Plyometric training principles were originally implemented by the Russians in the early 1980s. Their training techniques utilized shock methods where athletes would drop from some height and were subjected to a “shock” when they landed on the ground. This shock landing resulted in an involuntary eccentric contraction which was immediately followed by a concentric contraction as the athlete jumped or sprinted out of this shock landing. Plyometrics training of this type involved very short landing times of 0.1 – 0.2 seconds and involved very high ground reaction forces.
Plyometric training in the United States has since become associated with any type of jumping exercise that may involve lower ground reaction forces and longer contact times. While these modern day plyometric exercises may not provide the quick and explosive responses of the original Russian plyometric techniques, they are still very valuable training methodologies. Particularly in single leg stability plyometric training programs which are used both for performance and injury prevention.