - jumping up and down from a squatting position
  • standing hops - jumping up and down with as little knee bend as possible
  • clap push-ups - pushing off the ground during the action and trying to clap the hands in the air
  • medicine ball chest passes - throwing a medicine ball to a partner and them catching and releasing as quickly as possible
When performing these exercises, ensure you are taking enough rest time in between each set to fully let your body recover. As they are fairly intense in nature, many will also work your cardiovascular system as well so you will get the dual benefits of both an increase in strength as well as heart conditioning.

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