Plyometric training is frequently met with strong opposition, especially within high school and CrossFit communities. Many of these opponents strongly believe that high impact loading of the joints in jumping or other impulsive activities is harmful to the joints. Some might even argue they decrease explosive performance. Our argument against this goes back to Part 1 and 2 of this series.
How are those athletes executing the jumps?
Is the athlete’s posture or position in their body sacrificed at any point during the training?
In the situation the opposition is viewing, most likely so.
This discussion does not dismiss that there are risks associated with inappropriate or excessive use of plyometric training, but, as is the case with all forms of training, it comes down to the application. Parts 1 and 2 of our Power Athlete Plyometric Series introduced many concepts and points of performance a strength coach should not only be identifying, but expecting out of their athlete's jumps during training.
The first component to plyometric training is to establish correct alignment in both jumping and landing actions. The coach’s eye needs to be trained to see proper mechanics before implementing plyometric actions. The assessments discussed below will introduce movements, provide proper execution, as well as the faults to expect to see from many athletes.
After much discussion about the hamstring and hip involvement during plyometrics with our friend down under, Antony “Physio Detective” Lo, we have put together a simple list of beginning assessments every coach needs in their toolbox. This portion of the series will continue to expand the coach’s eye by introducing basic assessment tools for athletes in 1 on 1 assessment scenarios or group warm up preparation for plyometric training.
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Former collegiate lacrosse defensive midfielder, 4-year letter winner and 3-year team captain. Coached strength and conditioning collegiately with Georgetown University football, Men's and Women's lacrosse and Women's Crew, as well with the University of Texas at Austin's football program. Apprenticed under Raphael Ruiz of 1-FortyFour-1 studying proper implementation of science based, performance driven training systems. Head coached CrossFit Dupont's program for two years in Washington D.C. Received a Master's in Health Promotion Management from Marymount University in 2010, and has been a coach for Power Athlete since October, 2012.
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