Jumping, also known as plyometric training, consists of fast, explosive movements which activate the fast-twitch muscle fibres associated with building muscle, strength and power.
We include variations of jumping exercises in all of our TruBe workouts for the following reasons:
1. Improve Strength and Power
Using plyometric exercises such as jump squats, box jumps, lateral jumps, single leg jumps alone or in a circuit will help to activate fast-twitch muscle fibres. These fast-twitch fibres have a big part to play when the muscle contracts against resistance; they are longer and stronger than the short endurance based slow-twitch fibres. We recruit more fast-twitch fibres during plyometric training resulting in muscle growth, strength and power.
2. Build Muscle
The more muscle fibres you can recruit, the more muscle you will be able to build. Plyometric exercises performed over a time frame of between 45 – 90 secs ensure that you are working in the lactic acid energy zone, causing muscular fatigue. This fatigue recruits more fast-twitch fibres to try and cope with the demand placed on the muscle. Research states that this is the perfect environment to see muscle growth or hypertrophy. Activating large muscle groups in the legs will also increase the amount of blood and therefore nutrients to the area, decreasing recovery time.
3. Sports Specific
Jumping is a common movement in many sports, such as football, tennis, basketball, netball and athletics. Practicing similar movements in your workout will help you become more efficient in your sport, making your body more conditioned in these movements, which also helps with…..
4. Injury Prevention
Conditioning your body through a variety of movements replicating those performed in your sport or function will help to reduce the risk of injury. We tend to become injured when we increase the range of movement in a direction that we are not used to, with more resistance than our body can cope with. The landing of a jump in multiple directions and ranges places a force which conditions the body against injury.
5. Improve biomechanics
If you have a sedentary lifestyles our bodies can become more and more restricted. Certain muscles over work whilst others don’t get worked enough. An example of this is sitting. Our quads and hip flexors overwork each time we get up and sit down, the dominance of these muscles will potentially interrupt our biomechanical sequencing and cause restrictions in important joints. Therefore we need to get the glutes and hamstrings working in their true form for example landing when jumping. Our glutes and hamstrings lengthen with the resistance of body-weight slowing down on our landing, much like suspension on a bike or car.
6. Increase Heart Rate and Burn Fat
Adding plyometrics into a circuit can help push your heart rate to the next level. The compound and explosive nature of jumping means that it requires a lot of energy, burning more fats and sugars not only during the but also after the workout. An example of a good circuit would be a lift squat, push, pull and jump. 45 seconds on each with a 15 second rest x 3 rounds.
Using a variety of jumps; one footed, two footed, backwards and twisting activates your motor skills helping you to become more coordinated. At first your jumps may be a bit wobbly, but if you keep practicing you will see big improvements in power and stability. Being more coordinated greatly decreases your chances of falling and causing injury.
Use jumping to create challenges with your friends making your workouts competitive. Enjoying your exercise helps you to achieve your goals more efficiently. The competitive element encourages you to perform maximally. Some simple but fun challenges are a standing broad jump or vertical jump, simply measure your best attempt and challenge a friend to do better!
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