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February 2019 in review: plyometrics

In the end, nearly all of sport comes down to speed. Plyometric training is an essential tool to train speed. By focusing on the stretch-shortening of muscle action, plyometric training looks at how to improve speed in a different way than simple weight lifting. This month on HMMR Media we focused on plyometric training, putting together 2 new videos, 1 new podcast, and 4 great articles looking at the topic from different perspectives from plyometric progressions to better variations and plyometrics in rehabilitation. Read more

The role of plyometrics in injury rehabilitation

This article was co-authored with my colleague Peter Colagiuri at BioAthletic. Colagiuri is release an upcoming app for sports injury diagnosis. You can learn more at Sports Injury Online.

When we talk about plyometrics, we are talking about a very broad category of movements. The one thing they have in common is that they involve rapid stretching and shortening of contractile and elastic components of muscle. When it comes to rehabilitation, this category is unfortunately often brushed over or completely forgotten. In this article we hope to show some ideas on how and why plyometrics should be included in the rehabilitation spectrum. Read more

Adding variation to plyometric training

If you see how plyometric training is put into practice, you often see a small group of exercises being used over and over in the same manner. Hurdle jumps, countermovement jumps, and drop jumps are all staples of plyometric training. They all train similar properties, in similar ways, using the same plane of movement. Read more

GAINcast Episode 155: Jump around

Somewhere in the past few decades jumping and hopping became complicated. Simple movements were renamed as plyometrics and hidden behind a veil of science. The effect has been that many coaches are scared away from plyometric training and are losing out on one of the most basic forms of human movement in training. On this episode of the GAINcast, we share our approach to plyometric training and best practices and exercises coaches can implement. Read more

The lost art of bounding and speed bounding

Plyometric training is a popular modality used to develop power for a range of power-dominant sports or skills requiring power, such as sprinting and jumping. Although plyometric methods can be applied to a wide range of sports, I believe they are especially relevant to skills requiring reactive strength. I discussed the importance of reactive strength to jumping performance in my last article on training vertical jump performance. The purpose of this article is to discuss the application of two specific plyometric exercises which are often overlooked: bounding and speed-bounding. Read more

Proprioceptive plyometrics

Plyometric training is not a particularly new training method. Even though it has recently received much attention it has been a part of the training of athletes in a variety of sports for years. It just was not called plyometrics. The word plyometrics didn’t appear in the training literature until the late 1960s and since then scientific research has given us a fundamental understanding of the elastic properties of muscle and its trainability.

» Related content: Members can watch Vern’s DVD on proprioceptive plyometrics to see what this looks like in practice. Read more

Understanding and training vertical jumping performance

Jumping is a critical skill in many sports. But when we talk about jumping performance, we need to be clear about the jumping skills we are wanting to improve. Different sports require different types of jumping. By understanding the vertical jump in more detail, we can gain more insight into training the physical needs required to jump higher. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 181: Jumping high (with Fuzz Caan)

High jumpers are an interesting group of athletes. At first glance these tall and gangly athletes do not always look like the most explosive athletes. But watch them jump and there is no doubt about how much force they can produce. On this episode of the podcast we talk with Fuzz Caan from British Athletics about deconstructing the event and how he trains athletes for it. In addition, he shares how his background as an actor has taught him a lot about the role of communication in coaching. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 162: Find the right fit (with Boo Schexnayder)

Coach Boo Schexnayder found an interesting situation last year: LSU had asked him to step in and help coach events he hadn’t worked with in decades. The transition was easy for him in part because his training is based on the individual, not the event. He’s used that approach to produce world-class jumpers for decades, and this year it help produced some top throwers too. On this episode of the podcast Schexnayder joins us to discuss his approach to individualization and finding the right fit for an athlete. Read more

Looking beyond the height: a guide to vertical jump testing

The vertical jump. The king of the combines that can make or break athletes contracts. Everyone is in awe of the height of the vertical jump. I remember as a kid, we would compete to see who could touch the highest up on the basketball net and then eventually the backboard. We jump so much that our bodies have figured out how to get the highest jump for ourselves. We want to be the king of the playground, or in my case, not the worst on the playground, so we developed this strategy about how to jump the highest. Read more