In the world of sports, movements are performed in the blink of an
eye. Whether it is going from a stand-still to a sprint, making a
sharp cut on the field, or leaping as high you can, these athletic
motions are fast and sudden. As an athlete, explosiveness is what
allows you to perform these actions as quickly and efficiently as
possible.
Just like the squat, deadlift, and bench press are among the best
exercises for developing strength, some exercises are better than
others if you are looking to gain explosive power. Let’s take a look
at the five best exercises an athlete can do to become more
explosive.
Box Jump
Box
jumps are the most popular plyometric exercise because they teach the
athlete how to create a large amount of force from a static position.
To successfully perform a box jump, stand in front of a sturdy box or
other raised platform. Bend at the knees, swing your arms, and jump
onto the surface, landing on both feet. Stand up straight, then jump
back down to the ground and repeat the process.
Power Clean
The
power clean is an Olympic lift that specializes in developing an
athlete’s explosiveness. Like most Olympic lifts, the power clean is
a complex movement and is not designed for beginners. If you have
never attempted this exercise before, do it under the supervision of
a trained specialist. Instructions on successfully performing a power
clean can be found here.
Squat Jump
The
barbell squat jump is a great exercise because it is much easier to
learn than Olympic lifts such as the aforementioned power clean. If
you already have solid form on the barbell squat (pushing through the
heels, hitting a proper depth, maintaining the natural curve in your
lower back, etc.), the squat jump is a piece of cake. Simply descend
with the weight until your thighs are parallel to the floor, pause
for a brief moment, and explode upwards as fast as you can, allowing
your momentum to lift you a few inches above the ground. Land
steadily on both feet, lower the weight and repeat.
Jumping Lunges
Most
sports require unilateral explosiveness, meaning single-legged
movements such as jumping off of one leg or planting a foot in the
ground and quickly changing direction. Unilateral exercises such as
the jumping lunge are great for developing this type of power.
Jumping lunges can be done as a bodyweight exercise or with a pair of
dumbbells; to successfully perform these, start in a lunge position
with your right knee almost touching the floor. Jump up as quickly as
you can and switch leg positions so your left knee is almost touching
the floor when you land. Repeat as quickly as possible for the
desired amount of reps.
Crossover Sled Drags
To be a
truly explosive athlete, you need to be fast in all directions. While
most explosiveness exercises focus on the sagittal plane (up and
down), agility is also needed on the frontal plane (left and right)
to make the sharp cuts necessary in most sports. The crossover sled
drag is a great exercise to increase your lateral speed, see how to
properly perform it here.
To get
the most out of these exercises and reduce your risk of injury,
perform them at the beginning of your workouts when your body is
still fresh. Consult a licensed medical physician before attempting
these or any other exercises.
Athletes
in Connecticut can take their game to the next level at Trumbull
Elite Sports Training, located at Insports Centers. Headed by some of
the area’s most prestigious strength and conditioning coaches, the
T.E.S.T. facility features power racks, plyometric boxes, weight
sleds, and other equipment to help athletes get the most out of their
training. To learn more about T.E.S.T. and the Insports facility,
click here to visit our website or join the thousands of others who
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