Nowadays we’ll call anything that involves jumping plyometrics.  It’s become the term for jumping exercises, but simply jumping isn’t exactly what plyometrics were meant to be.  Plyometrics were specific types of exercises that involved a fall, which created a shock, which lead to a quick recoil (eccentric contraction of the muscles), and an almost immediate rebound (concentric contraction of the muscles) or jump.  The quicker the jump the better.  It is the quick turn around from eccentric contraction to concentric contraction that makes something a True or Explosive Plyometric.

Your average jumping drills everyone is doing now can provide a good workout.  Most people don’t really need to practice True Plyometrics, but if you are an athlete or are working with an athlete, an avid runner, hiker or basketball player or someone who is very fit and looking to improve their speed and strength it is important to know the difference.  True Plyometric drills is what will achieve enhanced speed and strength for an individual more than just jumping exercises.

Plyometrics can be really hard on the joints, so if you do them you want to build up or work with clients who really need to be doing and can benefit from plyometrics. 

 I try to explain this concept and show an example in this video.

For more reading try this site on plyometrics or this video of Dr. Yessis speaking about the concepts.

This video shows a good example of the depth jump, the original plyometric exercise.  The first and third person who jump do it the best.  And the depth jump starts when they fall off the box.  Not when they jump on it.