“How do I get more explosive?” That’s a question that pops up over and over again in my 9+ years of working with athletes in sports performance training here in Charlotte, NC and Florida. Athletes of all ages and sports are looking to increase their vertical, have more force production on impact, or power at the plate or from the starting block.
It’s More Than Trying To Jump Higher
The first thing is to make sure you have a good size to strength ratio. Basically, that means how strong you are for your size. This could also be called relative body strength which is the prerequisite to being explosive.
Assuming you already have good relative body strength, there are 3 things you need to ask yourself:
- Am I doing drills that are creating ground reaction force? Meaning are the drills I’m doing putting a large enough force into the ground.
- Am I including exercises that create triple extension? Meaning quick extension at the hip, knee, ankle during an athletic movement.
- Am I doing drills that use a strength movement and a plyometric (jumping) movement immediately following?
If you answered “no” or “not sure” to anyone of the above questions, then please read on….
Ground Reaction Force
This is key. When an athlete jumps or hits someone on the football field, it is all about how much force and power that athlete can generate by applying force into the ground. Mimicking those movements in the weight room with a squat or pull off the ground can be very beneficial. Many open field bounding or jumping activities can be very effective too.
Picture an athlete jumping…what do you see? Extension at the hip, knee, and ankle in a rapid manner. The exercises that have a high correlation to that are the Olympic lifts. Both movements (snatch and clean) demand triple extension and force into the ground to be proficient at them. They also require a high-level of coordination and timing to be done correctly–two other important factors for any athlete.
Strength Followed by Plyometric
Power = Force x Velocity. If you understand this equation, then you understand the importance of strength work immediately followed by an explosive activity. The strength exercise would be the “force” component and the plyometric exercise would be the “velocity” component. If the protocols are done with the appropriate load and volume, there can be a high correlation to improving overall force production and a more explosive athlete.
If you think your training lacks any of these 3 killer methods for becoming more explosive, visit http://www.ultathlete.com and schedule a free evaluation.