Jumping to New Performance Levels: Plyometric Training for Youth | STACK Coaches and Trainers
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Jumping to New Performance Levels: Plyometric Training for Youth

July 15, 2011

Must See Speed Videos

Plyometrics is not just for skilled athletes at the elite level. Studies show that plyometric training has positive effects on a number of performance attributes in 10- to 13-year-old children. It helps develop overall power and high levels of speed-strength by improving running speed and economy; quickness and agility; lower-body power; and the rate of force development—how fast an athlete uses the strength he or she generates.

A proper plyo program involves exercises such as jumping, skipping, hopping, bounding and running. If young athletes follow some basic principles, incorporating plyos into their training programs can reap huge rewards and take their performance to new levels.

Researchers are finding that when implemented at certain stages of development—particularly ages 10 to 11 and 12 to 13—plyo training can propel future development. Youth in these age ranges can perform slow to intermediate work that trains their muscles' stretch-shortening cycle. A muscle is like a rubber band: the more you stretch it, the more power/force it has. If you stretch a large rubber band, it can generate immense power and force. All athletes need to improve their muscles' ability to stretch farther—to create larger rubber bands!

The effectiveness of any training program rests on the suitability of its design, including volume, intensity, frequency, speed of movement and recovery. Although plyo training can start at an early age, a 12-year-old should not do the same drills as an 18-year-old. For example, a 12-year-old could do 10 yards of Speed Hops with both feet, while an 18-year-old might do 25-Yard Single-Leg Jumps. Or the 12-year-old could do a Standing Long Jump, while the 18-year-old might use a box and do repeated jumps for distance.

By following a safe, sound plyometric program, youth ages 10 to 13 can start to develop the performance attributes that will help them excel in later years of their athletic careers.

Below is a sample program for beginners:

Pogo

  • To start, bend the knees slightly—power and movement will come through the ankle joints
  • Drive off the ground as explosively as possible
  • On landing, keep legs straight but not locked and spring back into the air using extension through the ankles to gain height
  • 2x8 jumps

Squat Jump

  • Lower into a squat position, bending the knees
  • Jump up, getting triple extension through the hips, knees and ankles
  • Go as high as possible
  • Try to spend as little time on the ground as possible
  • 2x6 jumps

Star Jump

  • Like the Squat Jump, from a squat position, jump as high as possible
  • At the highest point, bring legs out to the side and arms overhead at a 45-degree angle, forming a star
  • Bring feet back in and under the body before landing
  • Land and repeat
  • 2x6 jumps

Double Leg Speed Hop

  • With both feet together, extend the ankles and hips
  • Staying on your toes, hop on both feet for 10 yards
  • Spend a little time as possible on the ground—pretend you're hopping through hot coals
  • 2x10 yards

By performing these simple exercises—progressing from low to moderate to high intensity—you can begin a plyometric program at an early age safely and effectively.

Photo:  sportxcel.org

Mark Roozen
- Mark Roozen, M.Ed.,CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT, FNSCA, is the Director of Performance at Day of Champions Sport Camps. He recently was a member of the Cleveland Browns...
Mark Roozen
- Mark Roozen, M.Ed.,CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT, FNSCA, is the Director of Performance at Day of Champions Sport Camps. He recently was a member of the Cleveland Browns...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Build Game-Breaking Speed With This Exercise

The front squat position walking lunge is a great strength training exercise for sprinters. It develops explosive strength for sprinting,and dynamic...

Burn Your Competition with This Sprint Workout

4 Foot Speed Drills to Increase Speed and Agility

Improve Your Football 40 Time During the Season

Skipping Drills: The Missing Link From Your Speed Workouts

Get More Explosive Off the Line of Scrimmage Like DeSean Jackson

The Secret to Tom Brady's Newfound Speed

Build Strength for Baseball and Softball Speed

How to Improve Your Basketball Quickness in 5 Minutes

Ditch the Sprints. Here's How to Build True Sports Speed

Sprint Faster With Speed Demons

3 Speed Training Essentials You Must Develop to Get Faster

Speed Plyometrics to Help You Run Faster

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: The Treadmill Challenge

Improve Your Footwork to Improve Football Agility

Get Faster With 'The .10 Second Difference' From EXOS

2-Week Long-Distance Track Workout Training Plan

8 Positions to Lower Your 40-Yard-Dash Time

Get the Most Out of Foam Rolling

Michael Johnson's Guide to a Faster 40

Lengthen Your Stride for Maximum Speed

12-Week Off-Season Baseball Speed Workout

How to Train for Speed in Cold Weather

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Track Sprints

The 5 Elements of a Successful Speed Training Program

Make Quick and Powerful Cuts Like Adrian Peterson

5 Ways to Spice Up Your Ladder Drills

STACK Challenge: 300-Yard Shuttle

Stability Training Can Improve Your Agility and Range of Motion

The Off-Season Baseball Speed and Agility Workout Program

The Speed Drill That Set Up DeSean Jackson's 64-Yard Touchdown

Reactive Agility: The Next Big Thing in Speed Training

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Multidirectional Run

How to Safely Decelerate Faster

How to Build First-Step Quickness for Baseball and Softball

3 Speed Drills to Help You Sprint Faster and Lower Your 40 Time

Soccer Speed and Agility Drills for Women

Rev Up Your Sprint Training With These Complexes

3 Speed Workouts to Improve Your Top-End Sprints

4 Powerful Band Agility Drills

3 Simple Tips to Improve Your 40-Yard Dash

How Sammy Watkins Built His Game-Breaking Speed

3 Box Drills That Develop True Game Speed

5 Essential Cross Country Workouts Explained

Get Faster With the Ultimate Stair Workout

Previewing the Fastest Draft Prospects of the 2015 NFL Combine

Here's Why Andre Williams' Breakout Performance Was No Fluke

10 Reasons Why You're Not Getting Faster