Why Everyone Should Incorporate Jumping & Plyometrics Into Their Training Programs

Mike Campanella

So I was training a client the other day. Her name is Courtney. She’s my favorite client named Courtney. About mid-way through our conditioning circuit, she professed to me that she “hates jumping.” I responded to her by quoting the famous 16th-century philosopher, and scientist, Sir Van Halen with an emphatic “go ahead and jump!” I then thought to myself “well, she’s not the ONLY person who has ever said that to me.” And then I went a bit further into the deep recesses of my brain and thought to myself “maybe I should write a blog about this.” And then, as I was deep in thought, I realized that I totally forgot to time the group as they were performing their conditioning circuit and we went way over the prescribed interval.

So let’s JUMP right in! Pun. Intended.

Jumping and plyometric exercises are important to incorporate into a fitness program, especially as we age, for several reasons.

FIRST, these exercises can improve overall cardiovascular health, increase anaerobic power, and increase aerobic capacity. Jumping exercises require a significant amount of energy and force to be produced, which can improve heart health and increase lung capacity over time.

SECOND, jumping, and plyometric exercises train the body’s fast-twitch muscle fibers. (These are the first muscle fibers that we lose as we age.) These muscle fibers are responsible for producing quick, explosive movements and are crucial for activities such as running, jumping, and sprinting. Additionally, training fast twitch muscle fibers can also have functional benefits in everyday life (lifting heavy objects or quickly reacting to a potential fall).
THIRD, jumping, and plyometric exercises can help improve bone density, which is crucial for middle-aged individuals who may be at a higher risk for osteoporosis. When the body is subjected to impact forces through jumping and plyometric exercises, it stimulates bone growth and density, helping to prevent bone loss and fractures.

LASTLY, incorporating jumping and plyometric exercises into a fitness program can improve balance and coordination. As individuals age, their balance and coordination can decline, increasing their risk of falls and injury. Plyometric exercises require quick and precise movements, which can improve proprioception and body awareness, leading to better balance and coordination.

OVERALL, incorporating jumping and plyometric exercises into a fitness program can provide a variety of benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, maintenance of fast twitch muscle fibers, increased bone density, and improved balance and coordination. It is important to note, however, that these exercises should be performed with proper form and progression to minimize the risk of injury. It is highly recommended that you perform these exercises under the supervision of a trained professional. If only we knew any of those…

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