Plyometric Drills to Develop Reactive Strength
Plyometrics exercises and drills are extremely effective ways to increase your reactive strength. Reactive strength is ability the for the muscle-tendon junction to rapidly generate a shortening (concentric) muscular action (force production).
By increasing your reactive strength this may help you to improve your acceleration, jump ability and agility (cutting). All ballistic type movements such as changing direction rapidly, sprinting and jumping will benefit from practising plyometrics exercises and drills.
The science behind plyometric exercises
By performing plyometric training, the plyometric drill stimulates a neuro-feedback loop (muscle spindles) via an eccentric action to both utilise stored energy (efficiency) and in some cases helps to generate force production. By regularly performing plyometric drills, this type of training promotes muscle-tendon function which may lead to pre-activation of key muscles, resulting again in greater efficiency and/or force production (relative to the time constraint).
Plyometric exercises for reactive strength
Guidelines for when using plyometric drills
Develop a good strength base before you begin plyometric exercises, especially lifts like back squat, front squats, and deadlifts.
Actions should be performed with maximal effort.
Develop coordination, rhythm, and skill as this improve your speed and efficiency.
Start with two footed drills before moving to one-foot drills.
Start with bounce type drills and move to bounding drills as your skill improves.
Each contact is counted as a repetition.
Beginners – 40 – 80 contacts
Intermediate – 60 – 100 contacts
Advance – 80 – 140 contacts
Decrease your repetitions as the plyometric drills become faster.
Take long inter-rest periods to keep your effort high.
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