Functional Training for Muay Thai, Boxing, Mixed Martial Arts

Plyometrics

Train for Explosive Strength and Stamina

Plyometrics with the medicine ballPlyometrics are exercises that utilize the Stretch-Shortening Cycle (SSC). These are training routines that are designed to build explosive power - the product of strength plus speed. They consist of fundamental movements such as jumping, striking, and throwing.

A plyometric exercise consists of three parts. The first is a rapid muscle-lengthening movement called the eccentric phase. Second comes a short resting period called the amortization phase. The third is an explosive, muscle-shortening movement called the concentric phase. These three parts are performed in rapid sequence. A basic example is the squat.

Example exercises in my Plyometrics Circuit Training system are: squat jumps, leaps (jump off one foot, land on opposite foot), hops (jump and land on same foot), Thai Pad and Heavy Bag strikes, medicine ball slams, and Judo throws. I also like to use the TRX suspension straps for explosive exercises such as pistol hops and jumping knees.

Because of the strain from impact and elasticity, these exercises must be regulated through short, explosive sets. They are not meant for sustained, stamina-building training.

Plyometrics will raise your heart rate in a short period of time so factor in rest periods between sets. For example, you can perform squat kicks with 10 reps each leg, rest for 10 seconds, and repeat for a total of 3-4 sets.

Flexibility is also a necessary requirement both for injury prevention and to enhance the effect of the stretch-shortening cycle. Combining plyometrics with stretching is a much recommended method of establishing your training routine.