Sunday, October 4, 2009

Not So Humble Plyometric Training

POWER!!! Why train for power? Did you know that power declines faster then strength with age? Loss of power is speculated to result in increased falls and declines in function. (Anton, 2004)

Folks, this is worth reposting... with the rise in osteoporosis (loss of bone mass) and the loss of strength and power, Plyometric training is even more crucial in developing your bone health and the quality of bone integrity.

If you are over 30... and this means 31... you are already losing bone mass. As you age, you can NOT rely on Vitamin D and calcium supplements, you MUST be active, daily, in a variety of weight baring exercises as these stimulate quality bone growth.

I know you're asking, "What's the diff between power and strength?" Great question! Strength is the ability to move mass. Power is the ability to move that mass over a distance in a period of time. Here's a perfect example in which I can identify.Take a push lawn mower, gas powered or people powered, either one. Say you are in no hurry to get your lawn mowed. So, you might push that mower up and back a few times, sit down, have a beer (past memories for me, for sure...) and then get back up and push some more. You are using your strength (and a little power) to push that mower.

Ok, now let's say, you have 30 minutes to get that same lawn mowed. So you not only push, but also, you might run a little bit behind that mower. Moving faster and faster across that specific distance in a set amount of time. (No time for beer on this one!) See the difference?

Squatting, lifting, bending, pushing and pulling are movements that decline faster with age. At the age of 30 to 35, your body begins the loss of explosive movements, mass and strength. Unfortunately, women suffer more from this then men.... simply because men have more testosterone. People over the age of 60 begin suffering from soft tissue injuries, (referring to tendons, ligaments and muscles injuries) and structural issues, (referring to bone and joint problems.)

Power Training is most beneficial for women. As we grow older, because of various reasons, we lose bone mass. Power training builds stronger bones by improving the quality of bone growth. Power training improves balance. Strong bones and confident balance means less falls. Power training will improve posture in men and women and improves the integrity of the lumbar spine. And Power Training BURNS CALORIES!

WOW!!! Now doesn't this make you want to get up and do some Plyometrics? "Plyos" are one of many ways to power train. It increases the speed or force of muscle contractions and improves the function of the central nervous system.

Ok... so now you know all about power training and are ready to hit it. As with all work out programs, if you have not worked out in a long time, live a sedentary lifestyle, if you are deconditioned or have any health issues, please check with your physician before doing any exercises.

This is what you'll need:
-good pair of kicks... make sure there is plenty of cushion to protect your arches
-jump rope... (oh stop... quit whining!)
-weighted ball.. medicine ball (or an under deflated basketball that still bounces)
-large towel

Start with a full body stretch out. These are static... NO bouncing. Hold each stretch only about 5 seconds. Make sure you stretch your hamstrings (back of thighs,) quads (front of thighs,) calfs, upper and lower back, shoulders and arms.

Plyos are done once a week, only... and are integrated with your regular weekly exercise program. If you perform these anymore then that, you take the chance of injuring yourself. For now, the period between each jump or movement will be 10 to 15 seconds. As you progress and get stronger, your goal is to eliminate anytime between jumps or movements. But, SLOWLY work up to this level.

Remember from the previous core work out...."SUCK N SQUEEZE!” (suck in the gut and squeeze the butt) and don't hold your breath.... BREATHE!

Ok... here's the work out

Plyo Squats
2 sets of 5.
Rest 10 seconds during the squat before exploding back up with a jump.
Stick your butt way out.
Knees should stay behind toes.
This improves your ability to squat down & get up when you are putting clothes in the dryer or looking at something on the bottom shelf at the market.

Jump Rope

2 sets of 10
Rest 15 seconds between the 2 sets.
Don't jump with both feet. Build up to this.
This improves the quality of new bone growth by loading the spine and pelvic area. Improves hand-eye coordination.

Medicine Ball or B-ball Slams
2 sets of 5.
Squat down to pick up ball after each "slam."
Rest 10 seconds after each slam.
Do not swing above the head. arms no further up then just in front of ears.
Slowly raise arms up and "explode" down.
This loads your entire spine and improves posture.

Obstacle Hops with Towel
2 sets up and back.
Roll towel lengthwise.
Layout on ground.
Start at bottom.
Hop across & back (lateral ski jumps) while moving up.
Rest 10 seconds.
Hop backwards.
Move toward the bottom.
This is one set.
This loads the spine, improves balance and coordination.


If you have questions etc.... just shoot me an email

Until next time......


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