Athletes today are bigger, faster, stronger and more explosive than ever before. We all want to run faster and jump higher, so why is there so much confusion when it comes to getting there?
First and foremost, there’s a difference between strength, speed, power and explosion. If someone is strong, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re explosive, like a power hitter in baseball. One can be quick without being explosive, as you wouldn’t confuse a world-class marathoner with an elite sprinter.
Then, you have athletes who are explosive in one area, but not another. Heavyweight boxers may have explosive arm movement but lack mobility. Running backs may have explosive lower body movement but lack upper body strength.
Explosiveness can be taught and is often the product of many hours spent in a gym setting. Here are a few exercises that can help you become more explosive.
Explosive push ups are an easy, fun way to gain more power and strength in your upper body. There are also easy modifications, like crossovers, that can increase the difficulty level.
Burpees build endurance, burn calories and can create more explosiveness through a constant range of quick motion. For maximum effect, emphasize getting some airtime on the jump up.
Double unders are an easy way to practice controlled explosion. By doing these often, you’re bound to build up immense amounts of power and strength in your lower body.
Each box jump is designed to be an all-out effort, thus keep the volume low (5 to 10 jumps per session) to prevent fatigue. Technique is extremely important here, as bad landings (or too many landings) can wear out your knees.
Wall balls are based on speed, strength and power, making them awesome for increasing explosiveness and working your entire body. To get the most out of them, focus on the upward motion of throwing the ball high up on the wall, making sure it’s as explosive as possible.
Jump lunges are great for building explosive power across both sides of the body. The more power you get in each jump, the easier the exercise is.
When performed correctly, kettlebell swings are among the best ways to teach athletes how to actively explode their hips. When an athlete knows how to explode through their hip extension and activate their glutes, doors open to increased power in a number of different lifts.
THE RIGHT MIX
As the old adage goes, “You are what you eat (or drink).” In a study on 31 weight-trained test subjects randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups, subjects consuming the same form of creatine in Six Star® Pre-Workout Explosion significantly increased their strength capacity on the bench press by 18.6% compared to baseline (6,658 vs. 5,613 joules) in just 10 days.