Plyometrics For Beginners
Today I want to cover the eccentric portion (landing) of a few plyometric jumps. And in case you did not know the eccentric contracting is the muscle spindle lengthening whereas the concentric contracting is the muscle spindle shortening.
For example when performing a bicep curl when bringing the weight up to your chest would be the concentric (muscle shortening) portion of the movement and returning the weight to the start position with your hands by your hips would be the eccentric (muscle lengthening) percentage of the movement.
A few examples to start off with can be squat jumps, power skipping, split squat jumps and beyond. If you are unfamiliar with these then please go to YouTube and type some of these terms in and become familiar with them. I will be shooting some videos of many of these exercises soon and you will then be able to go visit my site and learn them the correct way;). But until then YouTube will have to do.
Here are the main points to consider to effectively perform these exercises while maintaining safety to prevent injury from occurring. So keep in mind that plyometric exercises can be dangerous when performed improperly because of the load that is placed on the joints especially during the landing / eccentric portion of the movement. First point to take note of is the take off position either one leg or two leg maintain a good upright athletic posture with head, shoulders, and hips all forming a straight line. Then as you lower to take off focus on keeping the back straight, then push hips back and bend knees then try to explode with your feet through the ground.
Do remember that this particular demonstration is for beginners so with these exercises do not worry so much about the height or distance covered. For now I just want you to focus on proper form and safety. During the landing focus on landing with a heel to toe contact, now i know you may have heard land on your toes but that is entirely wrong because it places a great amount of the absorbing of the jolt and sends it straight to your knees and hips and back, whereas the heel absorbs the most amount of the contact force much more effectively.
So overall to reinvine the concepts here, take off with proper form but not maximum force and when landing have a good heel contact rolling to a flat foot, and also keep that posture good and drive the hips and butt back to absorb the eccentric portion of the landing in a slow controlled manner. Make sure to do these exercises properly and you will be on your way to becoming a more explosive athlete in addition to strengthening your joints before the pounding they will receive during athletic activities. Do this and it will help keep you the athlete injury free so you can dominate your chosen sport!
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