If you are looking to become faster and increase your stamina while exercising and training, then becoming more explosive may be what you need to focus on. Continue reading to find ways to increase your power and explosiveness in training.
The Difference Between Power and Strength
Power and strength are similar, and the terms are used interchangeably, so it can be easy to mix them up. Strength is the ability of the body to overcome resistance; how strong you are. Power is strength plus speed; the capacity of exerting strength in a rapid amount of time.
For example, while lifting weights focuses on the amount one can lift, if you were training to have more explosive power, you would focus on how fast you can lift.
What is Explosive Power?
Explosive power is the ability to exert your “power” in an explosive/rapid time. It is taking your power to the next level and being able to rapidly perform exercises in the shortest amount of time.
Benefits of Power training
- Improved movement
- Quicker reaction time
- Better Sport performance
Improving your power is important because it will help you become faster; not just in exercising, but in everyday life. You will be able to jump and run higher and faster and move with explosiveness. You will develop better balance and coordination, and have a better reaction time, (which, like the increased speed, can also be helpful in everyday situations, like being able to catch yourself after tripping and not falling, etc.) You will also have an increased sports performance. Explosive power can help in so many aspects of life.
How to Become More Explosive?
Where should someone start to become more explosive in their training? There are many online resources and personal trainers who can help you focus on exercises and training that will increase your explosive power.
You want to focus on rapid movements, speed, and jumping.
Make sure to remember that more weight usually decreases speed, so start with less weight and increase gradually. Also, don’t do too many reps. If you are doing them correctly, you should only need up to ten reps. The amount is not the goal, but the speed.
Lower Body Exercises:
- Box jump. Stand on the ground in a squat position in front of a box. Jump, landing both feet on the box. Get down, and repeat.
- Kettlebell Swing. Stand straight with your legs shoulder length apart, and knees slightly bent. Grab the kettlebell with both hands, and keeping your arms straight, swing the kettlebell back and forth between the legs. Increase the speed and force, and repeat.
- Jump Squats. Stand with your toes pointed forward, and your knees slightly bent. Squat down. When you have squatted to the desired squat abruptly jump back up. Repeat several times. To make it more explosive, hold a loaded barbell or other weights as you squat.
- Flutter Kick. Lie down on your back on a mat or on the floor. Keep your body straight. Lift your heels five to six inches off the ground and rapidly kick them in the air.
Upper Body Exercises:
- Rapid Pushups. Start in a standard pushup position, and bend your elbows to lower your chest to the floor. Repeat in rapid movements. To take them to the next level you can try in-out plyo pushups.
- Rapid Pull-ups. Grip the pull-up bar. Make sure your hand are shoulder length apart and hang down straight. As fast as you can, pull up so your chin is over the bar. Bring it back down and repeat.
- Medicine Ball Side Throw. Grab a medicine ball and stand 2-3 feet away from a wall. Position yourself perpendicular to the wall, in a standing position with knees slightly bent, and feet shoulder-width apart. Put your weight on your back hip, and turn your body to the wall, shifting your weight to the front hip and throwing the ball to the wall. Catch the ball on the rebound, and shift back into the starting position. Repeat.
- Triceps dip. Sit in the edge of a bench, chair, or step. Grip the edge with your palms. Straighten your legs with your heels on the ground and hip-width apart. Press into your palms, as you lift your body and slide forward so your rear clears the edge. Bend at the elbows to lower yourself down to about the halfway mark of the chair. Push yourself back up with your palms, and repeat. There are many variations of triceps dip exercises to make them more challenging or easier.
Full Body Exercises:
- Speed Burpees. Stand in a squat position with your knees shoulder-width apart. Lower your hands to the floor. Once your weight is on your hands bring your feet to the floor as well so your weight is on your hands and toes. Do a pushup, keeping your back straight. Jump back up and reach your arms into the air, then go back into the starting position and do another rep. Repeat.
- Power Jumping Jacks. Elevate your normal jumping jacks by keeping your back and arms straight, and when coming back down, slightly bending your knees and squatting down.
- Frog Squat Jump. Squat down, placing your hands on the ground in between your feet. Squat down and jump forward, so that you will land further from where you started. As you are jumping forward raise your arms so they are fully extended at the top of your jump. Bring your arms back down and touch the floor with your hands again as you land the frog squat jump.
- Ab Wheel Rollout. Kneel on the floor, or mat, and hold an Ab wheel in your hands. without moving your legs or knees, roll the wheel forward until your feel tension in your abs and hips. Hold it for a second, and roll back to starting position. Repeat as many times as you can.
Strength vs Power
Which one is better, strength or power? They are both good, and both have different purposes and benefits. If you want to increase your speed, explosive power training is a great place to start, but it is important to also work on strength training as well.
- Always remember safety first
- Start slow. Power exercises are not very beginner-friendly exercises, so start slow and work your way up.