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Old 02-20-2011, 10:51 PM   #1
YukisHeart

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Bodyweight exercises, Calisthenics and Plyometrics: What's the deal here?

I was pretty confident I had the difference between calisthenics and plyometrics down: the former were mainly stretches and certain repetitive, bodyweight exercises like push-ups and pull-ups, the latter were also being bodyweight exercises but ones geared towards dynamism and explosiveness - little jumps and whatnot were added into regular exercises; something to do with "overloading" muscles at "peak work phase".

However, I was then confused by people saying that things like pull-ups, involving apparatus, were bodyweight exercises but not calisthenics, and then further confused when I was shown stuff like this supposedly all-calisthenics exercise programme which both involved apparatus and (to my eye) very "plyometric" movements:


So what's the deal? Can exercises involving bars be described as calesthenics? Are plyometrics just a certain type of calisthenic exercise re-branded to look fresh and exciting? Or what?

Maybe it seems pedantic, but I'd like some solid definitions if these are going to be standard terms of reference.

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Old 02-20-2011, 11:01 PM   #2
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If Wikipedia be the source of all truth then they sound quite different to me:

Calisthenics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Plyometrics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Old 02-20-2011, 11:09 PM   #3
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Any bodyweight exercise counts as calisthenics.

Plyometrics is a term that's very often misused. While this is just made up statistics, I'm pretty sure that for every 10 times the word plyometrics is used, it's used correctly once (if that).

It refers specifically to exercises were there's a quick, loaded eccentric with the goal of stimulating the stretch reflex and producing a more powerful contraction of the muscles than would otherwise be possible. For example, jumping off a box (loading the body with the added force from falling), landing (eccentric contraction) and immediately juming again (stretch reflex and concentric contraction) is a plyometric exercise. Simply jumping is not a plyometric exercise.

Also, keep in mind that plyometrics do not need much volume to be effective and are not necessary or beneficial for most people to include in their training on a continual basis.

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Old 02-20-2011, 11:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tosa View Post
Any bodyweight exercise counts as calisthenics.

Plyometrics is a term that's very often misused. While this is just made up statistics, I'm pretty sure that for every 10 times the word plyometrics is used, it's used correctly once (if that).

It refers specifically to exercises were there's a quick, loaded eccentric with the goal of stimulating the stretch reflex and producing a more powerful contraction of the muscles than would otherwise be possible. For example, jumping off a box (loading the body with the added force from falling), landing (eccentric contraction) and immediately juming again (stretch reflex and concentric contraction) is a plyometric exercise. Simply jumping is not a plyometric exercise.

Also, keep in mind that plyometrics do not need much volume to be effective and are not necessary or beneficial for most people to include in their training on a continual basis.
I see. It seems from what you're saying that all plyometrics would be a form of calisthenics, but not the other way around? A lot of people say the two are (in some respects) mutually exclusive - where has the confusion come from?

Could the following be described as plyometric work on the bar? (Skip to 0:48)


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Old 02-20-2011, 11:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YukisHeart View Post
I see. It seems from what you're saying that all plyometrics would be a form of calisthenics, but not the other way around? A lot of people say the two are (in some respects) mutually exclusive - where has the confusion come from?
Plyometrics could involve added weight, and wouldn't then be calisthenics. The confusion comes from people not bothering to learn the proper definitions of words, and instead using them as buzz words.

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Originally Posted by YukisHeart View Post
Could the following be described as plyometric work on the bar? (Skip to 0:48)
No. It's not fast enough. If he dropped he dropped onto the pull-up bar, perhaps from a slightly higher pull-up bar, and then at the bottom pulled up as quickly and powerfully as possible, that would be considered plyometric. Although I'm not sure many peoples shoulders would be very happy with that particular exercise.

Plyometrics work because when a muscle is quickly and forcibly stretched, it contracts harder than it would normally in an effort to prevent injury.

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Old 02-21-2011, 04:12 AM   #6
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Am i right in thinking then that Burpee's, especially the explosive kind, are Plyometrics?

i.e. You start in a press-up position, do the press-up at the same performing a squat and pushing youself standing. Then jumping from this position, all in one move, then back down to press-up.

Imho, that's definately an all-round Plyometric, if you can do it as they are meant to be done.

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Old 02-21-2011, 04:53 AM   #7
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Burpees are not a plyometric exercise. You're not using a loaded eccentric to strongly stimulate the stretch reflex, resulting in a more powerful muscle contraction. Also, burpees are typically done fore conditioning, plyometrics are not.

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Old 02-21-2011, 05:00 AM   #8
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I try not to overcomplicate things, so at this point i'll go with the 'what i don't know, won't hurt me" route

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Old 02-21-2011, 01:31 PM   #9
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When we did what my coach called plyometrics for football it was just box jumps.

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