Training for Explosion

August 13, 2010

Successful athletes are often defined by their explosive power—the ability to generate as much force in as little time as possible. That's what allows athletes like Alex Ovechkin to win a race to the puck, or Dwight Freeney to sack opposing quarterbacks.

Improving power should be a part of every athlete’s training program. Yet, too often, workouts involve exercises that are slow.

To put this in perspective, think about a sprinter like Usain Bolt. He has to train fast to get faster. If Bolt were to train slow, posting world-record times, which he routinely does, would be impossible.

Now apply the same reasoning to developing explosive power. Training a muscle slowly may improve your ability to move weight in the gym, but slow strength will leave you breathing your opponent's dust on the field.

To start improving your power-generating ability, add an explosive component to your training routine. Perform a standard Bench Press, but instead of slowly pushing the weight off  your chest, explosively push it as quickly as possible. Similarly, when Squatting, explode up out of the Squat instead coming up gradually.

Other exercises that improve explosive power are Plyometrics. Incorporate Jump Squats or Frog Jumps into your lower-body routine and Plyo Push-Ups and Med Ball Tosses into your upper-body routine.

Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...
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