Kramskoy Sergey, Herodek Katarina, Markovic Sasa, Stankovic Ratko

Belgorod State Technological University named after V.G. Shukhov (Russia)

Sport department and physical training University Nish

Annotation. The discusion is about the basic premise of plyometric training. We outlined the basic physiology of pliometrics and also drew a distinction between general power training and true plyometric training. This article will describe a basic plyometric program with an emphasis on handball players lower body power in ordeer to jump higher. The last part focuses on upper body program such as one we will sample bellow will enhance the explosiveness of the upper body. Upper body power is obviously valuable for athletes in handball, basketball, volleyball, tennis and other sports.

Key words: plyometric, training, power, handball players.

Анотацiя. Крамськой С., Херодек К., Маркович С., Станкович Р. Плiометричне тренування для розвитку вибуховоi сили нiг окремих гандболiстiв. Представлено основнi передумови плiометричного тренування. Ми видiлили основну фiзiологiю плiометрики, а також вивчали розходження мiж загальним тренуванням сили та iстинним плiометричним тренуванням. У статтi описана основна плiометрична програма з акцентом на гандболiстiв з бiльше низькоi стрибучiстю. Були видiленi важливi частини верхньоi частини тiла спортсмена, руху яких сприяють розвитку стрибучостi. Сила верхньоi частини тiла - очевидна цiннiсть для атлетiв у гандболi, баскетболi, волейболi, тенiсi й iнших спортивних змаганнях.

Ключовi слова: плiометрика, тренування, сила, гандболiсти.

Аннотация. Крамской С., Херодек К., Маркович С., Станкович Р. Плиометрические тренировки для развития взрывной силы ног отдельных гандболистов. Представлены основные предпосылки плиометрической тренировки. Мы выделили основную физиологию плиометрики, а также изучали различия между общей тренировкой силы и истиной плиометрической тренировкой. В статье описана основная плиометрическая программа с акцентом на гандболистов с более низкой прыгучестью. Были выделены важные части верхней части тела спортсмена, движения которых способствуют развитию прыгучести. Сила верхней части тела - очевидная ценность для атлетов в гандболе, баскетболе, волейболе, теннисе и других спортивных состязаниях.

Ключевые слова: плиометрика, тренировка, сила, гандболисты.


Plyometric training is one of the most requested forms of training by many athletes, as well by handball players. All have heard the stories of great power developement accredited to this method of training. To add to the mystery, pliometrics originated as a training method in the secretive eastern block countries where it was referred to as "jump training" or "shock training". In the 1920s. The sport of track and field to employ a systematic method of using plyometric training methods. By 1970s this method of powwer developement was being used by other sports that required explosive power for successful competition.

Plyometrics comes from the Greek word "pleythyein" (augment or increase). However, the actual word plyometrics was first coined in 1975. by American track coach, Fred Wilt. Based from the Latin root words "plio" (more) and "metric" (to measure).

Plyometrics can best be describe as "explosive-reactive" power trainig. This type of training involves powerful muscular contractions in response to a rapid stretching of the involved musculature.

These powerful contractions are not a pure muscular event; they have an extremly high degree of central nervous system involvement. The event is called neuromuscular event.The stretching of the muscles, prior to the explosive contraction that follows, is often called "loading". The faster and greater the load, the more powerful the reflex and subsequent contraction.

A good example of this is watching any handball player jump. They jump higher when they can take a few steps before the jump. The reason for this is that the few steps create momentum. This momentum is used to create a bigger and faster "load" on the leg plant prior to jumping. The response to this greater load is a greater contraction by the legs and a higher jump heigh.

Many times people confuse some forms of power training for pliometrics. Pliometric training is only one form of power training. A true plyometric exercise must contain a very fast loading phase. That is, for the stretch reflex (myotatic reflex) to invoke a powerful contraction, it must occur extremly fast.

Therefore, a jump (from athletic position) onto higher box is a power exercise, but not a plyometric exercise. To make it a plyometric exercise one can jump off a lower box, hit the ground and immediately jump onto the higher box.

With proper supervision and progresion, everyone can partake in plyometric training, from children to the senior population. First and more important, the proper strenght base must be developed to support the increased force production that results from the stretch reflex.

Remember that the reflex involved in plyometric training allows you to contract your muscles with greater force then you could through a voluntary contraction. Secondly, a higheer degree of balance and stability are also needed for the quick loading phase. Although a specific body part may seem exclusively involved, the peercussive shocks that bring about the myotatic reflex are felt throught the entire body - all structures must have good integrity to support this training. And the last, simpler skills must be mastered before progressing to more difficult exercises.

Inappropriate use of plyometric training has been associated with various forms of "over use" injuries, especially in the lower extremities (patelar and Achilles tendinitis and plantar faciitis).

Like any other high risk maneuver, high intensity plyometrics should not designed or performed without the supervision of a professional overseeing the training, and response, to the exercise protocol.

This program is a general example of a simple progression. Plyometric training is very individual and must be tailored to the specific athlete it is intended for. Every athlete has different concerns and needs.

The principle of specificity must govern the training regimen. Thus, the exercises selected for this program simulate handball movements in speed, resistance and biomechanics.

Safety and proper progression must be at the forefront of this program. It is better to under-prescribe then to over-prescribe. Advanced exercises must be reserved for only advanced athletes. Beginners always want to progress faster than they are capable of. It is a coach job to explain, and insisit on, proper progression.

A proper warm up and coolo down can not be emphasized enough. The warm up must proceed from general (jogging or skiipping rope) to specific preparatory exercises (dynamic stretches similar to exercises being performed).

The cool down should focus on flexibility via static stretches and allow the gradual return to a pre-exercises state.

Ther correct dose of stimull must be providede. High intensity must dominate the plyometric session. Quality, not quantity, is the cornerstone of člyometric training - all exercises are to be performed at 95-100% effort. However, there must be a balanced relationship between stress and recovery. Insufficient recovery is the most commomn cause of injury in plyometrics.

Generally, 1-3 minutes between sets and 3-5 minutes between exercises is sufficient recovery within a single traiining session.

Finally, individual program design must part of the final process. Although a general program can be designed for a team. The coach must "twea" each program to deal with the specifics of the individual athlete. Medical history, training age, muscle imbalances and postion played in team are some of the variables that will dictate the specific design of the program.

Several authors have described various categories of plyometric exercises. The three basic categories of lower body plyometric exercises are jumps, hops and bounds.

Jumps are exercises where you land with both feet (long jump). The take off can be performed with one or two feet. Jumps can be done in place (jumping jack) or for distance (multiple long jump).

Hops are exercises where you take off one foot and land on the same foot (single leg hopping). Hops can also be done in place (stationary single leg ankle hops) or for distance (multiple single leg hops). Since hops are a single leg exercise, they require much more strength than jumps. Bounding exercises are exercises where one takes off on one foot and lands on the other foot (alternative leg bounding) Bounds are usually done for distance. Bounds can be the most challenging of the plyometric exercises. We will show the structure of 12 week plyometric routine illustrated here very succesfully with high level athlets. Keep in mind that to assure the appropriate strength base: 8-12 weeks of resistance training would procede this program

The progression allows a two-week block to adapt to each exercise. As the complexity and intensity of the drills increase, there is corresponding decrease in volume.


1.-2. Week

Sets Foot contacts

Ankle jumps (stiff leg, fast ankle action, on balls of feet) 3 - 12

Vertical jumps (go for repeated, fast rebounds under rim) 3 - 10

Front obstacle jumps (jump multiple cones or hurdles) 3 -10

Lateral obstacle jumps (jump sideaways over cones or hurdles) 3 - 10

3.-4. Week

Ankle jumps (increase airtime) 4 - 10

Verticla jumps (increase airtime and speed between jumps) 3 - 8

Front obstacle jumps (increase distance between obstacles) 4 - 8

Lateral obstacle jumps (increase distance between obstacles) 3 - 8

5.-6. Week

Power skipping (exaggerated skipping with powerful leg thrusts - distance) 3 -12

Repeated tuck jumps ( jump and tuck knees high and feet under butt-height) 3 - 8

Multiple long jumps (for distance and height) 3 - 8

Lateral obstacle jumps (increase distance between obstacles) 4 - 8

7.-8. Week

Power skipping (increase distance covered per skip) 4 - 10

Repeated tuck jumps (increase height-lots od air time) 4 - 6

Multiple long jumps (increase distance and height) 4 -6

Diagonal obstacle jumps (zig zag jumops over low bench/row of cones) 4 - 6

9.-10. Week

Alternate leg bounding (exaggerate running-go for distance between steps) 4 - 8

Single leg hops (repeated on one lrg for distance) 4 - 6

Squat jumps (increase height of jump) 3 - 6

Front obstacle jumps and sprints (add a 30-40 m. sprint after jumps) 3 - 6

Diagonal obstacle jumps and sprints (add a 30-40 m. sprint after jumps) 3 - 6

10.-12. Week

Alternate leg bounding (increase distance between steps) 3 - 8

Single leg hops (increase total distance)

Squat jumps (increase height of jump) 3 - 6

Lateral obstacle jumps and sprints (add a 30-40 m. sprint after jumps) 2 - 8

Front obstacle jumps and sprints (increase intensity of jumps and sprints) 2 - 8

Diagonal obstacle jumps and sprints (increase intensity of jumps and sprints) 2 - 8


The last part focuses on upper body program such as one we will sample bellow will enhance the explosiveness of the upper body. Upper body power is obviously valuable for athletes in handball, basketball, voleyball, tenis and other sports.

If the anatomical structures are not properly developed, an injury is guaranteed if these types of plyometric exercises are undertaken. This is particulary true of upper body, Unlike the lower body, we do not have ,,base training" for the upper body. We were not born to walk, run, jump, skip and play on our upper body. Exercises intensities must be considered very carefully to establish appropriate volumes of upper body.

Individualizaction is the key to a successful plyometric program. This is why we must emphasize that the program we will illustrate in this article is not a prescription for anyone. It is only an example of what an upper body plyometric program looks like.

Although general plyometric programs are provided for many teams and position do not approve o everyone following one program. Body structures, strengths and weakness are highly individual amd should be addressed in that manner.

The general components tergeted for improvements are: 1) overhead throwing power, 2) rotational explosiveness, 3) pushing power, 4) pulling power and 5) throwing deceleration power.

Although this program focuses on upper body power, it is necessary to understand that energy for each exercise comes from the ground. The chain of structures that transfers energy from the ground to the implement used id called the kinetic chain.

The program illustrated here is 12 weeks duration. The weekly chart includes the number of sets and reps. This program may be implemented during the pre-season, 2 times per week in conjuction with a 2-3 day/week resistance training program emphasizing functional strength and power conversion.

Many of the exercises in this program use medicine balls. The new types of medicine balls are made of durable rubber, offering a comfortable bounce. This offers several advantages. Some of the exercises we have chosen are illusttrated in this program. Do not attempt them, they require professional supervision nad can be dangerous if not done properly.


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Came to edition 18.01.2009.

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