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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mothers Day-My Favorite Movements for Developing Explosive Power!

I know its been a while since I have made a blog post, but I would rather take the time to make AWESOME, fitness related blogs, than blog about my breakfast and puppy everyday.

When I do post, the articles and information will be great tools to add your your training and knowledge!

PLUS, it's a sign of me getting busy which is another great thing, right?

Anyways, I hope all you mothers out there have a fantastic day! Mine is celebrating hers in Virginia Beach, so I wish her love and happiness while she takes a rare vacation! Love you mom, you deserve all the best in this world! I wouldn't be where I am without you! I only hope to return the favor as I grow older!

So back to this post! As the summer approaches, it means athletes are gearing up and spending a lot more time on their own training. Preparing for their seasons, races, and contests. I start to get busier with training many who are looking for one goal.....


Why is this important? It gives you an edge over your opponent. It separates the good from the best. It can reassure athletes why they train so hard and spent countless hours training each week, because NOTHING beats that moment when you are racing or playing your sport and catch an edge over an opponent.

Back in college, I would love to pick out someone during a practice or game, and make it my mission I outwork him in every aspect of the sport. It was my duty. I made up my mind to do whatever it took to beat him to the ball, jump higher, run faster, push harder, and give every ounce of energy I possibly could release.

So, It's a no brainer as to why your training plays a major role in your success! But lets look at the bulk of an athletes training.

Here are my FAVORITE exercises for building explosive speed and power to help further your progress this summer. If you ever need practice or clarification, just get ahold of me and we can spend some time working on these movements.

1.) Hang Snatch

Yes, a VARIATION of an Olympic lift! The hang snatch is ideal for explosive power! The clean falls close, but I feel as if the snatch is more complex and a heck of a lot cooler! You wont see an athlete who can hang snatch 200lbs NOT be able to clean, squat, and deadlift heavy as well. It goes hand in hand, being at the top of my list.

I chose the hang position because it is much easier for athletes to start from this position due to flexibility and hip mobility issues.

2.) Split Jerk

If you have trained with me, you are almost guaranteed to work with this movement. I am a big fan of it.  No other lift generates more power over head than the jerk. I love this exercise because of its quad dominant nature! Perform this exercise correctly, and you will be sure to notice some major quad development!

The power jerk is great, but adding the split component puts in a completely different element. Athletes MUST be able to change directions and placement of their feet constantly, which is exactly what the split in the exercise demands. You go directly from a bilateral stance to an off-set, unilateral stance....can't get more athletic in any other movement!

3.) Kettlebell Swings

The swing is a GREAT tool for beginners to learn a hip hinge and for showing how important it is to generate power through your hips!

Too often, I see trainers exemplify poor posture and control when teaching this, so please ask me if you are unsure. It is not a squat. This exercise is fully developed for posterior chain power! If need be, I sometimes put a box underneath my client to make them aware they cannot squat with the kettlebell to an excessive degree!

Now, if you are advanced and need a little extra, just simply and band resistance. A few of you who work with me may know what I am talking about!!

4.) Power Clean

Now it arrives! Yes, the power clean does all sorts of wonders for your development as an athlete!  No explosive list of exercises would be complete without some sort of clean. This movement starts from the floor but many athletes struggle with the mobility it takes to lift from that  position so you can easily start from blocks at a higher level.

The initial pull is controlled until you reach about knee height.  Then the magic happens. Extension of the hips is crucial and it is very important to keep your shoulders protracted a little bit to create a shelf for the bar to land.  At a point in the lift, the bar becomes weightless in a sense, before you properly control the landing. You want to have the bar coast up your body and shelf it with your shoulders.  I see many clients and gym go-goers try to raise the shoulders faster than their hips, which leaves the knees flexed and unable to develop the maximum power through the posterior chain.

A lot of times, clean pulls are a necessity to master before getting into the full movement.

5.) Prowler Pushes or Sled Drags

Lastly, I would not complete this list without Prowler drills. This piece of equipment can dramatically improve your linear and lateral speed. If you have ever done them, you will know exactly what I am talking about when I say they are exhausting!

Not only do prowler drags and pushes incinerate your lower body, they also are great for improving core strength! You use core, shoulder,  and legs which are generating force through your hips! Biggest bang for your buck exercise!

Well there you have it! Just a few of my favorite exercises that I use with athletes to build explosive power! With these exercises, it is very important to learn proper technique! Something many people tend to forget.

If any of you would like to learn these movements don't hesitate to ask me. Come join Rush or my Wednesday advanced group sessions for incorporation's of these movements or I would be happy7 to help in a one-one manner as well!

Don't forget to treat your moms to a fabulous day!

Until next time,

Stay strong!

“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” – Randy Pausch

Mike Over

CPT / Strength & Conditioning Coach

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