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The lower body portion of my current strength program is:

Wed:

  • 3x5 Back squat
  • 3x8 Bent over rows

Sat:

  • 3x5 Back squat
  • 1x5 Deadlift

I want to incorporate a little bit of moderate plyometrics. Not so much to jump higher, but more to make my tendons stronger so that I do not hurt myself if I should suddenly feel a crazy urge to jump.

I was thinking maybe doing 3 sets x 5 squat jumps with a focus on soft and quiet landing once a week. Is this a good option in my case?

But how should I program these jumps?

Idea A

After having done 3 warmup sets of squats I do the sets of jumps with 2 minutes break between each set before doing my working sets of the squats.

Idea B

After each set of back squats wait for 30 secs, then do 5 squat jumps. Then wait for 3 minutes before doing another set of back squats. This is time efficient and supposed to be very effective due to an effect that causes larger neural effort after a max effort lift (PAP). But also a bit dangerous?

Idea C

Introduce a third training day per week where I do exercises that I would like to do that do not fit into other days:

  • warmup
  • 3x5 squat jumps
  • farmer carries

Idea D

Jog 5 km every monday or tuesday. Do the squat jumps as part of the jogging.

Are these ideas good or do you have any better/other ideas?

1 Answer 1

1

To strengthen your tendons you do not need to resort to plyometrics. Tendon loves load. Your usual workout will have already strengthen it as they work in conjunction with your muscles and bones to afford movement. You mentioned “in case you need to jump”. Hence, plyometrics will be useful as a training tool to teach your body that particular movement. Your body will then be able to land softly or jump (with power) without you having to think about the steps sequentially. It will also then lower your risk of injures.

I believe that you should give your ideas a try and get a feel of how it feels during the session itself. Modify and taper as necessary. Is your from breaking down during any of the exercises? Then yes, you may need to reduce the weight / increase the rest time / swap out the exercises / etc.

I usually have my plyo done at the end of my workout as I do not want my form to breakdown for my lifts. But it all depends on your goals. Some will put plyo at the start as those need the “most” energy to perform. You can even put all your plyo exercises in one training day.

For idea B, you need to ask yourself what is the goal of doing plyometrics ? You are structuring that way to get a larger neural effort but that wasn’t your initial goal for plyometrics exercises.

I’m more inclined to go with idea A to start slow and safely. Then explore about possibilities as you get more confident and comfortable

2
  • Thank you for your help. However I think it may be difficult to load the tendons sufficiently without plyometrics. When running the achilles tendons experience up to 3 x bodyweight tension. Say I aim a bit lower: 2x bodyweight. In order to achieve this I have to lift 100 kg while balancing on one leg or alternatively 300 kg whilst standing on both legs (I way ca.100 kg). I also have read about strong back squatters who have teared their achilles. The load during ordinary strength training seems insufficient.
    – Andy
    Sep 25, 2021 at 18:11
  • You’re welcome! I think we have to take a look at why you need those strong tendons. Is it necessary and relevant to the goal you want to achieve? If yes, I will also be inclined to go with plyo with the aim of strengthening the tendon. If not, I think normal resistance training will be sufficient. The load strong back squatters carry is way more than what you may be doing, hence, their context may not be relevant to yours. Are you aiming to load your tendon with the intend to clock a certain amount of mileage ?
    – Jun
    Sep 28, 2021 at 12:27

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