Plyometrics exercises should be an integral part of any lower extremity rehab or injury prevention program to increase power development and to teach proper absorption movement mechanics. In the rehab realm, you could argue that it's even more important to learn how to absorb forces than to increase power development - although you will work on both through proper plyometric progressions. Absorption forces need to be progressed appropriately, as overloading a sensitive tendon or weight-bearing structure like the meniscus can lead to a slower rehabilitation process. Even more of a problem is skipping out on plyometric progressions all together - as this leaves the athlete unexposed to the high amount of forces and loads that they undoubtedly will face in day to day life like going down a flight of stairs, taking a misstep and needing to put your foot down to prevent a fall, going on hikes with friends and family, and ultimately sport demands! This article will cover some of the tenants of plyometric progressions and special considerations for rehab!
Landing mechanics has always been a hot topic within the realm of the rehabilitation and sports medicine world. Let’s be honest, watching elite athletes perform at a high level and analyzing their movement is sexier than most low-level rehab exercises for movement enthusiasts. So it’s natural for clinicians and trainers to get excited when teaching someone landing mechanics. However, we want to ensure that clinicians are thorough when assessing patients, as subtle compensations and poor movement patterns with landing mechanics are often easy to miss! In this article, you’ll learn the basics of what to focus on with teaching landing mechanics!
When beginning the transition to plyometrics, you always want to make sure that athletes can first control regressed movements, positions of instability, and demonstrate good deceleration control in all three planes in a slow and controlled manner. This is an absolute prerequisite before you ask them to generate power (speed component) and change directions (agility component), especially in reaction to an external stimulus (i.e an opposing player or ball). Assessing and training deceleration control in all three planes is absolutely vital for the athlete, as no sport is truly one dimensional. In this article, we will help guide you with how to introduce deceleration control exercises!