You always want to see your athletes improving, and pushing themselves to be better. You know that in order for your athletes to be the best it takes more than just a good arm, or sharp 3-point shot.
To develop the whole athlete and set them up for success you teach them skill and technique, and along with that, you must train your athletes and work to improve their strength and overall power.
You may be thinking to yourself “Improving athletes strength is simple, weight training will do its job.” While strength and conditioning over time will inevitably improve your athlete’s strength, it’s the power component that will take your athletes and their overall performance to the next level.
What is Power?
Power and strength go hand in hand, and both contribute to your athletes’ development and success.
But what exactly is this “Power” that we’re talking about? Let’s break it down.
Power is the ability to recruit many motor units into movement AND to do so rapidly. This simply means that with improved power, your athlete is able to perform skills, exercises and movements with the max amount of force (or weight) in the shortest amount of time.
This is why we call it “Explosive Power” because your athlete is exerting their max force or power output in a rapid or “explosive” amount of time.
Now that you have an idea of what power is, let’s take a look at what you can do to improve your athletes’ explosive power.
Ways to Develop Explosive Power
Right now you may be thinking, “Do I need to develop an entirely new training program to improve my athletes’ power?” “What types of exercises even improve power?”
Not to worry, Parisi has got you covered. As experts in sports performance and improving athletes’ speed and strength we know a thing or two about developing explosive power.
Here are 4 Parisi approved exercises that you can incorporate into your athletes’ training to work on their explosive power.
- Purpose: Improve the strength in extensor muscles (hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes)
- Performance: Feet shoulder width apart, drop down gripping the bar keeping elbow between your knees. Rise up, keep a neutral spine, and controlled movement. Slowly lower the bar back to the ground.
- Power Improvement: Athletes lift heavy loads (the weight), performing a quick motion in a short amount of time. This improves acceleration and power generation.
Single Leg Explosive Jumps
- Purpose: To work on creating explosiveness and power from the hips, all the way down through the legs
- Performance: Place one leg on the box and use it to push off. Use your arms like you would while doing a vertical jump, bringing them over your head while propelling them upward.
- Power Improvement: Athletes use force to push themselves up off the ground in a rapid motion, absorbing & releasing power.
- Purpose: To create strong and stiff hamstrings in order to increase explosive power and speed.
- Performance: Push through the ground with your hands and pop the hips up as high as you can, while keeping the legs straight and locked. This causes the hamstrings to contract. Stop and hold this position for 6-8 seconds for an Isometric Contraction, then drop your butt back down.
- Power Improvement: Athletes generate force lifting the hips while keeping the legs straight which recruits muscle fibers in the contracting hamstring.
- Purpose: To strengthen the hamstrings and glutes and to improve the acceleration aspect of sprinting.
- Performance: Add weight as your see fit to the sled and drag it in a walking motion while taking long powerful strides.
- Power Improvement: Athletes learn to move quicker while carrying heavier loads. This acceleration of sprinting helps athletes overcome inertia and “explode.”
These four exercises should be incorporated into your athletes’ training program in order to help develop their explosive power. Explosive power is a key component to athletes’ success. Power output and explosive power ability can be a strong determinant of what level your athletes will be able to compete at.
Focusing on your athletes’ strength and explosive power early on in training will help push your athlete to the next level and give them the tools they need to be their best.