admin March 4, 2019
explosive strength

If the muscles cease to grow, there is not enough speed in the run or the strength of impact – it is time to train the explosive strength. Strong-feeling.biz will tell you how to build a workout and choose the right exercises depending on your training.

What is explosive strength

Explosive strength is the ability to apply the greatest strength in the shortest amount of time. In the process of performing explosive movements, muscles contract very quickly, almost instantly. At the same time, not only they, but also the nervous system, which provides the quick response of muscle fibers to the signal to contraction, experience stress.

The explosive strength often develops in parallel with the reactive ability of the muscles — the ability to quickly switch from eccentric to concentric contractions.

Concentric contractions occur when the muscles change the position of the body, overcoming resistance, and eccentric – when the muscles stretch, yielding to the strength of gravity of the limb or weight.

During exercises for the development of only explosive strength, there is no stretching phase: the muscles quickly move from a relaxed state to an active one. If during exercise the muscles do not just tense, but pre-stretch, it also develops reactive ability.

Let us consider an example. If jumping on a hill is made from a relaxed state, for example, from a sitting position on the bollard (the athlete is sitting, the muscles are relaxed), then only explosive strength develops. If, before jumping, the athlete makes a deep squat, stretching the muscles, also develops reactive ability.

Why  you need to train explosive strength

The ability to make the maximum effort for the minimum length of time is necessary in many sports disciplines:

  • In team sports: football, basketball, tennis.
  • In martial arts, for example in boxing, where the combination of strength and speed of impact is crucial.
  • In the sprint. The ability of the muscles to perform as fast as possible reduces the speed of the run.
  • In weightlifting. Unlike powerlifting, where they train mostly pure strength, in weightlifting, strength is more important, which directly depends on the explosive strength. Weightlifting exercises – jerk, push, taking on the chest – are performed with the fastest possible squat and exit, moreover, the sooner the athlete moves from the squat to the boom training, the better his performance.

Explosive strength is also useful for bodybuilding. By themselves, explosive loads have little effect on muscle growth, but they help to overcome the stagnation caused by the adaptation of the body. To resume muscle growth, you need to provide the body with an unusual stress load. Such a load and become explosive exercises.

In addition, the correct execution of explosive exercises with a good warm-up and adequate load reduces the risk of injury.

Exercises for the development of explosive strength

Jump from a step-platform followed by a jump

Jump from a step-platform
Jump from a step-platform

During a fall, an athlete accumulates kinetic energy, and upon landing, an eccentric contraction of muscles occurs under body weight, which is then instantly replaced by a concentric – jumping.

Diving into the depths is a rather difficult exercise for unprepared people. Therefore, before embarking on it, it is worth learning a few more simple ones:

  • jumping on the steps;
  • jumping from foot to foot;
  • long jump;
  • jumping over obstacles – low barriers (the jump is performed with two legs at once);
  • long jump with kettlebells in hand.

Lifting the barbell on the chest

Lifting the barbell on the chest
Lifting the barbell on the chest

When you hold the barbell in straightened arms, an eccentric contraction of the muscles occurs: they stretch under the weight of the barbell. At the time of taking on the chest weights, the muscles sharply shift to a concentric contraction.

This jerk exercise cannot be done slowly, so it is explosive by default. To perform it as quickly and sharply as possible and pump the explosive strength, do not take a lot of weight, 50–60% of the one-repeat maximum is sufficient.

Standing barbell press

Standing barbell press
Standing barbell press

Another exercise that develops the explosive strength of the muscles. First, you go into a shallow squat (eccentric contraction), and then straighten your legs with an explosive motion, while pushing the barbell up. During the push the main load falls on the shoulders. If you are trying to raise the barbell at the expense of the triceps, it reduces the effectiveness of the push.

Plyometric Push ups

There are a huge number of plyometric push-ups – with jumps, claps, rises after the stretching phase of the muscles. Here is a good selection of pushups for the development of explosive strength – it looks incredible.

Burpee

Burpee tutorial
Burpee tutorial

The basic movement of the burpee is a pushup followed by a jump. There are a huge number of variations of this exercise:

  • push-ups with the hands on the medbola and tossing the ball during the jump;
  • with jumping on a curbstone instead of a jump;
  • on one leg (and pushups, and jump);
  • with a clap while jumping;
  • with a jump, during which the legs are tightened to the chest;
  • with jumping over the cupboard after pushups.

Choose depending on your level of training.

Jumping on a step platform

Vertical jump on the step platform
Vertical jump on the step platform

This exercise can be performed in different ways: jumping from an eccentric phase (as shown above) to the development of reactive ability of the muscles or without it.

In the first case, the jump is performed from a low squat, in the second – from a sitting position. When the athlete is sitting on the bollard, the leg muscles are in a relaxed state, and then abruptly move to the concentric phase – the jump.

Instead of thumbs, you can use different heights depending on your preparedness. Ladder steps, low obstacles are suitable for jumping. When you master jumping with your own weight, you can complicate the exercise: jump with dumbbells or weights in your hands.

Jumping out of the “pistol”

Jumping out of the "pistol"
Jumping out of the “pistol”

A more complex version of jumping, when the load is fully transferred to one leg.

Jumping with changing legs

Jumping with changing legs
Jumping with changing legs

This option is easier, which is suitable for beginners. The faster you jump out of a lunge, the better.

Throwing the ball

Throwing the medball
Throwing the medball

One of the basic exercises in CrossFit – throwing a stuffed ball. Muscles are stretched in a squat, and then sharply straightened during the throw. The weight and height of a ball toss depends on your abilities.

In general, almost any exercise with its own weight or free weights can be turned into explosive, increasing the speed of the concentric phase. For example, during squatting with a barbell you can make a sharp rise after a slow squat.

Now let’s look at how the training is based on the development of explosive strength.

How to choose a workout

Warm up

Warming up before workout
Warming up before workout

Before training, be sure to warm up. To perform an explosive effort without warming up can except a masochist who dreams of dislocation and sprains. If your workout lasts 45 minutes, then ten of them should be devoted to warm-up and stretching. Pay special attention to muscle groups that will have the main load.

Selection of exercises

While your muscles are not used to explosive loads, choose exercises with your own weight. Well suited long jump, jumping on a hill. In the first case, you will easily track your progress, in the second – adjust the complexity as you get used to it.

First, you can use a ladder or step platform, then move to a bollard, and then increase the difficulty either by height, for example, put pancakes, or by weighting with dumbbells or weights.

Also for beginners fit burpi in all its diversity, jumping with changing legs, push-up pushing, throwing the ball.

The number of repetitions and approaches

Training will consist of 3-6 exercises. For example, it may be a set of burpy, jumping on the box and throwing the ball.

Regarding the number of approaches and repetitions, it all depends on the chosen exercises and your preparation:

  • If you perform light exercises, such as jumping from a lunge with changing legs or jumping to a box without weighting, do 2–4 sets of 8–10 repetitions.
  • If you choose harder exercises, such as a jerk from a hang, jumping on a cabinet with weights, difficult plyometric push-ups, perform 3–7 sets of 2–3 repetitions.

A good option for trained athletes is circuit training. One round consists of three explosive exercises that are performed one after another with a break of 10 seconds.

Here is an approximate scheme: exit by strength – 10 seconds of rest – jumping to a curbstone – 10 seconds of rest – throwing the ball away – 90 seconds of rest – the next lap.

Choosing the number of laps and exercises, focus on your feelings. On average, four laps of 3-5 repetitions of each exercise will be quite enough.

Rest between sets

Rest between sets
Rest between sets

The break between sets should be no more than 30 seconds. Explosive exercises do not tire the muscles too much, so this time will be quite enough. Before performing the next exercise, you can relax for 1-2 minutes.

Number of workouts per week

If you work only explosive strength, the remaining indicators will begin to decline. Moreover, the explosive movements load not only and not so much the muscles as the nervous system. Therefore, they should be performed no more than 1-2 times a week after the main workout.

If your goal is to become stronger or pump up muscles, it is especially important to properly combine explosive and strength exercises. The combination of strength and strength training increases the level of testosterone, which plays an important role in muscle growth and fat reduction. Thus, the implementation of explosive complexes after strength training will have a positive effect on the figure.

Safety measures

And the last thing worth mentioning is injury prevention. Here are some tips to help you avoid damage during explosive workouts.

  • Warm up required. If you conduct an explosive training separately from the strength, spend at least 10-15 minutes to warm up and stretch.
  • If your training includes jumping, choose a non-rigid surface, such as ground or rubber covering in the gym. This will partially reduce the load on the joints.
  • Do not get distracted during exercise. Watch your body position. Any deviation from the correct technique can lead to injury.
  • Choose the right weight. Trained people can do explosive strength exercises with 50–60% of one-repetitive maximum. That is, if you can do one squatting with a barbell weighing 60 kilograms, then for an explosive performance of this exercise, choose a weight of 35 kilograms. For jumps with weighting, a weight of 30% from one repetitive maximum is suitable.

Have you tried explosive exercises? Share your workout experience in the comments.