It is unfortunate that plyometrics, as a form of exercise that yields unique and impressive results, has been diluted into what it is today– a fancy name for any exercise that involves jumping regardless of technique. The fact is that plyometrics are a type of exercise that has the potential to help a strong athlete become a very powerful athlete by conditioning muscles into very quick reaction times once they are sufficiently strong.
Take it back to 9th grade physics. Speed and strength are different things. These two factors together are what make force.
Plyometrics then, are exercises that condition strong muscles to perform contractions that are very quick, efficient and strong. Consider that some plyometric exercises have been shown to shorten muscle contraction time to .10-.20 seconds.
The basics benefits of plyometrics can be seen in physical action such as throwing a ball or performing a standing jump. In the throw, the arm would be quickly cocked back and in the jump the jumper would perform a quick half-squat before exploding into action.
Since the human brain has a neurological reaction that keeps muscles from stretching beyond their limits, the brain reacts to the “cocking” of these muscles by causing them to contract more quickly than they would with just the conscious contraction, i.e. holding a full squat for several seconds and then performing a high jump.
Now, plyometrics are not for everyone. In fact, the physician who is credited with creating plyometric exercises in the first place explained that most people should never use plyometric exercise anyway.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily understood by the author, Jeff. Find more on his Google+.