This article outlines how to set up a plyometric program covering the parameters for sets, repetitions and exercise selection. The guidelines on this page can be used in conjunction with the various animated lower body plyometric exercises and upper body plyometric drills in this section of the website.
If you are interested in how plyometric training works and the physiology behind it, see the the physiology of plyometrics article.
Plyometrics & The Strength Training Program
In order for plyometric training to be at its most effective it should follow a phase of maximal strength training (2,3). The purpose of plyometrics is to improve the athletes capacity to apply more force more rapidly. Logically then, the greater the athletes ability to generate maximal force or strength to begin with, the more of it can be converted into sport-specific power. See the sport specific approach to strength training programs for the big picture and how plyometrics fits in to the overall strength program.
Plyometric Exercise Selection
There are many plyometric exercises for both the upper and lower body. As with other forms of sports training, exercise selection should mimic the movement patterns of the sport as closely as possible.
Lower Body Plyometric Exercises
lower body plyometric exercises are suitable for many sports such as basketball, track & filed athletics, sprinting, soccer, hockey, rugby, football, baseball and so on. In fact, performance in any sport that involves jumping, sprinting or kicking can be improved with lower body plyometric exercises.
Upper Body Plyometric Drills
Performance in sports such as basketball, volleyball, softball, baseball, tennis, badminton, golf and the throwing events in athletics can benefit with upper body plyometric exercises. Also, certain position players such as goal keepers in soccer will find these drills useful. Most upper body plyometric drills requires the use of a medicine ball.