Returning to Sport with Plyometrics

Plyometric exercises are series of drills that utilize explosive forces in functional patterns to help you develop strength, power, and coordination. These exercises involve jumping. For instance, box jumps, lunges, skipping, burpees, jump squats, are all great examples of plyometric exercises. All of these exercises utilize a stretch-shortening pattern, also known as an eccentric-concentric pattern.

Why does it matter? 

We utilize this type of training in the advanced stage of rehab once you are ready to get back to doing the sport or hobby you love. As we repeatedly move in and out of this phase with progression, you WILL be able to perform better at your weakest point when you return to your sport or hobby.

As the idea is to perform these exercises RAPIDLY, you can see where even tiny errors start to magnify. This is where we take plenty of time with you INDIVIDUALLY to analyze your technique and safety throughout these exercises.

Here are some general tips to keep in mind when progressing Plyometrics:

If you are just starting out with this type of training, it is good to start off with bodyweight only. As you find yourself progressing through these workouts with ease, you can add an elastic band, tubing, weighted ball, or weighted vest for external resistance but nothing excessive. Think about going from bilateral to unilateral activities to make things more difficult for yourself. Increased resistance should NOT be enough to slow you down NOR should it be compromising form. Also volume with plyometrics should be low 3 x 5 reps, is pretty standerend...not doing it for time or 30+ reps. 

If your an athlete who is looking to get back to their sport FASTER and at a higher level then On Track Physio can help! Sign up for a FREE discovery session to learn more.

Ann Arbor, Mi

About the Author: Dr. Greg Schaible is a physical therapist/strength coach specializing in athletic performance. He attended The University of Findlay, graduating in 2013 with his Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT). As a Track and Field athlete, he was as a 5x Division II All-American and 6x Division II Academic All-American. Greg is the owner of On Track Physiotherapy in Ann Arbor, Mi. You can stay up to date with helpful information and news on Facebook.

The #1 Box Jump You Are Not Doing

Whats going on everyone. In effort to try to provide more information to the public on specific training for athletes I am going to be starting to post 1-2 videos per week on the topic. On the video it says "Athlete Workout Wednesday". Decided to keep it short with "Athlete Workout, Episode 1". Be sure to subscribe to the youtube channel to get updates if you'd like, and hope you find these useful!

Today I wanted to share with you my #1 box jump variation that most athletes are not doing. I call this box jump variation the "drop step box jump". This is because it looks like a basketball player about to throw down a nasty dunk on somebody. 

The reason why I am such a fan of this exercises is because after mastering a simple box jump, the prerequisite level for performing this type of box jump or plyometric is fairly low. Now I will always say an athlete should establish a foundational level of strength before performing any type of box jump. But once that is accomplished, this exercise can be progressed to fairly quickly. 

Its a nice exercise because it gets that athlete to start utilizing momentum and the stretch shortening cycle by adding in the step. By making it a drop step it will add coordination to the mix. You may notice one side easier or more explosive than the other. Finally by opening the hip and rotating the leg it will bias more hip rotation and load the hip greater for a more explosive exercise.

3 Beginner Plyos That Safely Build Explosive Power

On Track Physical Therapy's latest article featured on Demonstrating three exercises that are essential for beginners when first implementing a plyometric program to build explosive power for athletes. Check it out here:

Is Plyometric Training Causing you knee Pain?

On Track PT and Performance featured this week on John Rusin Fitness Systems. In this article we go over how to keep your knees happy if your sport or training involves a lot of plyometric activity. Be sure to check it out and share it with a friend! 

Exercises for Athletes #4 - Box Jump with Drop Step

Box Jumps with Drop Step - This is a mid level plyometric exercise that is excellent for building and displaying vertical jump power. More specifically it is a great exercise to develop your two foot jumping capabilities. In addition to squats and deadlifts, this exercise can make significant changes to increase your vertical. By performing a drop step you are creating a more dynamic environment for the athlete by allowing them to perform a quick counter movement prior to jumping. It will also teach the athlete how to properly gather their feet prior to jumping which is very applicable to many sports.

Find a box that is appropriate to skill level. While facing sideways to the box, perform a quarter turn by first moving your inside foot followed by the outside foot. Explode up to the box, land under control with both knees in line with your middle toe.