What Makes a Good Plyometric Workout?

March 29, 2013 | Wray Watkins

Must See Strength Training Videos

Plyometric training is a great addition to any strength and conditioning program. However, to create a good plyometric workout, you need to address three areas—structure, safety and synergy.

Plyo Workout Structure

To be useful, every program needs to start with some sort of measurement. When beginning a good plyometric workout, certain tests like the vertical jump test and standing long jump will help you establish a baseline so you can track and document your progress.

After the testing, you need to take a progressive approach when choosing exercises. Start with smaller heights and distances and work your way up to more difficult and complex drills. This progression allows your body to adapt to the changes and continue gaining power and strength. Have a plan and follow it. Trust me, it works.

Plyo Workout Safety

Nobody gets better while they're injured. Often the difference between getting hurt or not is common sense. The evaluation process is a good way to understand your limits and decide where to start with many of the plyometric exercises. Building an adequate strength base is the first step to safe and effective training. Training beyond yourself and taking unnecessary risks with elaborate drills is a one-way ticket to rehab. Master the basics and do the simple things well before moving on to more advanced work. (See Building a Safe Plyometric Progression.)

Plyo Workout Synergy

When choosing plyometric drills and exercises, the concept of transfer to the field of play is a big factor. You could do a variety of drills, but which ones will benefit you the most in your sport?  Consider the movements your sport requires and the directions you most commonly move in. For example, volleyball is a vertically dominant sport. When choosing drills for volleyball, go with more vertical movements and exercises. You should see increases in your vertical jump and other transfers to the court. On the other hand, players of most field sports (football, soccer, baseball, etc.) move in the horizontal plane. Thus, they should emphasize plyometric drills that involve linear and lateral movements.

Topics: PLYOMETRICS
Wray Watkins
- Wray Watkins is the director of strength and conditioning at MVP Sports Centers in Lake Forest, Calif. He has worked with athletes from the NFL,...
Wray Watkins
- Wray Watkins is the director of strength and conditioning at MVP Sports Centers in Lake Forest, Calif. He has worked with athletes from the NFL,...
Must See
NFL Wide Receiver Randall Cobb Outworks Everyone NFL Wide Receiver Randall Cobb Outworks Everyone
Views: 33,759,708
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,577,596
Michael Jordan: Mind of a Champion Michael Jordan: Mind of a Champion
Views: 548,374

Featured Videos

Tobin Heath Closed-Space Dribbling Tobin Heath Closed-Space Dribbling Views: 1,175,887
Real Workouts: Randall Cobb Real Workouts: Randall Cobb Views: 23,406
Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Views: 70,968
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,499,214
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 11,426,460
Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,362,798
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,577,596
Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles
Views: 4,333,222

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
Strengthen Your Core With 2 Simple Anti-Rotational Exercises

Strengthen Your Core With 2 Simple Anti-Rotational Exercises

strengthen your core (delete) Since strength and power emanate "from the inside out," improving core strength and stability is important to athletic...

Use Wave Loading to Take Your Strength to the Next Level

Use Wave Loading to Take Your Strength to the Next Level

Build Explosive Strength with This Olympic Weightlifting Program

Build Explosive Strength with This Olympic Weightlifting Program

How to Get More Out of the Dumbbell Press

How to Get More Out of the Dumbbell Press

8 Ways to Use a Weight Vest in Your Workouts

8 Ways to Use a Weight Vest in Your Workouts

Why Your Instagram Box Jump Isn't That Impressive

Why Your Instagram Box Jump Isn't That Impressive

A Simple 6-Exercise Core Workout

A Simple 6-Exercise Core Workout

Battle Rope Workout That Will Get You Shredded

Battle Rope Workout That Will Get You Shredded

How to Perform the Farmer's Walk with Dumbbells

How to Perform the Farmer's Walk with Dumbbells

German Volume Training: How to Pack on Muscle Mass

German Volume Training: How to Pack on Muscle Mass

7 Trap Bar Exercises You Should Try

7 Trap Bar Exercises You Should Try

Olympian Carrie Tollefson's Core Workout

Olympian Carrie Tollefson's Core Workout

The Most American Workout Ever

The Most American Workout Ever

Are You Loading Barbells Wrong?

Are You Loading Barbells Wrong?

5 Training Ideas You Should Steal From the NFL's Best

5 Training Ideas You Should Steal From the NFL's Best

How to Fix Back Rounding When Deadlifting

How to Fix Back Rounding When Deadlifting

Abby Wambach's Strength and Speed Workout

Abby Wambach's Strength and Speed Workout

Why Everything You Know About Core Training is Wrong

Why Everything You Know About Core Training is Wrong

8 Cures for a Weak Grip

8 Cures for a Weak Grip

8-Exercise Advanced Chest and Back Workout

8-Exercise Advanced Chest and Back Workout

Keep Your Workouts Simple for Better Results

Keep Your Workouts Simple for Better Results

Improve Your Power With These Hardcore Methods

Improve Your Power With These Hardcore Methods

Why the Clean Pull is Perfect for Athletes

Why the Clean Pull is Perfect for Athletes

How to Build Arm Strength for Baseball Before Your Season

How to Build Arm Strength for Baseball Before Your Season

Austen Lane's Complete NFL Workout

Austen Lane's Complete NFL Workout

Build Strength with Kettlebell Sandbags

Build Strength with Kettlebell Sandbags

Is CrossFit Appropriate for Basketball Players?

Is CrossFit Appropriate for Basketball Players?

Wrestlers: Improve Double-Leg Takedowns With Sled Pushes

Wrestlers: Improve Double-Leg Takedowns With Sled Pushes

Duncan Keith's Stanley Cup MVP Training

Duncan Keith's Stanley Cup MVP Training

3 Barbell-Only, Full-Body Workout Programs for Any Fitness Goal

3 Barbell-Only, Full-Body Workout Programs for Any Fitness Goal

Advanced Anti-Rotation Core Strengthening Exercises

Advanced Anti-Rotation Core Strengthening Exercises

How to Use the Pallof Press for an Iron Core

How to Use the Pallof Press for an Iron Core

Everything You Need to Know About Using Farmer's Walk Handles

Everything You Need to Know About Using Farmer's Walk Handles

Know Your Row: The Pros and Cons of 8 Different Back Exercises

Know Your Row: The Pros and Cons of 8 Different Back Exercises

Why Every Athlete Should Do Farmer's Walks

Why Every Athlete Should Do Farmer's Walks

YardBarker