A lot of people don’t really understand how to properly use plyometrics to increase vertical jump, speed, and quickness. One of the reasons for this is that they’re a bit difficult to understand since there is so much information out there about them. If you do a search for plyometrics on Google you’ll get all kinds of different information about what they are and how to use them. This can be a bit overwhelming especially when you’re first starting out.
The main problem is that a lot of people out there are not incorporating plyometrics into their workouts. They don’t understand the incredible benefits that you can receive from using these kinds of exercises. If you combine plyometrics with resistance training (weight lifting) you can see some pretty amazing results in terms of developing a better vertical and more quickness. The one catch is that in order to see optimal results with plyometrics you have to perform them correctly.
Here is a basic explanation of what happens when you use plyometrics. What you’re basically doing is storing elasticity in your muscles that will be used to perform an explosive movement. Think of your muscles as big rubber bands. The can expand and contract at very rapid rates, and the faster you can perform this expansion and contraction the higher you can jump.
The process of loading your muscles for release occurs when you’re about to jump. Right before you take off, you load your muscles with tension that will quickly be released right when you jump. Plyometrics can help you make this motion much more powerful and that’s why they’re so good at making you jump higher. Plyometrics can even be applied to your upper body to create insane amounts of strength, but I’ll save that for another article.
The time between the expansion and contraction of your muscle during a jump is called “amortization”. It’s basically the moment where your body is absorbing the shock and preparing to jump. This amortization period is the most important point in time during your jump. You want that period of time to be as short as possible in order to allow your body to fully utilize the muscle tension that you’ve built up.
If this seems a little confusing, don’t worry. Check out the video below for some illustrations and more explanation of the things I’ve mentioned here. There are also some more very important tips about using plyos to increase your vertical jump, so watch the video all the way through!
Video Explanation of Plyometrics for Vertical Jump