Plyometric Training – Bodyweight Power

Lower body plyometrics using ones body is a simple yet effective way to train power.  When it comes to undertaking plyometric bodyweight training it is important to get the training program/load and recovery phase correct so to avoid over training, increased risk of injury and reduction in performance.  The other key with plyometric bodyweight training is also around technique so to ensure that one can load and land efficiently so to not increase ones risk of developing a musculoskeletal injury.  Typically I will look to include lower body power development into ones training program if this is related to the athletic requirements of their sport or activity that they either training for or returning to following injury.  I will often make sure that my clients have a good training base prior to adding in movements such as jumping (double leg), hopping (single leg), bounding (taking off from one leg and landing on the other) and skipping exercises.  When it comes to prescription of training load, I like to follow the recommendation made by Mike Boyle who aims to keep the foot contact at roughly 25 per day and 100 per week and between 1 – 4 total sessions per week.   One can then look to increase the intensity of the exercise by changing how one moves their body against gravity.  When it comes to prescribing lower limb power exercises, typically I will look to add in multi directional movements rather than just vertical or sagittal.  Typically the clients we deal with in clinic who are coming back from injury (be it hip, knee or foot/ankle) need to be able to perform and function in all movement directions and therefore they should be able to both generate force and land in different directions i.e. forwards/backwards, up/down, side to side and rotational.

Some examples of common lower limb plyometric exercises include:

  • Box jump (floor to box – height can be variable)
  • Single leg box hop
  • Lateral bounding (from one foot to the other
  • Hurdle jumping (multiple jumps – vertical height)
  • Hurdle hopping (multiple hopping – vertical height)
  • Jumping and hopping with ladders/cones (directional)

This blog post was written by osteopath Heath Williams of Principle Four Osteopathy.  Principle Four Osteopathy is one of Melbourne City CBD and Docklands leading osteopathy clinics.  Find out more at or book an appointment by calling 03 96709290.