Perform Advanced Plyos to Increase Power

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Broad Jump

Plyometrics is a great method for increasing speed and explosiveness. Plyometric exercises typically involve jumping or other explosive movements, the goal being to force your muscles to store energy—like when landing from a jump—and then quickly perform an explosive movement, powering you to jump higher, run faster and be more agile.

Plyometrics, like any other exercise, has levels of difficulty. You wouldn't walk into a weight room for the first time and perform Power Cleans. Similarly, you can't perform Depth Jumps on the first day of your plyo program. You must first build a strong base with exercises like Squats, Deadlifts and Lunges. These ensure that you have the strength to control your body when performing exercises that involve jumping or changing direction.

Once strength has been established (about 12 weeks for a beginner), you can begin performing beginner versions of plyometric exercises. They are no less effective at developing explosive power, but they put less stress on the body and are easier to master.

Plyometric exercises needs to be performed as explosively and as fast as possible. That means they should be done right after your warm-up so fatigue does not affect performance. Perform plyo exercises one to three times per week, and keep your total jumps at no more than 30 per day.

Beginner Plyometric Exercise: Box Jumps
Box Jumps are a great beginner jump exercise. Box Jumps allow you to jump as high and explosively as possible, but limit the stress of the landing, which is where injuries often occur. With Box Jumps, you train your explosive jumping power, while saving your body from the stress of landing.

  • Assume athletic stance about arm's length away from plyo box
  • Lower into quarter-squat, then explode through hips, knees and ankles to jump for maximum height
  • Land softly with bent knees on top of plyo box
  • Step down slowly; repeat for specified reps

Intermediate Plyometric Exercise: Broad Jump to Vertical Jumps
Multiple jumps (more than one jump at a time) are a great intermediate plyometric exercise to develop explosive power. Broad Jumps to Vertical Jumps are among the best jump training exercises, because they teach your body how to jump horizontally and vertically with one exercise. Many experts contend that jumping is one of the best measures of athleticism. So, if you can jump far or high, you have a great chance of success on the field.

  • Stand in relaxed and ready position
  • Exaggeratedly swing arms backward, then quickly swing arms forward
  • Simultaneously explode with legs to jump and propel body forward as far as possible
  • Land with stable base and absorb impact by returning to start position
  • Immediately jump vertically as high as possible, using exaggerated upward arm swing
  • Land with stable base and absorb impact by returning to start position
  • Repeat for specified reps

Advanced Plyometric Exercise: Depth Jumps
Depth Jumps are advanced plyometric exercises and should only be used by experienced athletes. They force you to used stored energy from the landing to increase the height of your jump, similar to loading up your legs when performing the vert. This is the closest movement to what you will experience in competition, putting it at the pinnacle of plyo exercises.

  • Assume athletic stance on edge of plyo box
  • Step forward off box and land softly on ground
  • Immediately explode up, jumping as high as possible
  • Land softly on ground with bent knees
  • Return to start and repeat for specified reps

16-Week Advanced Plyometric Program
Week 1-3: Box Jumps — 5x4 (try to increase box height each time)
Week 4: No jumps
Week 5-7: Depth Jumps — 3x5
Week 8: No jumps
Week 9-11: Broad Jumps to Vertical Jumps — 5x3
Week 12: No jumps
Week 13-15: Depth Jumps — 4x5
Week 16: No jumps

Try this program to drive your explosive power and speed through the roof! Remember, quality is better than quantity, so take your time and make sure you're fresh and recovered for your next jump. Each jump must be maximal. If you have any questions, please contact me at flahivetraining@gmail.com.

Photo:  sportsmd.com

Connor Flahive is the owner and head sports performance coach at Flahive's Advanced Strength Training (F.A.S.T.) in Park Ridge, Ill. F.A.S.T. specializes in strength, power and speed training for power sports. Flahive is a certified high school strength and conditioning specialist through the IYCA. He played football at the D-I level while earning his bachelor's degree in exercise science at Northern Illinois University. Visit his website at flahivetraining.com and view his channel at youtube.com/flahive43.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: EXPLOSIVE TRAINING | PLYOMETRICS | BOX JUMP | EXERCISES | POWER | EXERCISE | SPORTS | TRAIN | SWING | JUMPING | STRESS | PLYO BOX