What are plyometrics?
Plyometrics are exercises or movements that are rapid, and involve going through a sequence of stretching and shortening of the muscle tendon unit. Some movements we often think of right away when talking about plyometrics are jumping, running or throwing. However, the concept of rapidly moving our body extends far beyond these more “athletic movements”, in fact we rely on our body’s ability to quickly absorb and produce force in many day to day activities!
Some examples of day to day activities that stress our tissues quickly are:
🔹 Descending stairs or stepping off a curb
🔹 Side stepping quickly to avoid some sort of obstacle
🔹 Catching yourself from a misstep or a fall
Why is this important?
When we haven’t developed the ability to absorb and/or produce force quickly, our bodies become less resilient in day to day activities. I chose the 3 examples above as they were common mechanisms of injury I observed on my physiotherapy student placements thus far where patients ended up with injuries such as ligament tears, rotator cuff tears, or broken bones that often resulted in surgical repairs to name a few.
An important note to make is, plyometrics are only one part of the injury mitigation equation as injuries are multifactorial. However, my hope with this post is to share the value of integrating plyometrics into our programs with clients or patients, beyond the athletic population!