Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Henry C. Wessman


Muscles -- physiology


Plyometrics are a form of exercises in which an isometric-type overload, using the myotatic (stretch) reflex, is produced by means of an eccentric (lengthening) contraction, with the muscle being fully stretched immediately preceding the concentric (shortening) contraction. How fast the muscle switches from an eccentric to a concentric contraction will determine the athlete's power. The goal behind plyometric exercise is to train the nervous system to react with maximum speed to the lengthening of muscle and to develop the muscle's ability to shorten rapidly with maximal force. Plyometrics are first found in the literature in 1966 containing the work done by Veroshanski, a Soviet jump coach. In 1975, Fred Wilt, a United States track and field coach, introduced plyometrics to the United States. The theory of plyometrics is quite sound; however, very little has been done in terms of research. It is the intent of this paper to provide the reader with the history and physiology of plyometrics, examples of plyometric exercises, how to set up a program, and also present a research proposal to demonstrate the effectiveness of plyometric training in increasing an athlete's vertical jump.