Plyometrics - The only training you need?

There is overwhelming evidence that adequate exercise reduces the risk for many diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, sarcopenia and osteoporosis. However, current exercise recommendations focus on single aspects of the age-related deterioration in physical performance, and require several hours of time per week. Instead, an effective and time-efficient exercise program that addresses physical performance in all its aspects is needed to prevent inactivity-related diseases. One type of exercise that has the potential to fulfill these criteria is jumping: jumping is a high-intensity, low-volume type of training that does not require much time, yet, reactive jumping induces high forces in leg muscles and bones, which are deemed necessary for muscle and bone strength. In several studies, we investigated the suitability of jumps as a simple, short and effective form of training targeting muscle, bone and cardiovascular system. First in studies in our lab, shedding light on mechanisms such as post-activation potentiation, then in a recent bed-rest study at DLR Cologne, and now in combination with artificial gravity at DLR Cologne.