5 reasons why athletes need Plyometrics

Plyometrics, or plyometric training, is a set of exercises consisting of eccentric muscle contractions. As most coaches know, rapid movement, achieved by the stretch-shortening cycle, is characteristic of these exercises. No wonder why plyometric workouts are so often used as a strength training program; depending, of course, on the form and speed of the exercise.

Still, it’s important to note that, for an athlete to execute a plyometric exercises program, they must first have reached a certain level of muscle strength. Only then, can their body endure plyos, since it’s a type of high-intensity training, requiring a strong musculoskeletal system.

Why do athletes need Plyometrics?

Athletes train for their own reasons. But, part of their set of goals remains the same. They need to get better, improve with time; enough, to help them cross the finish line at the race they’ve set eyes on. To do that, they need performance. And they need to stay out of trouble, such as overtraining, undertraining, injuries or demotivation. Plyometrics can help them achieve their goals faster, because it provides them with new tools and new ways to endure and even thrive on hard exercises.

What does Plyometrics have to offer?

To get right to the point, plyometrics:

1. Improves motion control

Sports, like running, that involve vibration — that is, the phase of landing and the contact of the foot with the ground — essentially require a continuous plyometric movement. For this reason, if you coach runners or triathletes, you should include plyometric exercises into their training, to help them acquire better movement coordination.

2. Helps prevent injuries

As mentioned, plyometric exercises require a musculoskeletal system strong enough to withstand this type of training. However, when an athlete gets into plyos, they gradually strengthen their musculoskeletal system; consequently, the possibility of injury decreases — which is altogether great news, for many reasons; as you well know, already.

3. Increases joint stability

Based on everything we’ve mentioned, so far, through plyometrics, both the muscles and the tendons responsible for the stability of the joints, become stronger.  Being stronger than before, they can provide the athlete with greater stability; which is critical in every sport, especially in trail or mountain sports. 

4. Improves overall power and speed

Regarding all endurance races, during the training process, we, coaches, try to get our athletes to achieve an increase in speed; as well as an increase in the speed of execution of the movement. This especially stands for experienced athletes. Plyometric training is the ideal method to stick to, if your athlete is to achieve such a result, after all.

5. Enhances coordination

How does plyometrics enhance coordination? Well, for starters, the connection between the command given by the brain, and the movements our body is called to perform is improved. Such an adjustment is necessary for all endurance sports. 

On one hand, this adjustment certainly helps attain optimal technical performance. On the other hand, it helps boost performance in long duration sports; such as a half or full-distance triathlon. Indeed, with plyometrics training, the athlete can sustain a good level movement coordination, throughout a long-distance race.

Get your athletes strong, with plyometrics!

More often than not, athletes hesitate to integrate plyometrics into their training; and, with good reason. Don’t forget that this is high-intensity training, so it’s important for an athlete to find a good coach who will get them into plyometrics gradually enough to avoid injuries. You, as their coach, will ensure that they execute the exercises correctly; at least, in terms of technique. 

The good news is that, when your athlete reaches the strength level required to be able to withstand plyometric training, they’ll soon start experiencing the awesome effects of plyometrics; regardless of the endurance sport they train in. 

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5 reasons why athletes need Plyometrics was last modified: March 29th, 2023 by Marilena Kokkinou