Athletes want to be explosive.
Coaches and athletes use that word quite a bit but what is it really?
Explosive is really powerful. Power is the ability to develop force in a short amount of time. You can develop a lot of force, do it very quickly, or both (most desirable). That is how power is produced.
Power can be developed in 3 planes of motion:
- Saggital- forward and backward
- Frontal- side to side
- Transverse- rotational
The methods we use are going to differ based on the athlete and the program that we have them on.
We are lucky at Evolution to have a lot of space and different equipment. This means we can utilize many different methods to help athletes become more powerful.
Certain methods are going to be better in certain planes while some will be applicable to all. Lets look at how athletes can develop power.
We can develop power by lifting weights. The goal is to move lighter weights faster, when compared to traditional strength training. This sometimes feels like nothing is being trained because muscle fatigue is low, but speed is the name of the game.
Any exercise can be used to develop power as long as it is done quickly. Some exercises might not be a good idea because of safety, though.
Some popular ones are Olympic lifts (variations of the snatch and clean and jerk), KB swings/snatches/cleans, speed squats/deadlifts/bench.
The pro to these exercises is that they are great for developing force quickly. The con is the learning curve and a mostly saggital dominance.
Resistance training is primarily done forward and backward, a plane that most athletes are good in.
Developing power with resistance training takes time, experience, and practice. Sometimes I do not always get athletes for an extended period of time. I also work with a lot of young athletes. This makes power development through resistance training tough.
Our athletes that train for long periods and have some years of experience benefit tremendously from some of these movements.
Medicine balls are a good way to develop power. We can hit the saggital and transverse plane well but frontal is a challenge.
There are two mistakes I see with med ball training. The first is using too heavy of a ball and the second is not throwing it hard enough.
You should be trying quite hard to throw the ball through the wall/ground. This is how we shorten the amount of time in the exercise.
Using too heavy of a ball increases time to move the force, decreasing power. Go light and really put a good toss on the med ball.
Jumping is a very powerful tool to use because there are so many different variations that we can use.
All three planes can easily be trained with different jumps.
The only concern with jumping is the amount of volume done. Don’t go overboard, especially with athletes that are playing their sport in some capacity. Excessive reps could be problematic.
To get the saggital plane any type of broad, vertical, or box jump will accomplish that. These are the most common types of jumps trained.
The real magic comes when we can hit the other 2 planes because they are generally weak spots for athletes. Improving movement in those planes can go to the field.