Home >  Blog >  Plyometrics in Rehabilitation

Plyometrics in Rehabilitation

Posted on 1 April 2015
Plyometrics in Rehabilitation

Plyometric training, also termed 'jump training', is a mode of exercise that enables a muscle to reach maximal force in the shortest possible time. This form of activity was first implemented in strength and conditioning programmes by coaches from the Soviet Union in the 1960's, and aroused international curiosity following the 1972 Olympics when Eastern European countries dominated the gold medals in track and field, gymnastics, and weight-lifting.

More recently, rigorous scientific research has demonstrated that plyometric training is currently the most effective of all interventions for injury prevention and late-stage rehabilitation in sport and high-level occupational activities.

"Plyometric" is a combination of Greek words that literally means to increase measurement (plio=more, metric=measure). Practically defined, Plyometric movements involves first a rapid muscle lengthening movement (eccentric phase), followed by a short resting phase (amortization phase), then an explosive muscle shortening movement (concentric phase). This movement pattern uses the strength, elasticity and innervation of muscle and surrounding tissues to jump higher, run faster, throw farther, or hit harder.

Plyometric exercises are thought to resolve post-injury neuromuscular impairments and to prepare the musculoskeletal system for rapid movements and high forces that may be similar to the demands imposed during sport participation, thus assisting the athlete with a return to full function.

Since the aim of rehabilitation is to regain the pre-injury level of function of the injured site and also to return the athlete to their pre-injury state of fitness, plyometrics are an excellent rehab tool. If an athlete has to run, jump, change direction and so on in their sport, then their rehabilitation should prepare them specifically for those actions.

Low intensity plyometrics is a very useful tool to retrain dynamic balance and proprioception after injury, and once functional stability is regained, such exercises can be gradually introduced. In late stage rehabilitation, when the injury site is strong and close to fully repaired, higher level plyometric drills that mimic the sporting environment may be included. It is essential that recovering athletes perform explosive type movements in a closed environment before returning to any field or court sport.

Clinically, plyometrics can be categorized according to the loads applied to the healing tissue to provide optimal strengthening of the injured tissue:

  •     Medial/lateral loading
  •     Rotational loading
  •     Shock absorption/deceleration loading

Types of lower body plyometric drills include:

  •     Jumps in place
  •     Standing jumps
  •     Multiple hops and jumps
  •     Bounds
  •     Box drills
  •     Depth jumps

Types of upper body plyometric drills include:

  •     Ball throws
  •     Catches
  •     Push-ups

Plyometric exercises place a great demand on the tissues targeted, and therefore are implemented at the end-stages of a rehabilitation program. To reduce the risk of re-injury and to facilitate the performance of exercises, it is important to have your physiotherapist properly assess strength, speed and balance.



    Baechle T.R., R.W Earle. Essentials of strength training and conditioning, third ed. 2008. National Strength and Conditioning Association.
    Chmielewski TL, Myer GD, Kauffman D, Tillman SM. 2006. Plyometric exercise in the rehabilitation of athletes: physiological responses and clinical application. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. May;36(5):308-19.
    Newberry L., Bishop M. Plyometric and agility training into the regimen of a patient with post-surgical anterior knee pain. Physical Therapy in Sport, Volume 7, Issue 3, Pages 161-167
    Wilson, G.J., R.U Newton, A.J Murphy, B.J Humphries. The optimal training load for the development of dynamic athletic performance. 1993. Med Sci Sports Exerc 25:1279-1286.
    Wilt F. Plyometrics: What it is and how it works. 1975. Athl J 55(5):76, 89-90.

Tags: Prevention Treatment options Performance


Contact Us Today

We can help with your sports medicine or therapy needs.

Tip of the Month

When choosing a backpack for your child ensure that it appropriately sized and not too large. Once books and other items are placed in the bag, make sure it is no heavier than 10% of the child's body weight.

Sports & Exercise Medicine Institute

2 Sheppard Avenue E

Suite 601
Toronto, ON
M2N 5Y7

Phone: (416) 223-7364 (SEMI)
Fax: (416) 223-8048
Email: sheppard@semisportmed.com

Monday: 7 – 7
Tuesday: 7 – 7
Wednesday: 7 – 7
Thursday: 7 – 7
Friday: 7 – 5:30
Saturday: Open last Saturday of each month, (times vary) except long weekends, July and August.
Sunday: Closed
(Not open long weekends nor Saturdays in July and August.)

40 St. Clair Avenue W

Suite 410
Toronto, ON
M4V 1M2

Phone: (416) 927-7364 (SEMI)
Fax: (647) 930-9536
Email: stclair@semisportmed.com
Monday: 7 – 3
Tuesday: 7 – 3
Wednesday: 7 – 3
Thursday: 7 – 7
Friday: 7 – 3
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

8150 Yonge Street, Suite 1
Thornhill, ON
L4J 1W5

Phone: (289) 459-7364
Fax: (905) 731-3336
Email: thornhill@semisportmed.com
Monday: 11 – 7
Tuesday: 9 – 5
Wednesday: 11 – 7
Thursday: 11 – 6
Friday: 9 – 2
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed


Is It Time For You To Get A Sports Massage?

Nov 17 2018
You might experience pain in your shoulder blades or ankles at several instances during a game...

What To Look For Before Choosing Your Physiotherapist

Nov 13 2018
If you've been experiencing aches in your body resulting from sports injury, a car acciden...

Is Your Neck Ache Being A Pain In The Neck?

Nov 09 2018
Neck pain is one of the most common medical conditions in Canada. In fact, chronic pain preval...

Shockwave Therapy (No, It's Not Dangerous!)

Nov 03 2018
Shockwave therapy has been used to treat conditions like tendinopathy and stress fractures. It...


#DidYouKnow #Pilates provides #coretraining that benefits all manner of #athletictraining? https://t.co/6aPexkpZxp
55 days ago
Swift diagnosis and treatment of #concussions are of the utmost importance aftera #headinjury. Contact SEMI for ong… https://t.co/k9PNLXRFPP
62 days ago
Bookmark SiteTell a FriendPrint