Plyometrics is a type of exercise training designed to produce fast, powerful movements, and stimulate the functions of the nervous system, for the purpose of improving explosive strength and speed. Plyometrics is used to increase the speed or force of muscular contractions, providing explosiveness for a variety of sport-specific activities.
In simple terms: Training the body to utilize its strength at a high rate of speed and reaction.
My training philosophy is if you cannot squat at least 1.5 times your bodyweight you should not be doing any intense form of plyomterics. The only form of plyomterics should be your jumping and running while playing your sport. Depth jumping, weight squat jumps etc. are for those highly trained Athletes because you can easily be injured in a high intensity plyometric workout.
Here is a simple plyometric workout I did at my beginning stage of training. It helped increase my vertical and running speed/quickness:
Squats and Dead-lifts super-setted with High speed Jump Roping of 15-20 seconds.
Warmup (light jump rope for 1 – 3 minutes and some light squats -high reps).
On the work sets I would first do about 4-8 reps of 75% – 85% of my one rep max then putting the bar back on the rack I would immediately pickup a jump rope and blast away for 15-20 sec – alternating legs, lift knees to chest, double swings (I’m good, lol). If you haven’t jumped rope in a while or have never done it before, just start with a quick basic 2 foot jump till you get the hang of it.
Your legs will burn and you will notice how reactive and pumped your legs will feel after the set is complete. I do about 2-4 work sets of this routine once a week, alternating between squats and deadlifts (Do not do squats and deadlifts on the same day. Do squat work with jump rope alternating weekly with deadlift work and jump rope. Example: Mon, Jump/Squat; Thurs, Deadlift….following Mon, Squat; Thurs, Deadlift/Jump…
This routine alone is fantastic for the beginner, as it will help your sprinting and jumping and keep your feet quick and strong. Jump roping is the simplest plyometric exercise that can be done – and it works! Jumping rope is not just for little girls!