Maybe I’m just not a member of the “in crowd” when it comes to exercise, because I had never heard of plyometrics before picking up this book. However, I have to say that some of the techniques that Dr. Donald A. Chu describes in his book, “Jumping Into Plyometrics,” make me think that I should get with the program as soon as possible.
Basically, for those who are as uniformed as I was, plyometrics is jump training. Originally developed in Europe from track and field sports, the training has begun to be embraced by coaches and trainers in several different sports where jumping and throwing are employed. Chu’s book takes a peak at the science behind the movements before “jumping” into a detailed description of the exercises themselves.
I especially appreciated the illustrations given with the exercises. Some books rely on photographs, which can be extremely effective in showing a person how the movements are done by others. However, I find that the use of line drawings in this book that take a person all the way through the techniques from start to finish to be the best way to explain them.
Probably the things I like best about this book, though, are the constant reminders to coaches to consider each athlete’s individual abilities and body type before assigning any exercises. I have a family member who was forced to quit a sport he loved because his coaches were too focused on treating all of their athletes like they were cut from the same mold in regard to their training. This narrow view resulted in constant injuries that could and should have been avoided.
A nice addition to the description of each exercise is the presence of icons that show which sport or sports a specific technique might benefit. This makes it easy for the coach to focus only on the ones useful to his or her discipline.
Dr. Chu has written a comprehensive guide to a valuable area of sports training. I hope that coaches will take to heart not only the detailed instructions on each exercise but also the valuable admonitions included in the book.