Plyometric training not only can be implemented with athletes, but also with the general population to improve and enhance everyday functional activities (Clark, Sutton, & Lucett, 2015). Many studies of young people to older groups implementing plyometric training has improved many physiological factors, including motor learning and neuromuscular efficiency, which consequently shown to significantly reduce injuries (Clark et al., 2015). In one study, for instance, boys and young men performing plyometric exercises were seeing markers on bone growth (Kish, Mezil, Ward, Klentrou, & Falk, 2015). In fact, the boys were showing more bone growth marker responses than the young men due to greater mechanical stimuli in the boys’ younger age.
In elderly populations, moreover, which degenerations of muscle mass and weaker neural activation from the central nervous system for functional movements are widely documented, can also benefit from plyometric training. In a study of individual adults ages 60-70 years old, dynamic balance improves in just 4 weeks in a 12-week study with drop jumping (Piirainen, Cronin, Avela, & Linnamo, 2014). The study concludes that plyometric and similar pneumatic power training had improved neural adaptation drive to these older population’s muscle mass (Piirainen et al., 2014).
Finally, in an example of elite Hungarian male soccer athletes, a short-term (6-weeks) high-intensity plyometric training improves depth of vertical jump performance, agility, and isometric knee extensor strength (Váczi, Tollár, Meszler, Juhász, & Karsai, 2013). The overall power, strength, and agility, in which applicable to the nature of the sport of soccer requirement in jumping, running, sprinting, stopping, and quick change of directions (Váczi et al., 2013). Based on this study, researchers recommending a short-term in-season plyometric training definitely will improve soccer athletes in their dynamic movement performance (Váczi et al., 2013).
Trainers’ understanding of the benefits and application of plyometric training is helpful to develop and maintain an athlete’s performance (Váczi et al., 2013). However, it is critical to assess and collect all objective and subjective records before starting any plyometric training exercises (Clark et al., 2015). The built-in intensity of plyometric of eccentric, isometric, and concentric actions put stressful loads on bones, joints, muscles, and tendons, it is imperative to be systematic and progressive in implementation (Clark et al., 2015) so that plyometric training can be an additional training method to improve health and functional movement for athletes.
Clark, M., Sutton, B. G., & Lucett, S. (2015). NASM essentials of sports performance training. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Kish, K., Mezil, Y., Ward, W. E., Klentrou, P., & Falk, B. (2015). Effects of plyometric exercise session on markers of bone turnover in boys and young men. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 115(10), 2115-2124. doi:10.1007/s00421-015-3191-z
Piirainen, J. M., Cronin, N. J., Avela, J., & Linnamo, V. (2014). Effects of plyometric and pneumatic explosive strength training on neuromuscular function and dynamic balance control in 60–70year old males. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, 24(2), 246-252. doi:10.1016/j.jelekin.2014.01.010
Váczi, M., Tollár, J., Meszler, B., Juhász, I., & Karsai, I. (2013). Short-term high intensity plyometric training program improves strength, power and agility in male soccer players. Journal of Human Kinetics, 36(1), 17-26. doi:10.2478/hukin-2013-0002
Fitness & Conditioning
For a tennis player to perform at their best, they must have just the right mix of aerobic and anaerobic endurance, explosive strength and power, speed off the mark and agility. The amount of strength, speed, agility and flexibility conditioning a player is prepared to undertake has been linked to the standard of performance.