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JumpUSA.com Tip: New advances in science make it possible to run faster and jump higher than ever before. One exciting advance in sports science is plyometrics, a form of exercise which links strength with speed of movement. There are two phases of muscle contraction during the running or jumping motion. Muscles go through a stretch phase, and then a contraction phase. Plyometric exercises are designed to shorten the cycle time between the two phases. A rapid cycle time allows maximum energy transfer between stretch and contraction phases.