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Integrated Plyometric Training

 (aka. Reactive Neuromuscular Training)

  Helpful Facts about Plyometrics

  • Plyometric movements are composed of quick powerful movements involving eccentric contractions (negative) followed immediately by an explosive concentric (positive) contraction. It utilizes the stretch-shortening cycle to enhance neuromuscular efficiency, rate of force production and reduce neuromuscular inhibition.
  • Speed of muscular exertion is limited by neuromuscular coordination; plyometrics heightens the excitability of the central nervous system, which can lead to greater speed and force production.
  • Improvements in performance are a product of both storage of elastic potential energy and the proprioceptive properties of the muscle. Is dependent on the time in the amortization phase (indirectly dependent).











Adding Plyometric movements to your workout can help you improve skill, speed and power. In this blog we will be discussing the 3 Stages/7 Phases of Reactive Neuromuscular Training (Plyometrics). 

What is the Difference between Skill and Power?

  • Skill- is the ability of the neuromuscular system to coordinate the CNS allowing for quick/accurate movements in all directions.
  • Power- is the ability to exert maximal force in a short amount of time. Is a product of force production (strength) and speed.



  Reactive Neuromuscular Training (Plyometrics)

optimizes neuromuscular efficiency by enhancing motor unit recruitment, increasing motor unit firing frequency, enhancing firing patterns for specific functional patterns and improving motor unit synchronization at lower force outputs. Goal of reactive training is to decrease amount of time between eccentric contraction and concentric contraction (amortization phase).  

3 Stages of Reactive Muscle Contraction

  1. Eccentric Phase- pre-stretches muscles prior to activation (increasing spindle activity. Potential energy is stored in elastic components of the muscle during this force reduction phase (elastic potential energy).
  2. Amortization Phase- amount of time between eccentric (force reduction) and concentric contraction (force production). Involves dynamic stabilization. The more rapidly an individual switches from an eccentric to a concentric contraction, the more powerful the response due to a decreased loss of elastic potential energy.
  3. Concentric Phase- force production. Is enhanced following eccentric muscle contraction.

  Proposed Mechanisms Reactive Training Improves Performance

  1. Enhanced Muscle Spindle Activity- speeds up muscular contraction. The faster the eccentric loading, the greater the concentric force production
  2. Desensitization of Golgi Tendon Organs- increases stimulation threshold for muscular inhibition allowing for increased force production.
  3. Enhanced Intra and Inter-Muscular Neuromuscular Efficiency- better neuromuscular control of the contracting agonists and synergists, enhancing neuromuscular efficiency.

  Requirements for a RNT Program

  1. Specific for Activity
  2. Must have adequate Functional Strength
  3. Must have adequate Kinetic Chain Structural and Functional Efficiency
  4. Must have adequate Stabilization Strength



 Stage 1-Reactive-Stabilization Training

  • Very little joint motion, exercises designed to establish optimum landing mechanics, postural alignment and neuromuscular efficiency.
  • Facilitates reflex joint stabilization and optimum neuromuscular efficiency
  • Teaches optimal postural alignment, core stabilization strength and facilitates optimum landing mechanics.
Phase Exercise Ex. Exercise Sets/Reps Tempo Rest
1 0-2 Stabilization Box Jump Down w/ stab    0-3 x 3-5 3-5 sec. hold 0-90 sec.
2 0-2 Stabilization Squat Jump w/ stab  Tuck Jump w/ stab   1-3 x 5-8 3-5 sec. hold 0-90 sec.


Stage 2-Reactive-Strength Training

  • Dynamic concentric and eccentric activities through a full range of motion, requiring dynamic control and a multi-planar environment.
  • Goal to establish neuromuscular efficiency, joint stabilization and power production in all planes of motion during functional movement pattens.
3 0-4 Strength Repeat Squat Jumps  Repeat Ice Skater Repeat MP Hops   2-4 x 8-12 Repeating 0-60 sec.
4 0-4 Strength Repeat Box Jump Ups  Repeat Box Jump Downs   2-4 x 8-12 Repeating 0-60 sec.
5 0-4 Strength Hurdle Hops  Repeat Pike Jumps Squat Thrusts   2-4 x 8-12 Repeating 0-60 sec.


Stage 3-Reactive-Power Training

  • Exercises performed with same intensity they encounter in their competitive environment.
  • Goal is to establish optimum levels of reactive neuromuscular control, eccentric strength, starting strength, explosive strength, reactive strength, reactive joint stabilization, dynamic neuromuscular efficiency and optimum force production.
6 0-2 Power Hurdle Hop to Squat Jump  Hurdle Hop to Bound Hurdle Hop to Sprint   2-4 x 12 Explosive 0-90 sec.
7 0-2 Power Depth Jump to Sprint  Depth Jump to Bound Hurdle Jump to Long Jump   2-4 x 12 Explosive 0-90 sec.



NASM, Essentials of Personal Fitness Trainig (2008)

Clark, M. & Russell, A. Optimum Performance Training for the Performance Enhancement Specialist (3rd Ed.) National Academy of Sports Medicine.

The Integrated Training Series

  1. Integrated Dynamic Fitness Training
  2. Integrated Flexibility Training
  3. Integrated Core Training
  4. Integrated Balance Training
  5. Integrated Plyometric Training
  6. Integrated Speed, Agility, Quickness Training
  7. Integrated Strength Training


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