Jump Training: Using Plyometrics to Improve Power

Jump training, or plyometrics, is a common sight in weight rooms—and for good reason. Coaches and sports performance experts agree that plyometrics improve power for jumping, straight-ahead speed, moving side-to-side and delivering force to an external object—like a baseball when you're batting, or an opponent across the line of scrimmage.

When performing plyometrics training, athletes must avoid overtraining. [Learn more about what overtraining means.] Because of plyometrics' high intensity, follow a few simple guidelines to ensure proper training.

Your program will vary depending on your training level. If you are a beginner, follow the Low to Medium guideline. If you've been training for few years, follow Medium to High. Experienced athletes can perform High to Complex movements. They can handle the intensity but still stay injury-free.

If you try to perform at too high a level, you could overtrain and see negative returns.

Here are the basic guidelines:

Low to Medium

  • 40-60 contacts with ground, equipment, etc.
  • 3-4 exercises
  • 2-3 sets
  • 4-8 reps

Medium to High

  • 60-100 contacts with ground, equipment, etc.
  • 3-5 exercises
  • 2-3 sets
  • 6-12 reps

High to Complex

  • 100-125 contacts with ground, equipment, etc.
  • 4-6 exercises
  • 2-3 sets
  • 10-12 reps

Plyometric training should only be done a few times a week. Allow between 48 and 72 hours of rest and recovery between sessions. Set up different intensities on different training days.

Need a plyo program? Check out Texas Football's Plyo Routine for inspiration. Or, power up your Vertical Jump with plyo exercises.


Mark Roozen Mark Roozen - Mark Roozen, M.Ed.,CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT, FNSCA, is the owner of Coach Rozy, Powered by Avera Sports. He recently was a member of the Cleveland Browns Strength Staff. He has over 25 years...
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