• By: Pedro Candeias
  • Date: 06/06/2017


Here you’ll receive some important knowledge about one of the most effective training methods: PLYOMETRIC TRAINING!!!


  1. Plyometric Training improves Acceleration?




Plyometric training effects are greater in the initial phases of linear movement speed.


These effects can be from 2% to 3%, which is very relevant when we’re talking about Karate.



  1. Do you need to make some adaptations for Karateka with greater Body Mass?




Because of Karateka with bigger body mass cause more mechanical stress on their joints, bones, and ligaments.


They should train with lower volume and intensity. Depth and Drop Jumps should be performed from lower heights.



  1. What’s the influence of Plyometrics on Bone Strength?


Organizations such as the WHO (World Health Organization), the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) recommendations about exercise include Plyometric training to promote bone health and to prevent and treat osteoporosis.


Plyometric training will lead to stress and tension forces on the bones, which will adapt and therefore increase their strength.


Another advantage is the osteogenic stimulus caused by the impacts produced against the ground.


Other sports without impact such as cycling or swimming do not produce the same effects.


An increase of only 3%-5% in bone mineral density is estimated to result in as much as 20%-30% reduction in fracture risk.


The effects are greater on prepubertal and early pubertal children and pre-menopausal women.



  1. Has Plyometric Training a positive effect on Maximal Strength?




The gains can be greater than 20 kg on a squat. Only with body weight Plyometrics.


This is particularly relevant for all the Karateka that only train 2 to 3 times per week and don’t have the opportunity to make strength training with external load – machines, free weights, elastics, etc.



  1. How should you Progress your Plyometric Exercises?


There are several ways of promoting progression in Plyometric Training:


  • Low Speed to High-Speed Execution
  • Low to High Intensity
  • Two Legged Jumps to One Legged Jumps
  • Raising Box or Hurdles Jump and Heights
  • Increase Weight of Medicine Ball
  • Increasing Number of Hurdles and Jumps
  • And many other ways



  1. Are Rest and Recovery times important to improve Performance and Safety with Plyometric Training?


Rest and recovery times are of the most importance so your Karate students and athletes can have the best results in performance and keep a low risk of injury.


The pauses should be long between sessions and sets.



  1. What’s the Relationship between Plyometrics and the Stretch-Shortening Cycle?


Well, Plyometric drills have the big goal of increasing your Reactive Strength.


And Reactive Strength is manifested through what Human Movement calls Stretch-Shortening Cycle.



  1. And what really is the Stretch-Shortening Cycle?


Reactive Strength can be divided em two types of Stretch-Shortening Cycles.


This division is made according to the ground contact times (of your feet, for example):

  • Fast Stretch-Shortening Cycle – contact times under 250ms
  • Slow Stretch-Shortening Cycle – contact times over 250ms


As generic examples of Fast Stretch-Shortening Cycle, we have triple jump, long jump and 100m race. In Karate, we are talking about the fast displacements in WKF Kumite.


As generic examples of Slow Stretch-Shortening Cycle, we have basketball or volleyball jumps. In Karate, we can see this on the execution of Tobi-Geri.


It would be great if a researcher or team of researchers could develop a scientific study to establish the types of Stretch-Shortening Cycle of the best athletes during Kata and Kumite!


Maybe Karate Science Academy can propel this goal…



  1. What’s the Best Speed to execute Plyometric Drills?


Plyometric drills should be performed rapidly, but always ensuring a good technical execution!


You can’t let your Karate students and athletes increase the speed of movement to the detriment of proper technique.


To the majority of Karate activities, speed of movement is more important than height in Plyometric training.



  1. What Types of Plyometric Exercises can you use?


Here are a few examples for the lower-body and the upper-body:


  • Repeated Jumps without Horizontal Displacement
  • Single Vertical Jump
  • Single Horizontal Jump
  • Multiple Jumps with Horizontal Displacement (steps and hops)
  • Bounds (repeated big horizontal displacements)
  • Box Jumps (up to the box and down of the box)
  • Depth Jumps


  • Clap Push-ups
  • Step Drop Push-ups
  • Shoulder-Touch Push-ups
  • Medicine Ball Plyo Throws
  • And many others



  1. What General Guidelines should you seriously consider before you start Plyometric Training in your Dojo?


Here is a short list:

  • Age of the Karateka
  • Injury history
  • Type of injury
  • Appropriate warmups before beginning the Plyometric drills
  • Foundational strength of your Karate students
  • Range of Motion of your Karateka’s joints
  • Body Mass




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P. S. – Plyometric training is really one of the best (if not “THE BEST”) methods to improve your Karate students and athletes performance!!! Explosive Strength, Maximal Strength, Joint Stability, Bone Strength, etc… With a method that only requires a very, very small investment or even Zero investment!



Complimentary Readings:


Gómez-Bruton A, Matute-Llorente A, González-Agüero A, Casajús JA, Vicente-Rodríguez G. Plyometric Exercise And Bone Health In Children And Adolescents: A systematic review. World Journal of Pediatrics. 2017; Online First


Xu J, Lombardi G, Jiao W, Banfi G. Effects of Exercise on Bone Status in Female Subjects, from Young Girls to Postmenopausal Women: An Overview of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. Sports Medicine. 2016


Davies G, Riemann BL, Manske R. Current Concepts Of Plyometric Exercise: Clinical commentary. The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. 2015; 10(6):760-786


Patel NN. Plyometric Training: A review article. International Journal of Current Research and Review. 2014; 6 (15): 33-37


Cormie P, McGuigan MR, Newton RU. Developing Maximal Neuromuscular Power: Part 1 – Biological basis for maximal power production. Sports Medicine. 2011; 41 (1): 17-38


Cormie P, McGuigan MR, Newton RU. Developing Maximal Neuromuscular Power: Part 2 – Training considerations for improving maximal power production. Sports Medicine. 2011; 41 (1): 17-38


Markovic G, Mikulic P. Neuro-Musculoskeletal and Performance Adaptations to Lower-Extremity Plyometric Training. Sports Medicine. 2010; 40 (10): 859-895


Sáez-Sáez de Villarreal E, Requena B, Newton RU. Does Plyometric Training Improve Strength Performance? A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. 2010 13: 513–522