Medicine Ball Moves For Explosive Power
Build explosive power with medicine ball drills
Explosive power has become a common phrase in the strength and conditioning world and it is used in many different settings but what is it and why do we need it? Explosive power is the maximum amount of force one can produce in the shortest time possible. For example, in the take-off for a long jumper, a vertical jump for a block in volleyball and clean and jerk and snatch in weightlifting. Although, not all sports require the same amount of explosive power and do not need to apply this power in the same manner, all athletes need to be adequately explosive especially in acceleration, throwing, jumping and striking and when performing quick change of direction. In this article, we will talk about medicine ball drills for explosive power.
Why is explosive power important and when should you train for explosive power?
Explosive power is important because it has been highly correlated with athletic performance thus, it is crucial for the sporting population and it can be improved by increasing fast twitch motor unit recruitment and rate coding. Furthermore, fast movements activate fast twitch fibres which, will work towards becoming more explosive. It is best to train explosive power at the beginning of a session when the body is in a fresh and non-fatigued state as this is when one would be able to produce the maximum amount of force with the correct technique at high intensities. Saying that, there are cases that explosive power training would be beneficial towards the middle or end of the session when the athlete is in a fatigued state especially in sports where explosiveness is needed at all times such as in MMA and boxing.
How to train explosive power
For the maximal benefit strength training should precede explosive power training and should be used as a foundation. 3-5 sets of around 3-5 repetitions with 4-5mins rest should be taken in between sets to allow the body to recover since these activities are taxing the central nervous system. Explosive power training should focus on exercises where, you release an object with loads of between 0-60% with the intention to move the object as quickly as possible. One should also schedule around 48-72hrs in between such sessions as this is roughly the amount of time the central nervous system needs to fully recover.
THE VIDEO: Medicine Balls Moves For Explosive Power
Why use medicine ball exercises?
Using medicine balls is one way to train explosively. Reasons why include:
- There is a correlation between medicine ball throw activities and explosive power when applied to sports
- Medicine balls can be used to mimic sports specific movements which are ballistic, plyometric and rotational
- Medicine balls are easily accessible and come in different weights and sizes
- Most exercises using the medicine balls encourage the use of the triple extension which, can then be transferred into more complex exercises in the weight rooms and on field
- Medicine balls are very safe and effective for releasing
Medicine ball exercises
- Triple extension focus – exercises include; reverse overhead throw, front toss, vertical overhead toss, slam down. Use these exercises to focus on triple extension which, is transferable to most sporting actions, as potentiation exercises and in season leading up to a competition. Make sure to use your whole body and that you’re transferring power from your legs and through your whole body for the release.
- Rotational power focus – exercises include; side facing and front facing rotational side throw, rotational slam down. In these movements, you still need to use whole body power but you need to rotate towards the end of the movement.
- Upper body power focus – exercises include; kneeling/standing chest throw, supine chest throw, one arm throw. These are mainly used to concentrate on upper body push and reactive explosiveness. Start from chest to use static power or with your arms straight then, down to the chest and back up quick to use elastic explosiveness.
If you’d like to enhance your power output and explosiveness, do give the above mentioned medicine ball exercises a go. Make sure to use a light weight, do up to 5 repetitions and take plenty of rest to be able to recover and put in the same level of intensity on the next set.