Plyometrics for Lower Extremity Joints (or Follow-up to Ankle Rehabilitation)

Plyometric training forces the body to recruit fast-twitch (type IIa, IIx) muscle fibres it might not otherwise use.

In this video, I explore the use of plyometric training to address proprioceptive and neuromuscular impairment in the lower extremity joints, such as knees and ankles.

This is a follow-up companion piece to Ankle Rehabilitation Using An Unstable Surface.

Plyometric training

  • indicated for people who want to return to activities that include explosive coordination.
  • not appropriate in the early stages of rehabilitation.
  • helps to improve neuromuscular control (motor coordination) and dynamic stabilization of the ankle, by eliciting an involuntary stretch reflex contraction.
  • increases muscular pre-activity.
  • highly coordinated, high impact movements that require careful attention.
  • participants who commence plyometric training will experience a delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) response.

Shock Method

  • developed by Professor Yuri Verkhoshansky in 1969.
  • employs high-speed controlled deceleration and the stretch-shortening cycle (SSC).
  • uses the pre‐stretch of the muscle‐tendon unit length‐tension curve to generate more tension and resultant force production.
  • During a jump, the SSC sequence of the ankle goes from eccentric, to amortization, to concentric.
  • The ground contact time (GCT) is limited to:
    • fast plyometric movements (GCT≤250ms)
    • slow plyometric activities (GCT≥251ms)
  • A shorter amortization phase (time to rebound) and electro‐mechanical delay allows for effective force transmission from the eccentric pre‐stretch to the concentric power performance phase.