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Arm Plyometrics

This following are a selection of plyometric exercises designed to develop the elastic strength of the upper body.

Chest Pass

Resources

This exercise requires an assistant and a medicine ball.

How to perform the exercise

  • The athlete is to stand feet shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent facing their assistant
  • The athlete holds the medicine ball with both hands at chest level, elbows pointing out
  • Athlete passes the medicine ball to their assistant, pushing it off their chest and ending with the arms out straight
  • The assistant catches the medicine ball, allows the medicine ball to come to their chest before pushing it off back to the athlete
  • The athlete should try to anticipate the catch and return the medicine ball as quickly as they can keeping the catch time as short as possible
Chest Pass

How much

  • 3 sets of 10 repetitions/set
  • 5 minute recovery between each set
  • Quality of the passes is far more important than quantity

Power Drop

Resources

This exercise requires an assistant, a 40-100cm box and a medicine ball.

How to perform the exercise

  • Lie on the ground on your back with your arms outstretched upwards
  • Assistant stands on the box holding the medicine ball at arm's length so the medicine ball is directly above the athlete's hands
  • The assistant drops the medicine ball into the athlete's hands
  • The athlete:
    • catches the medicine ball
    • allows the medicine ball to come towards their chest
    • then extends their arms to propel the medicine ball back to the assistant's hands
  • The athlete should try to anticipate the catch and return the medicine ball as quickly as they can keeping the catch time as short as possible
Power Drop

How much

  • 3 sets of 10 repetitions/set
  • 5 minute recovery between each set
  • Quality of the catch and pass is far more important than quantity

Incline Push up depth jump

Resources

This exercise requires two thick (3") mats and a 12" box

How to perform the exercise

  • The two mats are placed shoulder width apart
  • Place the box to elevate the athlete's feet above their shoulders when in a press up position
  • The athlete:
    • faces the floor in a press up position with their feet on the box and their hands between the mats
    • pushes off from the ground with their hands and land with one hand on each mat
    • pushes off the mats with both hands and back to the starting position
  • Keep the hand contact time on the mats as short as possible
Incline push up & depth jump start Incline push up & depth jump finish

How much

  • 3 sets of 10 repetitions/set
  • 5 minute recovery between each set
  • Quality of the push ups is far more important than quantity

Incline Chest Pass

Resources

This exercise requires an assistant and a medicine ball

How to perform the exercise

  • Athlete and assistant sit facing each other
  • The athlete:
    • holds the medicine ball with both hands at chest level, elbows pointing out
    • leans back at a 45 degree angle, keeping their abdominals tight
    • passes the medicine ball to their assistant, pushing it off their chest and ending with your arms straight
  • The assistant catches the medicine ball, allows the medicine ball to come to their chest before passing the medicine ball back to to the athlete
  • The athlete should try to anticipate the catch and return the medicine ball as quickly as they can keeping the catch time as short as possible
Incline Chest Press

How much

  • 3 sets of 10 repetitions/set
  • 5 minute recovery between each set
  • Quality of the passes is far more important than quantity

Vertical Toss

Resources

This exercise requires an assistant, a 40-100cm box and a medicine ball

How to perform the exercise

  • The athlete sits in front of the box with their back to it, legs spread apart and straight
  • The assistant stands on the box holding the medicine ball above the athlete's hands
  • The assistant drops the medicine ball into the athlete's hands
  • The athlete catches the medicine ball with elbows bent and toss it back over their head to the assistant
  • The athlete should try to anticipate the catch and return the medicine ball as quickly as they can keeping the catch time as short as possible
Vertical Toss

How much

  • 3 sets of 10 repetitions/set
  • 5 minute recovery between each set
  • Quality of the passes is far more important than quantity

Catch and throw backhand

Resources

This exercise requires an assistant and a medicine ball

How to perform the exercise

  • The athlete stands with their feet shoulder width apart
  • Bend your right arm to 90 degrees and tucks their elbow into their side
  • The athlete keeps their trunk facing forward throughout the exercise
  • The athlete rotates the right arm out ready to catch the medicine ball
  • The assistant stands to the athlete's right and throws a small medicine ball to the athlete's right hand (Figure 1)
  • The athlete catches the medicine ball, takes the medicine ball across the front of the body and throws the medicine ball back to the assistant (Figures 2, 3, 4)
  • The athlete should keep their right elbow into their side at all times and focus the effort on their right rear shoulder and external rotator muscles
  • The exercise is repeated for the left arm with the assistant standing on left side
  • The athlete should try to anticipate the catch and return the medicine ball as quickly as they can keeping the catch time as short as possible
Side Pass 1
Figure 1
Side Pass 2
Figure 2
Side Pass 3
Figure 3
Side Pass 4
Figure 4

How much

  • 3 sets of 10 repetitions/set
  • 5 minute recovery between each set
  • Quality of the throws is far more important than quantity

Warm up/down

A thorough warm-up is essential prior to plyometric training. Attention should be given to jogging, stretching (dynamic), striding and general mobility especially about the joints involved in the planned plyometric session. A warm-down should follow each session.

Associated References

  • VOSSEN, J. et al. (2000) Comparison of dynamic push-up training and plyometric push-up training on upper-body power and strength. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 14 (3), p. 248-253
  • NEWTON, R. et al. (1997) Influence of load and stretch shortening cycle on the kinematics, kinetics and muscle activation that occurs during explosive upper-body movements. European journal of applied physiology and occupational physiology, 75(4), p. 333-342.

Page Reference

The reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2000) Arm Plyometrics [WWW] Available from: http://www.brianmac.co.uk/armplyo.htm [Accessed

Associated Pages

The following Sports Coach pages should be read in conjunction with this page:

The Stretching & Flexibility Book & DVD The Stretching & Flexibility Book