Introduction to Plyometric Training in Athletes
In successful athletes, muscle power of the lower limb and the performance of vertical jump has been considered as main components. Various training methods are studied for increasing vertical jump heights in athletes, such as heavy resistance training and explosive type resistance training. All these methods are used extensively but the plyometric training is found to be most effective method among all the others, as it increases the lower limb strength and ability to increase vertical jump height. Developing muscle strength is very important to increase the height of a vertical jump. To strengthen the muscle power, a weight training program is required that enhances the muscular strength and enables an individual to increase the height of a vertical jump. This program utilizes the gravity force by opposing the force that is applying on the body by lifting heavy loads such as dumbbells or weighted bars and had a greater influence on the lower limb, upper limb and back muscles strengthening.
Efficacy of Plyometric to Increase Vertical Height Jump
To enhance jumping ability, plyometric is most effective and involves eccentric contraction with high intensity after a quick, powerful concentration of lower extremity. This training is a mechanism that reacts quickly to prepare a neuromuscular system for activities with rapid initiation and ending movements. It is also known as stretch-shortening drills and type of ballistic training that enhance the jumping capabilities.
Moreover, it is also useful training for athletes to improve their jumping strength, speed, and balancing skills. Plyometric consists of eccentric contraction, which helps the muscle to be able to produce explosive force when leaps in a vertical position. In such a manner, attendants or athletes would be able to increase their strength and will jump higher. It increases the speed of muscular contraction, vertical jump height, vital capacity, the expiratory rate per second, and performance skills of athletes, specifically volleyball players. Due to the larger Q angle in females that increases the valgus and weakens the knee muscles, female athletes seem to be more at the risk of patellar injuries as compared to male athletes.
Benefits of Plyometric Reactive Training
Plyometrics reduces the risk of lower limb injuries, especially in athletes. However, since it produces a more significant force during the vertical jump, it may also cause injury in the training phase and may cause a rapid switch of muscles group from the eccentric phase to the concentric phase. Hence, the amortization stage of the stretch-shortening cycle would decrease and may lead to higher power production. The elastic ability and stretching reflex, which is stored by muscles, would be utilized and allow the muscles to perform more work during the vertical jumping concentration phase. It must be noted that individuals are fit and healthy and to gain appropriate physical strength, flexibility and proprioception before initiating the plyometric training. It helps athletes to increase their muscle power, strength, and capabilities of jumping with height.
Plyometric consists of wide ranges of exercises which enable the athlete to select according to their suitability and necessity, such as to increase jumping height, improve jumping power or strength. It also enhances muscular endurance, upsurges the metabolic rate that helps in losing the weight and heart rate. Sometimes, plyometric has performed with the additional loads that can be carried or worn. It can be any weightlifting equipment such as trap bar, dumbbells, or weighted vest as they increase the force of overall exercises and training programs. It may lead the athlete to improve his ability in short, quick, and explosive power, and have a positive effect.
Besides, muscle fibres and connective tissue will increase their elasticity and permits the muscle to store energy when decelerating and release it during the acceleration phase. As the size of muscle fibre increases, it may lead to the improvement of muscle force production and may result in a significant increase in both, type I and type II muscle fibres. This potential increase in the size of muscle fibres would not change the body fat. Though it may increase the body mass, improves the muscle performance and height of the vertical jump due to the progression of motor unit functioning.
It has indicated that the initiation of plyometric training decreases the stimulation of antagonist’s muscle will improve the activity of synergistic muscles, that may lead to the strengthening of muscles. So, individual would be able to produce rapid contraction of muscles. Besides, it had a greater influence on muscles power such as agility, balance, and coordination of muscle groups. Without the balance, coordination and the activation of muscles, improvement in vertical jump height is not possible and may lead to the risk of injuries, because the actual performance is completely depended on muscle force-generating properties. Effective results of plyometrics training were found in strength-related activities such as vertical jump height and vertical jump power.
Plyometric with the Combination of Weight Training Activities
It was also observed that the plyometrics has a much greater effect on increasing jump height but without the weight training program, plyometric would not achieve effective results as it does with the combination of weight training. Together, they could be more useful and enable the athletes to maintain their performance for a longer duration. Weight training has impacts on the abilities of athletes to perform high explosive movement and produce the muscle generating properties
Moreover, it impacts the health of an individual through burning calories, fats and increases the body mass and bone density which helps them to strengthen the muscle. It makes muscles more powerful and enables them to contract and elongate in a short momentum to produce a higher vertical jump or other rapid movements. Fast-twitch muscles are required to increase the vertical jump height that can be achieved through weight training. Besides, cardiovascular fitness is also enhanced through weightlifting exercises and training programs help them to increase their vertical jump and improve their anaerobic power
According to research, weight training program, in which the athletes lift the weights to increase their physical strength by giving additional work to the muscles, found to be controversial as compared to plyometric training, which is more effective. Research studies show that plyometrics and weight training, both together, are more effective. They produce a more effective outcome than either plyometric or weightlifting alone for increasing vertical jump power.