Plyometrics are exercises that involve working through the stretch-shortening cycle of a muscle. These usually involve jumps – especially multiple jumps in a row.
These are often seen in the training of athletes, where they’re great for developing power, speed, and the ability to produce force rapidly. These are crucial changes for improving overall athleticism.
These are great for your goals, too, whether you realise it or not. They’re a great type of exercise to add to strength and physique training, making the most of your muscle mass and developing well-rounded fitness.
Combining plyos with strength training – especially with very little rest like in a superset of squats and jumps – develops power and explosiveness. This is great for sports but will also make your strength gains more sustainable into the future.
This type of training boosts your motor unit recruitment which is one of the key factors in mechanical tension. This means improved workouts, which mean improved strength and muscle mass.
However, you need to be careful when adding plyometrics since they can tax your muscles and joints if you’re not careful. Make sure you have a solid base of strength and movement before you train plyometrics.
Start small, too. Begin with exercises like box jumps where the landing is soft, before advancing to drop jumps, bunny hops, and other cyclical movements. The take you through landing and jumping rapidly, so you need to prepare your body.