When developing a plyometric training program there are few key considerations to incorporate.
Safety should always be the #1 priority of any program, but with the explosive nature of plyometrics it becomes even more essential.
What makes a program or exercise safe?
- The individual is prepared through appropriate strength development prior to beginning a plyometric program. A based of strength will prepare the individual for the force development and form stabilization needs associated with the stretch-shortening cycle and movement patterns of plyometrics.
- The environment is appropriate for the individual’s skill level. This may include use of appropriate footwear or gear in association with the surface the activity it being performed on. For example, if using a grass surface cleated shoes would be more appropriate than flat shoes or if using a court, shoes built for jumping and change of direction would be more appropriate than cushioned or unstable shoes.
- The equipment being used is functional and not damaged or unsecured. Damaged or improper use of equipment can create and unsafe space for exercise that can lead to an increased risk of injury.
- The progression of the program is appropriate to the individual’s development. This may include developing plyometric activities that progress from single plane to multi-plane activities, changing the type of implement being used (i.e., taped lines, cones, hurdles, plyo boxes, etc.), or the amplitude of the movement (i.e., higher drop height, quicker movement transition, added weight, etc.)