Today I’m going to highlight some specific areas you should focus on in your training to develop EXPLOSIVE POWER!! I’m also going to provide you with all of the exercises that my athletes have had the best results with!
1. Strengthen your Core
A strong midsection is the FOUNDATION of some of the most powerful and explosive athletes in sports today! Think about it, when’s the last time you saw a powerful athlete that had a weak stomach? NEVER
Here’s some of my favorite exercises to improve core strength:
- Loaded Carries
- Chops, Lifts, Pallof Presses
- Planks, Rollouts, Deadbugs
- Breathing & Bracing Properly
2. Implement Contrast Training
I’ve had some pretty awesome results utilizing contrast training with my athletes over the past few years. I really like using this method of training as the athlete peaks for an event (gets closer to the competitive season). However, I have implemented contrast training a month or two before the athletes peaking phase with a lot of success as well.
How to Implement Contrast Training: With contrast training you’re going to perform a heavy (1-3 RM) strength exercise or heavy 20 Yard sled drag/push and follow that with a jump, sprint, or throw.
Programming Example for Contrast Training:
A1. Inertia Squat 1 RM
Rest 15-30 seconds
A2. Box Jump x 2 reps
Rest 3-5 min following each set
Here’s Some of my favorite contrast training protocols with the baseball guys:
- Lateral Crossover Step Sled Drags paired with Heiden “Skater” Jumps
- Rear-Foot Elevated Bulgarian Split Squat paired with a Rear-Foot Elevated Single-Leg Jump
- Heavy Sled Drags/Pushes paired with sprint start variations (push-up, falling, mountain climber starts)
- Inertia Squat paired with Box Jump
3. Get Ballistic!
What we know about power is that it tends to be very plane specific. Simply put, you’re going to develop more baseball specific power by training in the planes that are required by your sport. Medicine ball throws and tornado ball “swings” or slams are some of my favorite drills to utilize with my athletes as it simulates them in planes or positions that they are often in when playing their sport/position.
Here’s some of my favorite tornado ball and medicine ball throws/swings:
- Tornado Ball Swings (Back to Wall, Facing the Wall Swing, Shuffle to Swing)
- Medicine Ball Rotational Throws (Scoop Toss, Shot-Put, Split-Stance Anti-Rotation, Facing the Wall, 1-Leg Scoop Toss)
- Medicine Ball Overhead Stomps (Recoiled, Side-to-Side, Overhead Throw for Distance)
- Medicine Ball Backwards OH Throw for Distance/Scoop Toss for Distance
4. Incorporate Jump Training & Plyometrics
If you want to become more explosive and powerful you NEED to be performing some kind of jump training as well as plyometric (transition on ground = 0.2 seconds or less) based exercises in your workouts. I like to focus on jumps and plyos that challenge the athlete in multiple planes of motion because they need to be powerful in all these different planes (frontal, sagittal, transverse) while playing their sport.
Here’s some of my favorite jump training and plyometric drills:
- Heiden “Skater” Jumps
- Box Jumps
- Broad Jumps
- Lateral Broad Jumps
- Quarter Turn Box Jumps
- Pogo Hops
- Jump Tucks
- Reactive Hurdle Hops
- Reactive Lateral Hurdle Hops
5. Utilize the Dynamic-Effort Method
When utilized properly the dynamic-effort method can be a great way to develop explosive power! When utilizing this method of training bar speed or sled speed becomes crucial. Weight being used needs to be sub-maximal (Generally 50-75% of athletes 1 RM) and bar speed needs to be at 0.7-0.9 meters per second (via Louie Simmons – West Side Barbell).
Dynamic-Effort Method General Programming Guidelines:
SETS: 8-12 or until output drops (when output or speed of the bar/sled drops cut the set)
REPS: 2-4, 10 Yards for Sled Push Sprints 10-20 Yards for Sled Sprints
Here’s some of my favorite ways to utilize the dynamic-effort method:
- SSB Box Squat
- Deadlift Variations (Sumo, Trap Bar, Convetional)
- Sled Push Sprints
- Sled Sprints
- Rear-Foot Elevated Bulgarian Split Squat