Explosive Workouts for Athletic Strength
You need to explode off the line and produce force FAST! When it comes to athletic performance, explosive power is a game-changer. Athletes from all sports, such as track and field, football, basketball, and even weightlifting, need explosive strength to perform at their best.
Using explosive workout to improve your skills and sport specific adaptations is what will separate good athletes from the great ones. There are different parts of being explosive including producing and absorbing force. Having the ability to do both in a short period of time will allow you to compete at the highest level possible for your sport.
In this comprehensive guide, we will dive into the importance of elasticity for athletes, what it means to be explosive, six exercises that can make you more explosive, and wrap up with a conclusion that brings it all together.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Importance of Elasticity for Athletes
Elasticity is the ability of a muscle to store and release energy rapidly, which plays a crucial role in enhancing athletic performance. When a muscle contracts and then lengthens, it builds potential energy that can be released explosively. This process, known as the stretch-shortening cycle, allows athletes to jump higher, sprint faster, and generate more force in their movements.
In sports where speed and power are essential, such as basketball, soccer, or track and field, athletes with greater elasticity have a significant advantage.
They can change direction quickly, accelerate rapidly, and generate more force, which translates to better performance on the field or track. Additionally, increased elasticity can lead to improved injury prevention, as it helps absorb and dissipate force during high-impact activities.
What It Means to Be Explosive
Being explosive in the world of athletics is a highly sought-after quality, as it reflects an athlete's ability to generate an impressive amount of force in a short period. This attribute is vital for athletes who need to sprint, jump, or change direction rapidly during competition. To be considered explosive, an athlete must possess several key qualities, including exceptional power, speed, and efficiency in their movements.
Elite athletes across various sports disciplines understand the significance of explosiveness in their performance and actively seek to develop and enhance this quality through targeted training.
Explosive athletes are known for their quick reflexes, enabling them to react faster to changes in the game and capitalize on opportunities which is what we focus on through impulse training. Additionally, they possess the ability to exert maximum force in minimal time, making them highly efficient in their movements.
Elite level athletes often rely on explosive workouts to fine-tune these qualities. These workouts typically focus on plyometrics, which are exercises designed to produce fast, powerful movements by improving the muscles' stretch-shortening cycle. Through plyometric training, athletes can increase their power output, agility, and overall athletic performance. SO let’s get into the actual exercises you can use to become an elastic FREAK!
6 Exercises for Explosive Workouts
1. Side Skip for Height
Side skips for height are an excellent explosive workout that can significantly improve an athlete's lateral power, speed, and agility. By incorporating this plyometric movement into your training regimen, you can target key muscle groups such as the hips, glutes, and quads, which are crucial for enhancing your ability to change direction quickly and generate force from a lateral position.
Side skips for height are particularly beneficial for athletes in sports that require explosive lateral movements, such as basketball, soccer, and tennis.
To perform side skips for height, begin by standing next to a line or marker on the ground. Lower yourself into a half-squat position, with your weight on the balls of your feet.
Explosively push off your inside foot and jump laterally over the line, driving your knee upwards towards your chest. Land on your outside foot and immediately push off, jumping in the same direction that you were initially traveling while alternate legs.
Incorporating side skips for height into your explosive workouts can provide numerous benefits for athletic performance. By focusing on developing lateral power and explosiveness, this exercise can help athletes enhance their speed, agility, and overall ability to change direction quickly. Consistently integrating side skips for height into your training regimen can unlock your full potential and elevate your performance in various sports.
2. Seated Box Jumps
Seated box jumps are a highly effective explosive workout designed to enhance athletic performance by targeting the lower body muscles, specifically the quads, glutes, and hamstrings.
This powerful exercise eliminates the stretch-shortening cycle by starting from a seated position, forcing your muscles to generate explosive power without the assistance of stored elastic energy. Seated box jumps are particularly beneficial for athletes in sports that demand vertical leaps, quick bursts of speed, and powerful lower body movements, such as basketball, football, and track and field.
To perform seated box jumps, set up a box or platform at a comfortable height in front of a bench or box. Sit on the bench with your feet flat on the ground and positioned shoulder-width apart.
Lean slightly forward and swing your arms back to generate momentum. Explosively extend your hips, knees, and ankles while swinging your arms forward, propelling yourself onto the box.
Land softly on the box, absorbing the impact by bending your knees and lowering your hips. Carefully step down and repeat the exercise for the desired number of sets and repetitions.
Incorporating seated box jumps into your explosive workouts can lead to significant improvements in athletic performance. By emphasizing the development of raw power and explosiveness, seated box jumps can help athletes enhance their vertical jump, acceleration, and overall lower body strength.
3. Heiden Jumps
Heiden Jumps are a powerful plyometric exercise that can significantly improve an athlete's explosive power, lateral speed, and overall agility. This dynamic movement targets the lower body, specifically the glutes, quads, and hamstrings.
Heiden Jumps are particularly useful for athletes in sports that demand rapid changes in direction, such as basketball, soccer, and hockey.
To perform Heiden Jumps, start by standing with your feet hip-width apart. Lower yourself into a quarter squat position, down from a box, and drop to explosively push off your right foot, jumping laterally to your left.
You then want to land balanced on your left foot and hold that position for 1-2 seconds to make sure that you have a stable landing position.
4. Stair Jumps
Stair jumps are an exceptional plyometric exercise for athletes seeking to enhance their explosive power, leg strength, and overall athleticism. By utilizing stairs, this workout adds an additional challenge to traditional jumps, requiring athletes to generate more force to propel themselves upward.
Stair jumps are particularly beneficial for athletes involved in sports that require vertical leaps or explosive lower body movements, such as basketball, volleyball, and track and field.
To perform stair jumps, find a staircase with at least four to six steps. Begin by standing at the base of the stairs with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower yourself into a quarter squat position, and then explosively jump onto the first step, using your arms to generate momentum.
As you land, absorb the impact by bending your knees and lowering your hips. Immediately jump to the next step, continuing this pattern until you reach the top of the stairs. Descend the stairs carefully and repeat the exercise for the desired number of sets.
Incorporating stair jumps into your explosive workouts can provide numerous benefits for athletic performance. By challenging your lower body muscles to generate greater force, stair jumps can help improve your vertical leap, speed, and power.
Additionally, this exercise can enhance your balance and coordination, which are essential for success in various sports. By consistently incorporating stair jumps you will see improvements in height and length of your jumps.
5. Seated Dumbbell Good Morning
Seated Dumbbell Good Mornings are an exceptional exercise for targeting the posterior chain and forcing the body to use high threshold motor units for a heightened level of intensity. By strengthening these muscles, you can improve your explosiveness and increase your ability to generate force during explosive movements, such as sprinting and jumping.
Some adaptations you will receive by doing seated dumbbell good mornings are:
- Improved posterior chain strength: The exercise targets the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back, essential muscles for power generation and athletic performance.
- Enhanced hip mobility: Seated Dumbbell Good Mornings promote hip mobility by requiring a full range of motion, which is crucial for explosive movements.
- Better spinal stability: By engaging the core and lower back muscles, this exercise helps develop spinal stability, reducing the risk of injury and improving overall performance.
Sit on a bench with your feet shoulder-width apart and firmly planted on the ground.
Hold a dumbbell with both hands, positioning it at chest level.
Engage your core and maintain a neutral spine, keeping your chest up and your shoulders back.
Slowly hinge at the hips, lowering your torso towards your thighs while keeping the dumbbell close to your chest.
Once you reach the end of your range of motion, pause briefly and then explosively extend your hips to return to the starting position.
6. Hurdle Hops
Hurdle Hops are a highly effective exercise for athletes looking to improve their explosive power, speed, and agility. This plyometric workout is particularly beneficial for those involved in sports that require jumping and quick directional changes, such as basketball, volleyball, and track and field.
By incorporating hurdle hops into your training regimen, you can develop the lower body strength and elasticity needed to excel in your sport.
To perform hurdle hops, set up a series of hurdles or markers at a comfortable height. Usually hip height or just above is fine. Begin by standing on one side of the first hurdle, with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Explosively jump over the hurdle, focusing on maintaining proper form and minimizing ground contact time. Land softly and immediately jump over the next hurdle, continuing this pattern until you have cleared all the hurdles.THis will test the ability to initially apply, absorb, and immediately reapply force.
Developing explosive power through elasticity is paramount for athletes seeking to elevate their performance in various sports. The ability to store and release energy rapidly, coming from twitchy muscle mass, provides athletes with a competitive edge in speed, agility, and force generation. Moreover, increased elasticity can lead to improved injury prevention by helping absorb and dissipate force during high-impact activities.
Explosive workouts offer a multitude of benefits for athletes, including enhanced speed, power, and efficiency in movement. By incorporating these workouts into a regular training regimen, athletes can unlock their full potential and reach new heights in their athletic pursuits. The six exercises presented in this article - side skips for height, seated box jumps, Heiden jumps, stair jumps, seated dumbbell good mornings, and hurdle hops - are specifically designed to target key muscle groups and develop explosive strength in a variety of athletic contexts.
Each exercise offers unique benefits to athletes, such as improved lateral power, vertical leap, acceleration, and overall lower body strength. These exercises help athletes excel in sports that require rapid changes in direction, powerful lower body movements, and explosive bursts of speed, such as basketball, soccer, track and field, and more. By consistently integrating these exercises into a well-rounded training program, athletes can develop the necessary skills and power to enhance their performance on the field, court, or track.
If you want to find more workouts or exercises just like the ones listed in this article, sign up for the Peak Strength app. The Peak Strength app was designed with you in mind to put the power of elite level programming into your pocket. You can customize your equipment and the app will cater to you so you can become an absolute BEAST!
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