Should You Use Plyometrics?

Yes and no.

We rarely do any plyometric work during the season. Why?

Because our athletes are going to skills training two days a week and playing on the weekend. That's 3 days where they'll be sprinting, jumping and changing direction. Doing a few sets of jumps and hops in the gym is not going to make them any more powerful.

During the off-season, we do 0 plyometrics - this is a time to work on strength and size.

During pre-season, we start to do a little more. But even then, it doesn't make up much of our program. We'll add some jumps, hops and explosive upper body stuff into our pre-season training where the athletes don't have games or the stress of competition.

We usually do something simple like 5 sets of 3 and we we'll mix up the stimulus i.e.:

- Vertical vs horizontal (jumping up, jumping out, throwing into the sky or throwing out in front)

- Rebound vs stationary start (depth drops into jumps vs vertical jumps vs seated vertical jumps)

- Single leg/arm vs double leg/arm (pretty self-explanatory)

Honestly, if you want to become more explosive, it's hard to go past sprinting. Sprinting at the oval or my favourite - up hills - is your best bet.

Olympic lifting is good for developing power if you know the technique.

We like to spend time using lighter weights on lifts such as the bench, squat and dead and lift with the intention to move as fast as possible. Bands and chains can be used here.

And simply getting stronger will help you become more powerful. Power is just your ability to express force (strength) rapidly.

So yes, we do plyometrics at specific times of the year, but we don't think they should make up a big part of your program.



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