Plyometrics is a form of exercise that focuses on explosive movements, utilizing the stretch-shortening cycle of muscles to generate maximum force in a short amount of time.
Plyometric exercises involve rapid stretching (eccentric phase) of muscles followed by an immediate contraction (concentric phase), which enhances muscular power, speed, and agility.
It can be done with any part of the body, but the most used are jumps for lower body and throws for upperbody.
For martial artists, plyometrics offer distinct advantages due to the specific physical demands of their discipline, where the ability to strike faster than an opponent's defensive response can lead to victory.
Martial artists must rapidly change directions, minimize contact time, and execute swift strikes.
Plyometrics can help develop that explosive strength by training the muscles to generate quick and powerful movements, which is crucial in martial arts for techniques such as strikes, kicks, and takedowns.
Plyometric exercises enhance the nervous system and optimize existing structures such as tendons and muscles without substantially increasing muscle mass.
This aspect is particularly valuable for fighters who need to manage their weight effectively.
That’s why we use this technique on the training programs in HIT Coach.
Many plyometric exercises involve dynamic movements that challenge balance and coordination. Martial artists often need to maintain stability while executing complex techniques.
Plyometrics can notably enhance jumping ability, which is advantageous for martial artists engaging in high kicks, jumps, and blocks. This is particularly relevant in disciplines like taekwondo, muay-thai, and MMA.
Correctly executed plyometric exercises contribute to joint stability and strengthen connective tissues, enhancing overall stiffness. This can contribute to injury prevention by enhancing the body's ability to withstand the stresses associated with martial arts training.
Plyometrics can be customized to replicate movements commonly used in martial arts. Since most of these exercises employ body weight, athletes can enhance performance in ways directly relevant to their chosen discipline.
It's important to emphasize that the introduction of plyometric training should occur gradually and cautiously. This approach places substantial stress on muscles and joints, and improper technique or excessive volume can result in overuse injuries.
In closing, remember that Plyometrics hold remarkable potential for martial artists, perfectly tailored to meet the unique physical challenges of your discipline.
If you can hit your opponent faster than his ability to block or defend, YOU WIN.
Ojeda-Aravena A, Herrera-Valenzuela T, Valdés-Badilla P, Báez-San Martín E, Thapa RK, Ramirez-Campillo R. A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis on the Effects of Plyometric-Jump Training on the Physical Fitness of Combat Sport Athletes. Sports (Basel). 2023 January
Sole S, Ramírez-Campillo R, Andrade DC, Sanchez-Sanchez J. Plyometric jump training effects on the physical fitness of individual-sport athletes: a systematic review with meta-analysis. PeerJ. 2021 March