While this term may sound unfamiliar, most of us at some point in our lives have partaken in plyometric exercises. These exercises are designed for fast and powerful muscle contractions while targeting muscles that do not receive focus from running or walking.
Some examples of plyometric exercises are: skipping, straight legged toe strides (similar to how Walter Payton used to run/taunt before scoring a touchdown), jogging knee raises, leg crossovers, and box jumps. Doing these types of exercises, the huge benefit reaped is that of reducing the possibility of injury to these targeted muscle groups.
While the main purpose of plyometric is not an extended elevation of the heart rate, it does focus on short bursts to spike the heart rate and since most exercises require some sort of motion, it is a nice side effect to the muscle growth gained.
Pros of plyometrics:
- Great boost to muscle power
- Targets muscles not focused on in walking/running
- Reduction in injury susceptibility
Cons of plyometrics:
- High impact exercises may cause pain in the back and knee
- Does not elevate heart rate for an extended period of time
- Short burst exercises do not offer a great aerobic value