Calisthenics jumps and also know as Plyometrics are the perfect way to build explosive strength. What is plyometrics? Plyometric training was invented in the Soviet Union back in 1970s by Yuri Verkhoshansky. Back than, It was know as “shock training”. Interest in the shock training begun to increase when everybody saw the superior athletes from the eastern Europe.
It was later named Plyometrics by coach Fred Wilt in 1975(field and track coach).Plyometrics comes from Latin, Plyo+metrics which means “measurable increases”. Originally plyometrics consisted of only two exercises, the shock jumps and depth jumps. Later US coaches started adding more jumps, hops, skipping and bounding drills with this two exercises.
Recovering from plyometrics training may take longer, because of the way they involve the nervous system. Let’s say something about the basic plyometrics here.
Simply put the depth jump is dropping off a box, landing on the ground, and jump as high as you can. And here is a simple guide to perform it.
Depth jump guide
- stand on a box, approximately 18 to 30 inches(50 inches box is for advance athletes).
- drop off the box and the ground contact phase should not be more than .5 seconds, which means as soon as your feet touch the ground, approximately .2 seconds, jump off the ground.
- Plyometrics are very powerful exercises and it is pointless to overtrain with it, unless you want the jumping endurance, so if you want to gain strength, stop the set when your performance from your jump start decreasing. Remember that recovering from plyometrics takes longer because the exercises involve the nervous system, when you train you may not feel the burn or the pump like any other strength exercise, and that does not mean you should train harder, train smart, do 3-4 sets of this exercise, with approximately 5-8 reps, 1-2 times a week.
- The distance that you jump off the box should be the same length as the box. So let’s say you are jumping from a box which is 20 inches, you should land approximately 20 inches from the box.
- You should not use this type of drills through out the year. Because your body gets used to it and you will not see the effects that you had in the beginning, try to do it for a few weeks, so you can give a quick boost to your performance.
The depth drop is also known as depth jump or shock jumps, and is done when you step off the box and try to make the landing, without jumping back. The landing phase of this drop has a very high training effect when it comes to improving explosive output and strength too. With shock jumps the force upon impact can exceed 10 times bodyweight. It is important to remember to land on the balls of your feet, and after that on your heels!
Everybody knows how to sprint, whether they did that before during gym classes or were training because you were inspired by Usain Bolt(I know I did 🙂 ). But what many fail to realize is that short distance sprints are very effective at training short response reactivity. Sprinting is the ultimate display of reactive or plyometric training.
For more information about training your legs only with your bodyweight, check out my article about it.
Main resources The Vertical Jump Development Bible by Kelly Baggett
So this is some of the most basic plyometrics, I hope you like it and if you do, feel free to share it and comment.