When training for explosive power we need to consider a few factors that hold athletes back from becoming more explosive.  Let’s briefly go over some of the main aspects of training explosiveness…

First, let’s consider taking the strength we have and converting it into “explosiveness” in order to use it in competition.  In order to do this you will want to build up various percentages of your 1 rep max in different lifts and perform them as fast as possible.

Example: let’s say were using the squat…

You would want to start with maybe 20-30% of your 1RM and perform squat jumps with dumbbells.  From here you can comfortably move up in weight or down in weight and jump faster and higher.  Any of these will begin to take the Type 1 fibers recruited from your strength and begin to convert them into Type 2, which are the fibers primarily used when performing a really explosive movement.

Next, let’s look at the actual movements we are performing.  Most athletes don’t realize it’s not about the muscles you are working but rather the movements you are performing.  Yes, you are training muscles but movements are all the muscles working and firing in unison.  When was the last time you jumped explosively and ONLY used your hamstrings?

No, rather you use your glutes, hams, errector spinae, quads, hip flexors etc. all together.  So when you want to become more explosive you need to be performing the right movements.  Usually most athletes are looking to get explosive in either the hips or in the upper body.  If you want explosive hips perform squats, deadlifts, and olympic lifts.  For upper body perform fast bench pressing and overhead variation presses or pushes.

These are just a few example tips of how to start becoming more explosive.  To learn more here is a motivational video filled with explosive athletes…


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VIDEO: Shows ridiculously explosive athletes and how they do it!!

Chris Barnard
Chris Barnard

Chris Barnard is a strength and conditioning coach at Strength Camp, a hardcore athlete training facility in St. Petersburg, Florida, as well as author of multiple performance programs. He has worked with athletes at all levels and from many different sports to produce the highest level of performance in each. He currently resides in St Petersburg, Florida and continues to pursuit breakthroughs in athletic performance.