According to Ed Derse, author of Health For Life's book Explosive Power,
plyometric exercises can be divided into four basic groups:
exercises that develop explosive power through coordinated movement
plyometrics: exercises to increase basic speed capacity through
overloading muscles over short time durations
plyometrics: exercises to develop explosive strength
plyometrics: exercises to build the ability to produce explosive
power over and over
All of these
exercise types are useful for martial artists. Rhythm plyometrics improve
coordinated movement, while speed and power plyometrics produce faster
and more forceful techniques. The endurance to maintain explosive power
over a long match, as in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), is
often the winning edge.
basic lower-body plyometric exercises that are easy to do. As with any exercise program,
consult your doctor first if you haven't been exercising regularly. Note that plyometrics
produce extreme stress on your muscles--you should already be in really good
shape before attempting a plyometrics program. If you have joint problems,
you might want to avoid these exercises, as they place heavy loads on the joints.
Also, be sure to perform these exercises on a surface with some "give" to it, like a
sprung dojo floor, or a grassy field. To avoid foot and ankle injuries,
wear shoes with good support and cushioning.
Lower-body Plyometric Exercises
Just like you did as a kid, skipping, or running with a slight hop or
launch with each step, builds rhythm and coordination.
kicks: Often performed by football squads, butt kicks develop the
hamstring muscles vital in kicking. Run at a fast walking speed, attempting
to hit your butt with each foot as you run forward.
reps: Martial artists who practice punch/kick martial arts already
do plyometrics when they practice their techniques. Rapid repetitions
of techniques build the muscle memory for fast bursts of force.
jumps: Rim jumps, a popular exercise for volleyball and basketball
players, can also help you get more height on your jumping kicks. Mark
a spot on a wall about six inches higher than your vertical reach. Jump
up and touch the spot; when you land, immediately launch into another
jump, but touch the spot with your other hand. Do several repetitions,
touching the spot with alternating hands each time.
ball kick: As seen on the first page
of this article, medicine balls can be used for lower-body plyometrics
as well as the more common upper-body exercises. Launching the medicine
ball with a kicking motion emphasizes the initiation of the kick, helping
you launch faster attacks.
Next page > Upper-body Exercises
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