I disagree very much so. Where on earth did you learn that skips, hops, and sprinting are not plyometrics.
First of all the soviets used the shock phase of plyometrics extensively, depth jumps and drops. In order to perform these yes you do need a strong strength base (I think the long time figure was a double body weight squat, I belive it is more individualized). The word plyometric is derived from greek, the russians can call depth jumps what they please but don't spread misinformation by saying the russians called plyo's "shock training". Skips and bounds are the fundamental building blocks of plyometric activity.[/quote]
MISINFORMATION????? It's day one science!!! Learned it in Exercise physiology by one of the most well-respected Professors in the field. The Soviets DID call Plyometrics shock training.
This was posted by Dr. Michael Yessis a few days ago. Dr. Yessis is the first Westerner to translate the early Soviet literature to English and is one of the most well-versed experts in Soviet training methodology.
Well his damn site is down; but from his Yuri Verkhoshansky's "Special Strength Training: A Practical Manual for Coaches" pg 27,29
The shock method is used for the development of explosive strength of various muscle groups. The most widely used method is a vertical jump upward after a drop down from a height of .7-8. meters.
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO EMPHASIZE THAT ONE SHOULD NOT RELATE TO THE SHOCK METHOD IN A FRIVOLOUS MANNER. In recent times, in many publications (MAINLY IN THE USA), the authors offer various variants of shock methods. HOWEVER, they NEGLECT the basic rules which were experimentally developed and verified even back in the 1960's.
Jump exercises are used for the development of explosive leg strength,i.e., so-called "jump force." They are executed as singles repetitions or REPEATED TAKE-OFFS on one or both legs.
A plyometric contraction involves first a rapid muscle lengthening movement, followed by a short resting phase, then an explosive muscle shortening movement, which enables the muscles that work together in doing the particular motion. Plyometric training engages the myostatic-reflex, which is the automatic contraction of muscle when their stretch nerve receptors are stimulated.
In addition to the elastic-recoil of the musculotendonous system there is a neurological component. The stretch shortening cycle affects the sensory response of the muscle spindles and golgi tendon organs (GTO). It is believed that during plyometric exercise, the excitatory threshold of the GTO's is increased, making them less likely to send signals to limit force production when the muscle has increased tension. This facilitates greater contraction force than normal strength or power exercise, and thus greater training ability.
The muscle spindles are involved in the stretch reflex and are triggered by rapid lengthening of the muscle as well as absolute length. At the end of the rapid eccentric contraction, the muscle has reached a great length at a high velocity. This may cause the muscle spindle to enact a powerful stretch reflex, further enhancing the power of the following concentric contraction. The muscle spindle's sensitivity to velocity is another reason why the amortisation phase must be brief for a plyometric effect.
A longer term neurological component involves training the muscles to contract more quickly and powerfully by altering the timing and firing rates of the motor units. During a normal contraction, motor units peak in a de-synchronized fashion until tetany is reached. Plyometric training conditions the neurons to contract with a single powerful surge rather than several disorganized contractions. The result is a stronger, faster contraction allowing a heavy load (such as the body) to be moved quickly and forcefully.
A plyometric exercise involves:
1. An eccentric contraction
2. A brief amortisation phase (no change in muscle length)
3. A short concentric contraction delivering maximum force in a short period of time