Tag Archives: explosive power exercises

7 Ways to Build Explosive Strength

17 Jul

Explosive strength is the key to performance in most sports. It’s the ability to move things—including your own body—really fast.

Whether you’re running, jumping, hitting or throwing, you need to apply maximum force as quickly as possible. This is power. There may be people out there who are stronger than professional athletes, but they aren’t on the field or on the court for one reason. They can’t apply their strength quickly enough.

So how you do you develop power? It all starts with your core—and I don’t mean just your abs. Explosive force is produced from your torso and hips.

To improve this ability, you must perform exercises explosively and emphasize hip extension. Your goal isn’t to max out but to perform each rep with maximum strength and speed.

Some of my favorite exercises for building explosive power include:

  • Squats
  • Trap Bar Deadlift and Romanian Deadlift
  • Step-Ups and Lunges
  • Hang Clean (my favorite) and Push Press
  • Kettlebell Swings
  • Plyo Push-Ups
  • Sled Drives, Hill Runs, and Parachute Runs

Perform your power exercises towards the beginning of your workout, directly after your dynamic warm-up. Since you won’t be fatigued from other exercise, you’ll be able to do each rep with max intensity.

For any weightlifting power exercise, aim for three to five sets of three to five reps at 75 to 85 percent of your max and rest for two to three minutes between sets. For plyometrics and sprinting drills, make sure to recover fully between sets, resting three to five times longer than the duration of the exercise.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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Strength Training Can Help You Run Faster

25 Jul

STFThere are several factors implicated in running speed.  Form and technique are certainly part of the equation (although I train some very fast athletes who don’t have textbook running form).  Stride length and stride frequency are critical success factors for any runner/sprinter.  And research continues to show that lower-extremity strength and power — and the development thereof — can help any athlete improve his or her speed and running efficiency.

Strength training (weight lifting) enhances muscle strength, so your muscle fibers don’t fatigue as quickly.  This leads to better running speed, efficiency, and overall performance.  Exercises that target hip drive (flexion and extension), leg strength, and explosive power can all be incorporated into your workout to increase the amount of force you are able to generate against the ground, resulting in improved speed and running efficiency.

Perform strength exercises like kettlebell swings, squats, deadliftsRomanian deadlifts, and lunges.  Add explosive exercises like squat jumps and box jumps.  Choose two of the strength exercises and one of the explosive exercises, and perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions each, two or three days per week, with a day of rest between training days.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

7 Ways to Build Explosive Strength

3 Mar

Dumbbell-Squat[1]Explosive strength is the key to performance in most sports. It’s the ability to move things—including your own body—really fast.

Whether you’re running, jumping, hitting or throwing, you need to apply maximum force as quickly as possible. This is power. There may be people out there who are stronger than professional athletes, but they aren’t on the field or on the court for one reason. They can’t apply their strength quickly enough.

So how you do you develop power? It all starts with your core—and I don’t mean just your abs. Explosive force is produced from your torso and hips.

To improve this ability, you must perform exercises explosively and emphasize hip extension. Your goal isn’t to max out but to perform each rep with maximum strength and speed.

Some of my favorite exercises for building explosive power include:

  • Squats
  • Trap Bar Deadlift and Romanian Deadlift
  • Step-Ups and Lunges
  • Hang Clean (my favorite) and Push Press
  • Kettlebell Swings
  • Plyo Push-Ups
  • Sled Drives, Hill Runs, and Parachute Runs

Perform your power exercises towards the beginning of your workout, directly after your dynamic warm-up. Since you won’t be fatigued from other exercise, you’ll be able to do each rep with max intensity.

For any weightlifting power exercise, aim for three to five sets of three to five reps at 75 to 85 percent of your max and rest for two to three minutes between sets. For plyometrics and sprinting drills, make sure to recover fully between sets, resting three to five times longer than the duration of the exercise.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Strength Training Can Help You Run Faster

5 Jun

STFThere are several factors implicated in running speed.  Form and technique are certainly part of the equation (although I train some very fast athletes who don’t have textbook running form).  Stride length and stride frequency are critical success factors for any runner/sprinter.  And research continues to show that lower-extremity strength and power — and the development thereof — can help any athlete improve his or her speed and running efficiency.

Strength training (weight lifting) enhances muscle strength, so your muscle fibers don’t fatigue as quickly.  This leads to better running speed, efficiency, and overall performance.  Exercises that target hip drive (flexion and extension), leg strength, and explosive power can all be incorporated into your workout to increase the amount of force you are able to generate against the ground, resulting in improved speed and running efficiency.

Perform strength exercises like kettlebell swings, squats, deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, and lunges.  Add explosive exercises like squat jumps and box jumps.  Choose two of the strength exercises and one of the explosive exercises, and perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions each, two or three days per week, with a day of rest between training days.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Get Stronger with Body-Weight Training

5 Nov

When it comes to Strength training, you don’t need machines and equipment to be productive.  At ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE TRAINING CENTER, we incorporate body-weight exercises into virtually every workout.  Most body-weight exercises are inherently multi-joint, and activate multiple muscle groups in the process.  This is preferable to using machines that “lock” you into single-joint exercises that limit your range of motion and isolate specific muscles (although this approach has its place, situationally).  You can further increase the degree of difficulty by adding an element of instability to your body weight exercises.  Once you master technique, try adding an unstable surface like an Airex Balance Pad or BOSU Ball.  Below are some examples of body-weight exercises you can add to your workout:

Lower-Body

  • Squat:  Observe proper form (chin up; back straight; lower and push through heels) and squat as deeply as you can.  Pause for a second (and gradually increase time) in “down” position.
  • Single-Leg Squat:  Facing away from a chair or bench, elevate one leg and lower into sitting position and pause.  Push back to standing position with “ground” foot.
  • Split Squat:  Assume split stance – one leg forward, one leg back.  Lower back knee toward (but not touching) ground.  When in down position, both knees should be at right angles.
  • Bulgarian Split Squat:  This is a split squat performed with your rear leg elevated, back foot resting on a chair or bench.  Front foot should be 3-4 foot-lengths from back foot.

Upper-Body

  • Pushup:  There are more variations of this exercise than I can list in one blog post.  The biggest mistake I see involves range-of-motion – lower your chest all the way to the ground.  Instability (one or both arms, and or legs – see photo) is the key to making this exercise more challenging.
  • Chinup/Pullup:  A must-do!  If you can’t yet do them on your own, get a spot (assisted) or do “negatives” (start in up position and slowly lower yourself to a 4-second count).  Add variety by changing grips.
  • Dip:  Beginners can do this exercise on a bench.  More advanced individuals should use dip bars with feet suspended.

Core

Power

  • Squat Jump:  This exercise can also be done single-leg or with a split stance.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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