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 most 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:
- 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.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock