Richard Stockton College Athletic Training

Plyometric Program 
General overview of Plymetrics for conditioning and ACL 
injury prevention. 

  • For a sample workout using our plyometrics click here.
  • To see examples of each of our plyometric exercises click here.

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Conditioning Tool
Plyometrics have been used for years as an effective conditioning tool.  They are commonly associated with high-intensity training for explosive athletic performance.  They are used to enable athletes to increase speed and strength .... where speed + strength = power.  The concept is increased power will translate into improved performance.  Which seems pretty valid, in most situations.  Plyometrics for the lower extremity involve a variety of jumping and hopping activities. 

Plyometrics use the force of body weight and gravity in a dynamic manner to provide the training effect.  Physiologically, muscles that rapidly contract can develop "stronger than normal" forces, due to the complex reflexes associated with muscles, tendons and joints.  Basically each movement uses a "loading" or "cocking" phase that is followed by an explosive movement phase. 

ACL Injury Prevention?
Plyometrics are also widely used, in a less intense manner, in the rehabilitation of many athletic injuries.  In addition to increasing conditioning they also increase or facilitate functional motor patterns, reflexes, and proprioception.  All of which are crucial in the attempt to return an athlete to competition. 

Recently the use of lower- extremity plyometrics have received attention as a possible aid in the prevention of noncontact ACL injuries.  While it is still early regarding research, I feel they will turn out to be a crucial component in the reduction of these injuries.  It seems many of these ACL injuries are related to poor neuromuscular control in the injured athletes.  Translated, that means that some athletes have poor technique in jumping, landing, stopping, and or turning.  Poor technique increases the stress on the ACL and removes it from the muscles and tendons. 

Proper plyometric training can decrease the force and torque placed on the knee.  Proper technique increases the load placed on the muscles and tendons (where it should be) and removes it from the joint and ligaments.  It seems the very things plyometrics train, functional motor patterns, reflexes and proprioception, are instrumental in the prevention of ACL injuries. 


References.
Broden BP, Griffin LY, Garret WE. Etiology and prevention of Noncontact ACL InjuryThe Physician & SportsMedicine. 2000;28(4), 53-60. 

Swanik BC, Swanik KA. Plyometrics in rehabilitating the lower extremity. Athletic Therapy Today. 1999;4(3), 16-22. 

Chu DA. Plyometrics in sports injury rehabilitation and training. Athletic Therapy Today. 1999;4(3), 7-11.

   
   
 
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