What are Plyometrics?

what do I need to know?

Plyometrics – or “plyos” – are a popular form of chiropractic training that was developed in the 1970s for Olympic athletes. These exercises focus on quick, explosive movements that condition the body with dynamic resistance that rapidly stretches a muscle (eccentric phase) and then rapidly shorten it (concentric phase). Plyometric exercises are based around scientific evidence showing that a stretch-shortening cycle will activate what is known as a “stretch reflex” or “myotactic reflex.” This is the same reflex that occurs when a doctor taps your knee causing your quadriceps to contract. The tap on your knee causes a fast stretch of the tendon and the muscle will contract very quickly. When you perform plyometric exercises and activate this reflex, it will improve the contraction speed of the muscle and increase your explosiveness and power.  All of the sports chiropractors at Premier Sports and Spine Center are Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCS) and have been licensed by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) to use plyometrics in strength programs safely and effectively.

The benefits of Plyometrics include:

Plyometric exercises can be used in training sessions for individuals or teams.  The end result, as established by a multitude of research studies, confirms massive benefits which include:

  • Increase in body balance and body speed and acceleration
  • Significant increases in muscle strength and power
  • Increased calcium deposition in the bones for participating individuals
  • Achievement of personal records in jumping or hopping activities
  • Achievement of personal records in weight lifting testing
  • Achievement of personal records in speed and agility testing

When returning back to sports after an injury, these conditions MUST have plyometrics incorporated into the athlete’s programming:

what are the risks of doing Plyometrics?

Plyometric exercises do come with an inherent risk, however. If you are considering a plyometric exercise program it is important that you consult with a physician specializing in sports medicine. When recovering from injury, it is important to follow a systematic, phased return to activity, including proper prescription and timing of incorporating plyometric training.  There are also guidelines for when youth athletes can start participating in plyometric and strength training programs. If the athlete is too young, the growth plates can be affected and/or injury can occur.  The sports chiropractic physicians at Premier Sports and Spine Center are trained and certified in strength and conditioning and are experienced with the development of plyometric exercise programs for both individuals and teams.

If you need an individualized strength program that includes plyometrics or have a condition that may benefit from doing plyometrics and want to make an appointment at our Eden Prairie or Eagan clinic locations, or to discuss your case with one of our sports chiropractic physicians, contact us or call 952-479-0043 today.

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