Are you an athlete, that has to jump, sprint, or make quick changes of direction? Well let me guide you on how to unleash your full explosive potential.
Firstly, there are two types of muscle fibers, slow-twitch(Type I) and fast-twitch(Type II) muscle fibers.
Slow-twitch muscle fibers allow you to go through long-term endurance exercise, while fast-twitch muscle fibers generate the power and strength during fast repetitive movements. Why is it like this? Simply because Type II muscle fibers contract many times faster than Type I, so this allows for more power output. Thus to gain explosiveness you must recruit more fast twitch muscle fiber, and this is done by putting maximum force in a short period of time. So quick and explosive movements that include heavy weights are proven to develop your explosiveness most effectively
Type I to Type II muscle fibers is a ratio. With that said, the desire to gain explosiveness means you must produce more power and recruitment of the Type II muscle fibers, and/or turn Type I muscle fibers into Type II. Note, most people are born with a 1:1 ratio with these muscle fibers, but some people may be genetically gifted by having either, more slow-twitch muscle fibers or fast-twitch muscle fibers.
Finally, the 6 exercises that will support leg explosiveness:
–Power Clean: this movement is one of the most explosive, if not, the most explosive exercise out there, since it incorporates core stability, leg drive, and upper body strength.
–Push Press: this is a variation of the overhead press that includes the help of your legs to initiate the movement of pressing over your head.
–Snatch: an Olympic lift that is very speed dependent, as you pull yourself under the bar and catch it with fully extended arms. This may be the hardest lift to adjust to, but it is well worth it.
–Alternating Jumping Lunges– this is a lunge exercise that requires you to jump with power and quickly switch legs before returning to the floor. .
–Band Resistance Kettlebell Swings– This is just like an ordinary kettlebell swing, but just with added resistance of a band that will help develop your hip hinge explosiveness.
–Box Jumps– A classic power movement that will aid in getting more power off the ground by using leg muscles and momentum.
For guidance on how to perform these movements properly, refer to YouTube.
I suggest that power clean and snatch should be performed at 6-9 sets x 3-5 reps, while push press, alternating jumping lunge, band resistance kettlebell swings, and box jumps are performed at 3-5 sets x 5-8 reps.
Start these exercises by perfecting form first, since that is key to preventing injury and making gains to your full potential. Then, as you familiarize yourself with the exercises start to increase the weight gradually at your own pace.