Plyometrics, otherwise known as jump training, is a sports conditioning technique to improve performance. It achieve power and full body conditioning while receiving a cardiovascular benefit.
The exercises that are included in plyometrics cause the exerciser to, "leave the ground" through jumping and explosive lower and upper body power. Exercises such as push ups, squats and lunges can be made into plyometric exercise by pushing through the point of contact (heels for squats and lunges, palms for push ups) to leave the ground in between each rep.
Other exercises include:
-Jumping side to side, back and front
-Jumping with a knee tuck
-Swing kicks (straight leg swinging over a chair)
-exercises that mimics sports movement such as throwing a basketball in a jump shot.
When I first started a plyometric routine I was concerned over prior injuries in my ankle and knee. However, I have found that the training has actually strengthened these weaknesses, instead of aggravating them. The beauty of plyometric training is that it can be modified:
-Exercises can explode out of the form without leaving the ground
-One leg exercises can be completed on two
-Smaller jumps can be substituted for high
This type of training will make athletes stronger at their game and the hobby exerciser receive overall body conditioning, and provide a nice change of pace for a general fitness regimen.