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    JenCat's Avatar
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    Developing explosive power/speed

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    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?

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    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

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    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.
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    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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    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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    js290's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JenCat View Post
    How much does flexibility play into it?

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    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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    Learn how to tap into "rage" on demand.

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