How To: Plyometrics for Elementary PE

Hesitant to introduce plyometrics training to your students in your elementary PE class?
You may already be doing it and are not even aware that you are!

Students Jumping Rope - Plyometric Exercises for Elementary PEWhat is Plyometrics?

Plyometrics, also known as jump training, includes exercises that rapidly stretches the muscles and then rapidly shortens it.  It is a training technique used to increase muscular power and explosiveness.  It helps improves your fast-twitch muscles, vertical jump performance, leg strength, and agility.  Plyometrics are designed to produce fast and powerful movements from your body.  In addition, plyometrics training also aids in injury prevention.

Some fitness professionals think plyometrics are great, while others question the safety and appropriateness for young children.  However, the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Council on Exercise, and the National Strength and Conditioning Association all support the use of plyometrics, provided they are done correctly with proper supervision.

 

Guidelines to Follow When Implementing Plyometrics in Elementary PE:

  • Proper supervision is required to ensure proper technique
  • Consider the bone structure and maturity of children
  • Include age appropriate exercises
  • Exercises should be moderate and less intense
  • Avoid hard surfaces as much as possible – grass is best
  • Warm up well prior to beginning any plyometrics program
  • Avoid doing plyometrics training on consecutive days

Examples of Plyometric Exercises for Elementary PE:

  • Hopping
  • Skipping
  • Jumping
  • Sprinting
  • Jump rope
  • Hopscotch
  • Jumping jacks
  • Standing jumps
  • Standing hops
  • Squat jumps
  • Clap pushups

Equipment You Can Use to Perform Plyometric Exercises:

Check out these great IntroFit™ products, available Only From Gopher! They are designed specifically for beginners and are a great way to introduce plyometrics to your Elementary students!

In conclusion, physical educators do not need to avoid the inclusion of plyometrics training into their physical education programs.  By following the simple guidelines, plyometrics training can be effective and fun.

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For more information, check out the Introduction to Plyometrics in Physical Education & Sports webinar!

Natalia is a Physical Education Teacher at Columbus Elementary School in New Rochelle, NY. She is also the Track & Field and Volleyball Coach, and a Personal Trainer and Fitness Club Manager. She was a member of the Jamaican National Track & Field team in 1998.

Natalia is a Physical Education Teacher at Columbus Elementary School in New Rochelle, NY. She is also the Track & Field and Volleyball Coach, and a Personal Trainer and Fitness Club Manager. She was a member of the Jamaican National Track & Field team in 1998.

1 COMMENT

  1. These are some great recommendations, hopscotch would be an exceptionally fun exercise for elementary PE (not too sure about clap pushups though, I can’t even do those myself!). I think it’s a great idea to introduce plyometrics to elementary students by getting them familiar with plyometric boxes, medicine balls, and jump rope, all of which are natural key components in common plyometric training sessions. In another article on plyometric exercises (here’s the source: https://ballamazingly.com/plyometrics-for-vertical-jump/ ) I noticed them mention sprinting alongside more challenging exercises like squat jumps, depth jumps, and lateral bounds. These advanced exercises would add an extra challenge to each session and make a great addition to more experienced students.

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