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Understanding Plyometrics

Ever heard of Plyometrics?

Plyometrics, otherwise known as jump training, is a sports conditioning technique to improve performance. If you've never heard of it, don't worry, but the good news is that it is very good for building strength and full body conditioning while receiving a cardiovascular benefit - all at the same time.

The exercises that are included in plyometrics cause the exerciser to utilize muscles they don't normally use, including both lower and upper body muscles important for balance and core strength.

They're also great for doing morning exercises and they cost nothing for equipment, so they're frugal too.

They're also adaptable. Exercises such as push ups, squats and lunges can be made into plyometric exercises by pushing upwards to make you leave the ground through the point of contact (heels for squats and lunges, palms for push ups). Thus the simple act of push ups becomes more difficult and also more rewarding physically.

Other plyometric exercises include:

#1. Jumping side to side, back and front
#2. Long jumps
#3. Jumping with a knee tuck
#4. Swing kicks (straight leg swinging over a chair)
#5. Exercises that mimics sports movement such as throwing a basketball in a jump shot.

When you first start doing plyometric routines you might be concerned over prior injuries in your ankles and/or knees. However, what you will discover is that the training actually strengthened those weaknesses, instead of aggravating them.

The beauty of plyometric training is that it can be easily modified for the individual:

#1. Exercises can explode out of the form without leaving the ground
#2. One leg exercises can be completed on two legged exercises
#3. Smaller jumps can be substituted for high jumps

Plyometrics training will make athletes stronger at their game and the hobby exerciser receives overall body conditioning, and provide a nice change of pace for a general fitness regimen.

You may even enjoy it and make it part of your regular routine. :)

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