Plyometrics increase your power and explosiveness through dynamic exercises. Shoulder plyometric moves are popular with throwing athletes because they mimic the motions used in sports such as basketball, football and baseball. If you are considering plyometric training, make sure you have a solid strength foundation before you begin.
Plyometrics are high-intensity exercises that help you strengthen your muscles' speed and power. In these moves, you lengthen the muscle, then rapidly contract or shorten it. This is also called a stretch-shortening cycle. Energy is stored during the stretch phase and used to generate greater force during the shortening phase. By adding plyometric exercises to your training, you teach your muscle to contract faster and with more power over time. Plyometric exercises for the shoulder often involve the use a weighted ball to further strengthen the muscles.
If you participate in a sport that requires you to use your arms over your head, such as volleyball, football or tennis, shoulder plyometrics may help improve your power and performance. A study published in the вЂњJournal of Strength and Conditioning ResearchвЂќ showed that individuals who participated in a six-week plyometric training program for the shoulder and elbow demonstrated significant improvement over a controlled group.
Both muscle performance and shoulder kinesthesia improved after a group of athletes followed a six-week plyometric shoulder training program, according to the вЂњJournal of Shoulder and Elbow SurgeryвЂќ in 2002. Kinesthesia refers to your awareness of the position and movement of your muscles and joints. This is important if you participate in sports that use your upper body, because it helps with coordination, power and strength of your arms and shoulders. Participants in this study did plyometrics two times a week.
Examples of Exercises
There are a variety of plyometric exercises that target your shoulder muscles. For a weight-free move, try the shoulder tap push-up. With this move, do a traditional push-up, but after returning to the starting position, rapidly tap your left shoulder with your right hand. Do another push-up and repeat the shoulder tap with your left hand. A shoulder exercise for throwing that you can do with a partner involves throwing a medicine ball overhead back and forth. Finally, a throwing exercise you can do alone is the medicine ball lying chest throw. Lie on your back on the floor with legs bent. Hold a medicine ball with both hands at your chest, and forcefully throw the ball upward. Catch the ball and repeat.