3 Tips To Increase Explosive Power In Athletes

By Steve Preston, Sports Performance Specialist

Many athletes are strong but lack power.  

Other athletes are powerful but lack explosive strength.  

If an athlete is going to excel at sports they need to be able to build strength and then convert strength to explosive power.

Simply put, explosive power refers to an individual’s ability to exert a maximum amount of force in the shortest possible time.

So how does this apply to athletes and sports?

Here are a few examples of explosive power in sports…

  • A football lineman bursts off the line as the ball is hiked.
  • A baseball player blasts a long home run.
  • A soccer player goes from jogging down field then switches to full speed to chase down the ball.
  • A basketball player jumps for a rebound, changing direction and sprinting down the court.
  • A volleyball player jumping above the net to for a spike.

The list goes on…

EVERY sport requires explosive power.  That’s why every athlete needs it.  It’s not enough to be strong or fast or conditioned.

So how do we build explosive power in athletes?

Here are a few tips to develop explosive power that will carry over to improved sports performances:

  1.  Get Stronger In order to move we need muscle.  In order to move athletically we need to move faster.  In order to move faster your muscles need to get stronger.  Simple as that.  

planes of motionAs an athlete you force your body to move in various ways.  These different movement patterns are called “planes of motion”. There are 3 different planes of motion.  Athletes need to get stronger in all 3 planes of motion in order to perform better on the field or court.

By selecting exercises that force your muscles to get stronger in different ways you lay the foundation of strength from which you can build explosive power.  Just getting strong won’t necessarily build explosive power. Getting strong lays the groundwork.

Click here for details on our Foundational Strength Program revealing a specific strength and athleticism program for athletes of all ages and integrates our Advanced Multi-Plane Variance Training.

 

  1.  Use P.A.P. In Your Training P.A.P. stands for “Post-Activation Potentiation”.  It is a style of training that can make you more powerful, explosive and athletic… FAST!

It’s a fancy term for building explosive power by combining a strength exercise and a plyometric exercise in succession.  

Here is the progression…

  • One works your muscles as a strength move
  • Which is immediately followed by a fast, speed-type exercise

By combining the right exercises, an athlete may recruit more muscle fibers.  This will rapidly increase your ability to move better as an athlete.

An example of P.A.P. Training for building upper body explosive power:

  • Perform a set of Towel Bench Presses with a barbell followed with Flying Med. Ball Pushups.  The Towel Bench Press is a strength exercise.  The Flying Med. Ball Pushups are a plyometric exercise which requires a burst of energy.

Example Video of P.A.P. Training

 

P.A.P. is a scientifically-proven method for increasing explosive power in athletes.  That’s why I started using it when training athletes for various sports about 15 years ago.  

It’s a game-changer… literally!

  1.  Periodize Your Athlete Training     Just as you wouldn’t try to build a house without a foundation, you can’t build better athletes without laying down a foundation.

The foundation for athletes is Periodization Training: Establishing different phases of training that build upon each other.

Periodization training for athletes helps set up long-term athleticism and sports success.

An example of Periodization Training:

  • Four weeks of circuit training for conditioning, followed by 4 weeks of muscle-building for injury-prevention, followed by 6 week of maximum strength training… and finally, 4 weeks of P.A.P. Training.  

If you would like to see how we use a 5 phase periodization system to create an Athlete Factory click here =>>

The example has you build to the final phase of P.A.P. Training.  The foundational strength previously developed gets super-charged during P.A.P. training.  You can dramatically increase explosive power in athletes using a system similar to this.

So there you have it… 3 ways to increase explosive power in athletes.  It works… BIG TIME!

 

4-Week Power Performance