Are Box Jumps Even Plyometrics?


Box jumping has been the subject of the week. I’m amazed that a simple post could generate so much interest. The truth is that box jumps are just that, a jumping exercise. They lack the reactive component that distinguishes a plyometric exercise from just jumping. Here’s an article that will get you thinking and learning about plyometric training.

Plyometric Training

Numerous articles have been written about plyometric training for athletes. Very few have detailed progressive programs that take into account the need for a system of training that can be applied to a broad range of athletes. Although the works of Chu, Radcliffe and Gambetta were outstanding at the time of their writing, very little has been written in the last ten years that connects our current knowledge of functional training with how to design and implement a system of plyometric exercises. In order to fully understand plyometrics, we must look at basics like terminology, volume and frequency.

Terminology:

The first area that needs to be addressed in the area of plyometric training is terminology. The language of plyometrics must be universal so that any coach or athlete can view the program of any other coach or athlete and understand the exercises without photos or video. The discrepancies in terminology were first brought to my attention by Mike Clark of the National Academy of SportsMedicine. Clark pointed out in a 2000 lecture that many coaches currently used names to describe plyometric exercises that were not properly descriptive of the movement. Clark went on to detail the types of exercises and the specific actions:

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