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Plyometrics: Super-Swift Stretching
If your workout includes leaping in the air or other rapid movements, you may be doing plyometrics. Explore its benefits with Groupon’s introduction.
Touted by Esquire as "a few simple exercises that will change your life," plyometrics works to boost coordination and agility through rapid, explosive movements. Participants bound and leap with simple props such as medicine balls and boxes, rapidly stretching and shortening their muscles. This improves sinews' stretch reflex, making them faster rather than bulkier. According to Women's Health, these moves can also help muscles quickly adapt to handle more challenging fitness workouts—one reason why the technique has long been a favorite among professional athletes.
Track-and-field coach Fred Wilt coined the term plyometrics in 1975, combining two Latin root words that loosely translate as "measurable increases." Wilt observed that hugely successful Soviet athletes performed leaping and squatting exercises before their races, so he refined the program and introduced it to American athletes. By the end of his career, he had translated his new knowledge into a best-selling book, helping him earn a spot in the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame.