June 09, 2023
Contract, stretch, contract, stretch… A scientific method of physical preparation, plyometrics calls on these two key notions of muscle work. The challenge ? Improve performance, especially in terms of power, triggers and running speed. Explanations.
Plyometrics is based on the cycle called “stretching/shortening”. Enough to ? muscle. Concretely, this training method combines a muscular stretch immediately followed by a contraction. Specialists speak of eccentric then concentric movements.
The most emblematic examples concern the jump – vertical, without momentum, with successive leaps… – jump rope exercises or even squats. The objective is to strengthen the elasticity of muscle fibers and tendons and thus improve the speed-strength-power ratio. And so in theory, the performance: of a run, a jump, a throw, etc.
It should be noted that it is not only a question of explosiveness and power: studies have indeed shown that this training method also benefits endurance capacities – for example of long-distance runners such as marathon runners – by a improvement of movement and economy when running. In other words, it makes it possible to achieve the same performance, but with less energy expenditure.
The downside? Very technical, plyometrics requires solid knowledge of physical preparation. To reduce the risk of injury in particular, it is therefore preferable to seek the advice of a specialist before embarking on a regular basis. It needs to be included with tact in a training load, because it generates significant fatigue and potentially severe tension in the tendons. Finally, note that it is useless in terms of gaining muscle mass.
Source : The effect of two training methods, plyometrics and strength training, on running economy and explosiveness in soccer players. Brief by Sofiane Hamdi, September 2011. University of Quebec in Montreal. – Influence of the stretching/shortening cycle on performance. Memory of Abdoulaye Sy Staps, 1996. Inseps – Weightlifting Club, Bodybuilding of Plouhinec (https://www.chm-plouhinec.fr/)
Written by : David Picot – Edited by: Emmanuel Ducreuzet