Plyometric exercises have been used for a very long period in sport-specific training, but these days, it is also a part of the exercise regimes in health clubs and gyms. These exercises help in improving the body's agility and performing sports activities with greater force.
If you have reached a plateau in your weight loss program or you want to shake up your regular exercise routine, you can switch to these workouts for a change. The body goes into the plateau mode when it is doing the same set of exercises over and over again for an extended period. It adapts to those exercises and stops reacting to them.
In simple terms, a plyometric exercise simply means an explosive movement from a static hold. With half an hour of these workouts, you will have the same strength and cardio benefits without any weights.
Plyometric Exercise Routine
In this routine, the muscle is loaded and contracted in repetitive rapid sequences, with the use of strength, elasticity, and innervation of the muscles and surrounding tissue. This helps the person to jump higher, run faster, throw farther, etc.
This workout helps to increase the speed and force of muscular contractions, and provides explosiveness for a variety of sports activities. It can be done along with strength training exercises.
If you want to design a plyometric workout routine for basketball players, then you will have to include exercises, which comprise jumping. This workout should also have some upper body plyometric exercises. They will help the players to jump as well as dunk the ball correctly.
There is a similarity in the workout routine designed for runners and basketball players. The similarity is that, both the routines should have exercises, which will help in strengthening the lower body.
We will now see exercises for the lower body, which are divided into low intensity exercises, moderate intensity exercises, and high intensity exercises.
Low Intensity Exercises
The first exercise is the squat jump. This exercise is more beneficial for basketball players. An important tip to remember when you do this exercise, is to land on both the feet, rest for a second, and then repeat the same.
When you do this exercise, remember, not to hold in the squat position, before you jump on the box. If you hold in the position, your legs will be tired and you will not be able to use all your force. The other important tip is, not to jump, but step back down.
Lateral jump onto the box is the next low intensity exercise. The tips to remember are the same as the previously mentioned exercise.
Some of the exercises in this section, bear resemblance to the low intensity exercises. They include, split squat jumps, lateral box push ups, lateral hurdle jumps, bounding, tuck jumps, etc. When you do the exercises that involve jumping in the air, remember to keep the ground contact time to the minimum, between two repetitions.
It is recommended to do the high intensity workouts only after you have mastered the low and moderate intensity ones. These workouts include, zig zag hops, single leg tuck jumps, single leg lateral hops, depth jumps, etc.
Upper Body Exercises
As are the lower body exercises important, the upper body exercises are also important. The exercises to be included in this section are, overhead throws, single arm overhead throws, side throws, over back toss, slams, explosive start throws, squat throws, plyometric push ups, etc.
When you are doing upper body exercises, it is important to catch the ball. This will help in giving you some added cardiovascular exercise.
When you are designing your plyometric routine, the aim should not be to include too many variations, as it won't fetch better or faster results. The ideal number of exercises recommended for the lower body are 2 to 4 variations, which are interspersed with upper body plyometric exercises.