In order to return to sport, athletes need to be able to make cuts, change direction, decelerate, and accelerate throughout the course of a game or event.
If you haven’t read the previously articles on how power based activity is improved, I suggest you read them first.
This post is meant to be a guide to implementing lower levels of plyometircs while rehabbing from an injury, and applying the concepts based on where your limitations are.
First, you need to see if you are in need of more absorption or force.
If you land from jumps with loud and stiff legged landings or have difficulty descending into a countermovement, you are in need of learning how to absorb forces.
This is where you may need to do some moves like a squat clean or the oscillatory split squats (shown below) to start to stretch your tissues enough to regain the elastic recoil actions. You most likely are great at generating force and have created too much stiffness in your tissues.
If you are landing from depth drops and descend too low or have floppy legs, you probably give way too much and need to stiffen tissues to generate a little more force to counter the movement.
A great start would be a box jump from a dead stop, progressed to a touch and go back squat with slightly more speed.
This way you can start to create quicker rebounds and get off the ground faster.
These simple strategies, but they can be manipulated based on the activities you need to progress towards to mimic the movements you are deficient in.
The main focus is to get away from the qualities you are already good at, and focus on shaping up the under end of the spectrum in order to improve your recovery and overall athleticism.
After you have focused on your deficiencies for a few weeks, you are going to want to start to utilize drills like KB swings and medball throws to improve your rotational and repeat power output for end game rehab.
Other things that can come into play would be pogo hops and repeated hurdle/box jumps.
Granted, we have biases towards one end or the other based on genetics, body structure, exposure to activities, etc, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make some things better to improve our performance and reduce overall risk for injury.
Feeling stuck and need more help implementing these methods towards your specific rehab problem?
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get right back to you!
Dr. Peter Dionisopoulos is the owner and founder of Dynamic Performance & Rehab. He has worked with many high-level athletes and military personnel, but his true passion is to help active adults maintain their lifestyle by providing information and potential solutions to their aches and pains so they can continue with the activities they love.