Beginning Plyometrics: Landings

Updated: Nov 26, 2020

Did you know that many strength and conditioning coaches do NOT recommend plyometrics until athletes can lift at least 1.5x their body weight?⠀ It’s not so crazy if you think about it.

Plyometrics, specifically the landing phase, require rapid deceleration of your body’s entire weight. However, mass does not calculate impact velocity; instead, we either need to consider the height from which an object (body) is dropped (jumping from) or the time it takes for it to reach the ground. Distance is usually the easier to measure. ⠀⠀ Dropping/jumping from a 12in height would have an impact velocity of approximately 2.44 m/s^2.⠀

If a 150 lbs person (68kg) drops from a box height of 12in (.3048m), and the impact velocity is 2.44 m/s^2 then...

Force = 68kg x 2.44 m/s^2 or 165.92 N

Converted into Joules (Work) then Watts (Power), this would = approximately 202.29 Watts. ⠀⠀ ⠀ We think of plyos as simple/easy because they are often considered “bodyweight” exercises. But, we need to take a more scientific and holistic perspective when considering how best to prepare our bodies for proper plyo training. ⠀⠀ For the drill below, we focus on proper landing mechanics and positioning to teach the body to absorb force as optimally as possible. Begin by kicking one leg out, and simply allow the body to drop into a squat position to “catch” the body’s weight and absorb the impact of the “fall.”

Start by practicing 5 reps per kicking leg for a total of 10 landings. Focus on utilizing muscle tension to soften the landings. The body should be in a nice stacked position, back flat, knees over the ankles, weight centered.⠀