A former FBI agent, Olympic athlete, coach and author, Fred Wilt coined the term “plyometrics” in 1975, which has its roots in Latin, meaning “measurable increases.” Plyometric exercise is defined as an activity that allows the muscle to reach its maximal strength in the shortest amount of time possible.
Rapid and powerful upper body movements are required for many activities and sports such as baseball, tennis, golf and football. According to the National Strength and Conditioning Association, plyometric training of the shoulder joint would increase the speed at which the arm can travel and may also prevent injuries to the shoulder and elbow joints. Plyometrics used to train the shoulders include several medicine ball throws and a few variations of a basic pushup.
The power drop may require the assistance of a partner and will need a medicine ball weighing 2 to 8 lbs. To start, lie in a supine position on the ground with your elbows extended. The partner should be standing on a box for added height, with the medicine ball held above the athlete’s arms. As your partner drops the ball, catch it with both arms and immediately throw the ball back up to your partner.
This exercise requires a medicine ball weighing 1 to 5 lbs. and can be performed with a partner or a rebounder. First, get into a comfortable upright position with your feet shoulder-width apart; then face your partner who should be standing 10 feet away. Raise the ball in one hand, then throw the ball to your partner. When the partner or rebounder returns the ball, catch the ball in the starting position and immediately repeat.
Clap pushups can be performed with your feet on a stability ball or placed directly on the ground. First, get into a prone position with your hands on the floor and maintain a straight posture. Then lower yourself to the floor and explosively push your body up as quickly as you can. As you become airborne, speedily clap your hands together and place them back to the original pushup position, then repeat the motion.
Depth Pushups can be performed in a few ways, either using a medicine ball or two platforms. First, get into a pushup position with the hands on the medicine ball with your elbows extended. Then, quickly remove your hands from the ball and drop down. As you catch yourself, allow the chest to almost touch the medicine ball. Next, explosively push yourself up and quickly place your palms back on the ball and immediately repeat.
- ExRx: Exercise Muscle Directory: Plyometrics
- Sports Performance Centres: Jump Training: the Benefits of Adding Plyometric Training to Your Routine
- USA Track and Field: Hall of Fame: Fred Wilt