You may have heard the word Plyo or “Plyometrics” being thrown around by those in the know at the gym. But what does it actually mean? And why would you need it in your training schedule?
We're about to let you in on a little secret … plyometrics is actually just jumping (with a little science thrown in).
If you really want to know the specifics, plyometrics exercises are characterized by stretch shortening cycle (SSC) actions, that is, they start with a rapid stretch of a muscle (eccentric phase) and are followed immediately by a rapid shortening of the same muscle (concentric phase).
But hang on, surely this fancy jump training is reserved only for the realm of high jumpers, long jumpers and well…. Spiderman stunt doubles? Wrong. Let's look at some of the awesome reasons why this kind of "jump" training is an awesome addition to anyone's workout schedule.
1. Plyometric exercises make up a natural part of most sport movements as they involve jumping, hopping and skipping. So whether you're training as a professional athlete, you play for a social sports team or you simply want to be able to wow party crowds with your incredible box jump, plyo training can get you there.
2. Research indicates plyo training improves strength, power output, coordination, and athletic performance. So your ability to generate muscle tension quickly as a result of plyo training results in faster rates of muscle fiber recruitment. And that results in gains in speed and strength, making it one of the best ways to tone and shape muscle.
With these amazing benefits in mind it's unsurprising that LES MILLS GRIT® Plyo delivers the highest level of training intensities out of all three LES MILLS GRIT® formats. This is due to the explosive nature of the training - utilizing the SSC in activities like squat jumps, bench jumps and propulsive lunges.
Article by Bryce Hastings Supplied by Les Mills International