Plyometric training for the upper body

Exercise program for the upper body can complete athletes of various sports, such as football, baseball, basketball, tennis, golf.

Also for the upper body workout applies that sufficient strength requirements must be present before the beginning of the plyometric training. Since the athlete must perform all exercises with maximum intensity, muscles, as well as bones and tendon band apparatus are extremely stressed. In addition, the upper body - unlike the lower body by daily running and jumping - is not prepared for the required movements. The movements in the upper body are highly specific and must therefore be trained accordingly.

As with the lower body workout program, this training program is just a rough guideline for training. In practice, plyometric training programs must be tailored to each athlete to prevent injury. In program development, coaches have to respond to the personal strengths and weaknesses of the athlete and include the state of training, injury history, etc.

Power from the "kinetic chain"

This upper body program trains the following elements in terms of power and speed: overhead, rotational, tensile and compressive, braking skills.

Although the main goal is the development of power in the upper body, one must still understand that the needed power comes from the whole body. One quickly realizes that this training is an extreme stress for the whole body. The force that the athlete uses when throwing a ball or swinging a club comes from the ground and is directed along a so-called "kinetic chain" through the body. The optimization of the function of the kinetic chain is therefore also a major goal of plyometric upper body exercises.

Training plan over 12 weeks

The illustrated 12-week training program, I have already played through with many athletes. Do not forget to put in an 8-12 week strength program. Each weekly program provides information about set and repetition number. At the end you will find some pictures to illustrate the movement.

In the preseason this training should be done twice a week in combination with a 2 to 3 times weekly resistance training. You can often combine upper body training with lower body workouts and then alternate upper body and lower body workout daily. Alternatively, you can combine half of both programs in one training session and complete this combination program twice a week. In high season please reduce the training sessions to once a week. As the program progresses, the level of difficulty of the exercises increases. At the same time the total amount is reduced. Please do not forget to thoroughly warm up the athletes before each workout.

Beware of complex exercises!

Most exercises are performed with medicine balls. Novel medicine balls have better bouncing properties and can therefore better play against the wall. This allows athletes to train alone, without a partner.

Please do not be tempted to try all the forms of exercise listed here. I have illustrated a selection of exercises that I have put together myself over the years. These are exercises that are possible, but they are not necessary. Please be careful with the complex exercises - as always, the top priority is avoiding injury.

Juan Carlos Santana

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