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explosive strength training program

What Is An Explosive Strength Training Program Like?

Written by Vitruve Team

21 February, 2022

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Explosive power is something that every athlete wants to achieve and needs for their sport if they want to be successful! If well trained, new peak performances can be achieved and an athlete has the ability to move very quickly. But how do you achieve this so-called explosive strength and what is necessary for this? The answer is the right know-how for well-structured explosive training!

Athletes who need a quick burst of maximum efforts, such as moves required in soccer, athletics and field sports, hem sports, and even cycling. The types of exercises used to build this fast, explosive power are movements that require maximum or near-maximum power output from the athlete in a short period of time. Explosive exercise routines are one way to increase power. The goal of explosive training is to move heavy weights very quickly. But to get to that point safely, without being in danger, it’s important to start with light weights and slow controlled movements.

In a matter of training (several weeks), the weight lifted and the rate at which it is lifted will be increased. The main explosive exercises at their final level are often referred to as plyometric or ballistic movements.

Effective Explosive Training Program

Research supports the idea that explosive (speed and strength) exercises build athletic strength, but do so better when combined with other types of training like Velocity Based Training. Both transverse and longitudinal data suggest that to maximize strength, power, and speed of movement, a combination of heavy and light explosive exercises produces superior results than either training style alone.

Further evidence suggests that to maximize strength output or speed of movement, the first phase of training should focus on increasing maximum strength and building a solid foundation, and the second phase on strength and speed training. A sample 12-week training program designed to increase strength and speed may consist primarily of heavy workouts for the first five weeks. The next six weeks would consist of a combination of heavy and vigorous explosive exercise training, and the last week would be devoted to vigorous movements.

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Explosive Strength Exercises

Standard explosive exercises use large muscle movements such as squats, power cleans, weighted or unweighted vertical jumps, heavy ball throw, or even hill sprints.  If this increases your strength and musculature, then the foundation for your body has already been laid. Without strength training, it is not possible to train and increase your speed and explosiveness significantly. Smaller muscle exercises such as bench presses or pushups can also be used to build strength but will limit the overall results to those muscle groups.

In order to become explosive, you have to complete the exercises with a lightweight as quickly as possible in a short time with few repetitions. If you can improve here, then there will also be an improvement in explosive power or speed! Above all, sport-specific movements are trained. Here the movements of the sport are trained with resistance. The aim is to perform the exercises as quickly as possible in order to bring the intermuscular coordination of the muscles to a higher level. So to optimize the interaction of the muscles as much as possible. Exercises that help build strength include:

  • Plyometrics
  • Squats
  • Weighted / Dynamic Steps
  • Overlapping Lunges
  • Sprints
  • Agility Drilling Stair Running

Exercises should be used to meet your fitness and sports goals, so keep in mind the principle of Specificity of Training. Your training choices should stimulate the movement patterns of your sport. If you go slow with your workout and listen to your body to warn of injury, this workout is unlikely to lead to injury. In fact, there is some evidence that the risk of injury in many high-speed sports or strength sports can be reduced by regularly doing explosive training exercises.

Where To Start?

There are a couple of viable options: It’s wise to rely on a variety of means (from heavy lifting to plyometrics) to see what sticks with you over time. Discover what you prefer and what works best for you. Or to optimize the direction of power development, use some of the technology that exists to assess and train yourself using either a force- or velocity-based jump or sprint profile.

Bottom Line

Explosive exercises (strength plus speed) can improve physical performance during many high-speed sports and may reduce the risk of injury to athletes during activities that use high power output with rapid acceleration, such as football and field sports. Designing a program that meets all of these guidelines can be challenging, so it’s no surprise that many athletes turn to a coach or trainer for help with the details so they can focus on the workouts. It is wise to have your coach or trainer design a sport-specific program for you and oversee your progress.

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Sports Science Degree. Crossfit trainer, in love with weightlifting and digital marketing

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