Explosive Bodyweight Only Workout
Build Strength Anywhere
The summer is coming and you are probably thinking about going on holiday frantically researching for the package with the best hotel gym so that your strength training doesn’t have to be put on hold for a week. Fret not, we have a solution to help using only one machine…your body. This type of training session can also be used for athletes on the road that don’t have access to a gym or a track. You can create high forces and high power outputs with only the use of gravity and your own rig. In this article, we will talk about an explosive bodyweight only workout.
Bodyweight movements might lack the high loads that weight training can illicit but that doesn’t mean we can’t exert high amounts of force. When we move, we must overcome the inertia of our bodyweight. When we perform ballistic movements, we are required to produce much higher forces to project our body off the ground or propel our bodies forward. Jumping and landing can exert up to four times your bodyweight through your limbs. That’s much more force than you’ll ever be able to produce with a barbell. Because we can exert this high amount of force, we can only endure this for very small amounts of time. The intensity of our movements is very high but the time is low.
THE VIDEO: Explosive Bodyweight Only Workout ( No Equipment Needed)
Here are 6 bodyweight movements that are explosive in nature. You are required to produce high amounts of force over a small time frame. To produce high amounts of force, we must be rested. This is an explosive strength workout not a fitness builder so take around 1 minute between sets.
Sprinting requires you to produce high amounts of force into the ground to propel your body forward with speed. Find an open space and grab a partner, measure out 10 yards and drop your water bottle or a jumper as a marker. Perform 4 sets of the 20 metre sprint. Make sure that you are rested between sets to move as quickly as possible and produce the highest amounts of force.
The broad jump
The broad jump is a true test of explosive power and co-ordination. Put a marker down by your feet and stand with your toes in line. Stand tall with your arms above your head, swing your arms down and back as you flex to preload the jump. Swing your arms forward with speed and jump as far as you can. Stick the landing and perform 4 reps. Put down a marker behind your heel after 4 jumps and try to beat the marker each time.
The vertical jump
The vertical jump is the ultimate expression of power. You need to apply as much force as possible in the shortest time frame to propel yourself into the air. As mentioned before, forces can reach up to 4 times bodyweight during take-off and even greater upon landing. Start with your arms above your head in a tall position, swing your arms down as you flex to load the jump, move quickly and explode upwards swinging your arms above your head. Keep your feet underneath you and focus on reaching your head high rather than your feet. Perform 4 reps and reset your position after each rep so that they are consistent. Perform 4 sets in total ensuring that you are rested between sets.
The Step Drive / Single Leg jump
All the jumping movements so far have been bilateral. This means they use both legs to provide the force. The step drive is a unilateral variation of a vertical jump. During this, although, the peak force is less than that in the bilateral movements, the forces placed through the single leg will be higher than in the bilateral movements. Use a step or a small garden wall around the height of your knee and stand to the side. Place the closest leg on the wall with the heel down. Again, start with the arms above the head in a tall position, swing the arms down as you flex and drive through the foot which, is placed on the step, drive hard and propel yourself into the air. Be cautious on landing as your feet will make contact at different times. Perform 4 reps on each leg and swap legs. Repeat for 4 sets with around 1 minute between sets.
The Wall Drive
If for some reason you find yourself in a desert with nothing to prop yourself against, use a partner to lean against. There are hundreds of core and trunk stability exercises that you can do without the use of any equipment but the wall drive enables you to produce extremely high forces into the ground and these forces transfer into your trunk as you stabilise your body and maintain your posture. These forces are going to be much higher than any crunches or planks are going to produce. Lean on a wall at 45 degrees with your arms in front of your shoulders. Pick up one knee and lift the toes, brace hard with the core and maintain a tall and stiff position. When you start, drive the top leg downwards and the bottom knee upwards to swap positions. Your body angle shouldn’t change and the landing leg should remain stiff. Perform 4 reps with both your left and right leg leading. Repeat for 4 sets.
The explosive push up
Last but not least, on to the upper body. You have probably seen the guys on Instagram that show off with spinning triple clap push ups and other crazy stunts. Whether you are impressed by this kind of thing or not, these guys are onto something. Just like when you are performing a jump, you need to push into the ground as hard and fast as you can to overcome your body’s own inertia and project yourself off the ground. With the intent to get off the ground as much as you can, you will produce much higher forces in a shorter frame of time when compared to regular push ups and even the bench press. Perform 4 sets of 4 reps and no more. After 4 reps, you will become fatigued and the intensity of your movement will reduce significantly.
You may have noticed that there is a common theme among the sets and reps. We have prescribed 4 sets of 4 reps for each of the movements. This is to ensure that high forces are being produced for each rep, preserve the cereal nervous system from fatigue and so that the quality of each movement is high. We need to perform these movements at full intensity. After 4 reps your power output will drop below 80% of its maximum. To illicit strength and power gains we need to work above this intensity. Stick to the sets and reps for each movement and take your rest between sets. This will enable you to produce higher forces and much higher power outputs than a higher rep scheme.
Take this workout on the road or even try it in your gym if you are short on time. The focus is to produce as much force as humanly possible to bare that in mind before you start.