When I am constructing a rehabilitation program I take people from non functional strength work all the way through to plyometric training to optimise joint biomechanics and loading.
Plyometric training requires a rapid reactive contact with a surface. The participant may jump, hop, bound or skip. This uses the stretch-shortening cycle whereby an eccentric muscle contraction is followed by an isometric transitional period and then an explosive concentric contraction.
This type of muscle action occurs in all forms of human movement which is why it is important for us as physiotherapists to look at this as part of the rehabilitation process. Observing plyometric activity gives an insight into how well a patient can tolerate load when returning to a variety of functional activities.
A plyometric sequence involves a rapid movement (eccentric) followed by a short rest and then an explosive movement (concentric). One goal of training is to reduce the rest period meaning the transference of eccentric energy to concentric energy occurs more rapidly and thus the movement is more efficient.
Plyometric training has been shown to improve:
These gains are thought to be achieved by optimising the way our muscles store and use energy, enhancing involuntary nervous system reflexes and improving motor co-ordination. Increasing this type of strength and biomechanical control aims to reduce the impact on joint loading and improve performance.
Following a rehabilitation program right through to plyometric training not only aims to address the injury undergoing treatment but also reduce the likelihood of future injuries.
For more information on plyometric training and how it can improve your performance please contact us via our website or book an appointment with one of our physiotherapists.