The ability to move/lift something heavy in a very short amount of time. That's the most basic way to describe explosive strength. The most common ways to train explosive strength is through the use of Olympic barbells, kettlebells, and dumbells, using techniques such as the snatch, clean, push press, etc. But what if you have no access to these tools or just prefer using your own body weight?
Well never fear, there's a solution! It's call plyometric training and it can be applied to just about any body weight exercise. Plyometric is a fancy name for jump training, or explosively coming out of contact with the ground. Plyometrics are a more advanced form of body weight training and can put a whole lot of stress on your joints, muscles, and surrounding tissue ... so it's best to build up towards performing these advanced movements by first mastering the basics. For example, a plyometric push up would be a clapping push up (or the triple clapping one in the video above), but before performing the clapping push up you'll want to master the regular push up and a few others such as the ones demonstrated in "The Body Weight Solution".
Plyometrics are excellent for improving sport performance, explosive strength, and improving functions of the nervous system. So if you're looking to improve your fitness level and gain some explosive strength, perhaps you'll want to give some of the following exercises a try!
- Jump Squats
- Jump Split Lunges
- Clapping Push Ups (Triple Clap Shown Above)
- Burpees (click here for a video)
- Explosive Rows
- Even running is a prolonged plyometric exercise
Remember to work up towards these techniques and build the structural security your muscles and tissue need to withstand the rigors of plyometric training. It will take time, but it's well worth the reward that plyometrics will bring you!