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Developing explosive power/speed

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  • Developing explosive power/speed

    How do you do it? I've always struggled with speed. When I did martial arts, I was too slow. My kicks lacked power because I was too slow; I got my butt kick sparring, because I couldn't get out of the way fast enough. Now I'm struggling with weightlifting (things like jerks, push presses, etc), because I lack the "explosive" power. I can do strict pull-ups, but can't kip to save my life, again, because I'm not getting that "snap." Any suggestions?

  • #2
    In someone who is not at an intermediate strength level, the best thing to develop power is more strength. Work on the 'big four' for now (press, bench, squat, deads) and you'll see your power increase. Later you can do things like dynamic effort sets and olympic lifting.

    First-hand experience anecdote: I had exactly the same problem. My side kicks at TKD could always knock people back because I put my bodyweight into them (I'm 6'4"), but in terms of sheer power and 'snap' my friend who weighs probably 30kg less than me could shatter my ribs in a heartbeat. I hated holding the pads for him, believe me! However, after doing some squats and getting from a measly 40kg to around 100kg, I found that my leg muscles were suddenly adding a lot more to my kicks. I wasn't as fast as my friend - who is one of those annoyingly athletic people, and of course much lighter than me - but I was getting much more of a concentrated force when I hit, and (most satisfyingly) nobody wanted to hold the pads for me
    The Primal Journey of Mr and Mrs Fist
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    • #3
      Train your fast twitch muscle fibers.

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      • #4
        I agree with Primal Fist (as I usually do). I don't do martial arts, but have worked on explosive power and speed for things like lacrosse. Squats and deadlifts are the two best lifts for that IMO.
        I incorporate high volume, high rep, fast accelerating squats as my "warmup" before each workout and it has helped tremendously with my speed. The squats are "normal speed" on the down path and I explode on the up. I try to get in 100 reps in as many sets as it takes. Currently using 225lbs and it takes me 5 (sometimes 6 or 7) sets with the reps per set diminishing rapidly as the set number goes up.
        This isn't for the weak willed/hearted. You will feel like you have to puke when you are done.
        People too weak to follow their own dreams will always try to discourage others.

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        • #5
          Plyometrics drills like jump squats, jump lunges, clap pushups.
          Hill sprints and focus on takeoff
          Increasing max strength
          When lifting, focus on fast acceleration.

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          • #6
            Thanks for all the responses! My XFit coaches want me to start doing box jumps, knee jumps, etc. I will add in some of these things, as well.

            How much does flexibility play into it? I am definitely not the most flexible person in the world. I'm working on my hip flexors everyday and, as soon as I get a lacrosse ball, I'm going to be hitting the shoulders. My traps are extremely tight. I feel like this also hinders things.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by JenCat View Post
              How much does flexibility play into it?

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              • #8
                I am in the same boat as you. My explosiveness is really not there. I am working on ploys like box jumps, squat jumps, lunge jumps and even jumping rope to help w/this.

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                • #9
                  Learn how to tap into "rage" on demand.

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                  • #10
                    YouTube - ‪Hulk Transformations‬‏

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by pyro13g View Post
                      Learn how to tap into "rage" on demand.
                      This is 90% of it. LOL.

                      The flexibility does help, but I never do static stretching before lifting or LAX. Every time I do, I wind up pulling something. Dynamic warmups (like the box jumps, squat jumps, etc.) are what work best for me. Get the blood flowing and I am much more flexible and the ROM is better than with static stretching.
                      People too weak to follow their own dreams will always try to discourage others.

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                      • #12
                        Static and isometric stretching should only ever be done after workouts. Anyone who wants you to do otherwise is misinformed. Dynamics are what you want beforehand, as stated above. Then isometric the hell out of yourself when you're done.
                        The Primal Journey of Mr and Mrs Fist
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by js290 View Post
                          Train your fast twitch muscle fibers.
                          Here's an AMEN, and change
                          If you have a problem with what you read: 1. Get a dictionary 2. Don't read it 3. Grow up 4. After 3, go back to 1/ or 2. -- Dennis Blue. | "I don't care about your opinion, only your analysis"- Professor Calabrese. | "Life is more important than _______" - Drew | I eat animals that eat vegetables -- Matt Millen, former NFL Linebacker. | "This country is built on sugar & shit that comes in a box marinated in gluten - abc123

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by IcarianVX View Post
                            This is 90% of it. LOL.

                            The flexibility does help, but I never do static stretching before lifting or LAX. Every time I do, I wind up pulling something. Dynamic warmups (like the box jumps, squat jumps, etc.) are what work best for me. Get the blood flowing and I am much more flexible and the ROM is better than with static stretching.
                            +1
                            If you have a problem with what you read: 1. Get a dictionary 2. Don't read it 3. Grow up 4. After 3, go back to 1/ or 2. -- Dennis Blue. | "I don't care about your opinion, only your analysis"- Professor Calabrese. | "Life is more important than _______" - Drew | I eat animals that eat vegetables -- Matt Millen, former NFL Linebacker. | "This country is built on sugar & shit that comes in a box marinated in gluten - abc123

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                            • #15
                              Oh yeah, Negatives are king.. Think about quick ascent, but slower descent. Try doing that with push ups...
                              If you have a problem with what you read: 1. Get a dictionary 2. Don't read it 3. Grow up 4. After 3, go back to 1/ or 2. -- Dennis Blue. | "I don't care about your opinion, only your analysis"- Professor Calabrese. | "Life is more important than _______" - Drew | I eat animals that eat vegetables -- Matt Millen, former NFL Linebacker. | "This country is built on sugar & shit that comes in a box marinated in gluten - abc123

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