Strength training can play an important role in the physical and emotional development of young athletes according to numerous studies. Benefits include improved bone density, self-esteem, strength, power, and speed and increases in fat-free mass 1 .

Concerns regarding injury and growth plate issues have been set aside as recent publications and updated papers summarize the efficacy and benefits of strength training for young athletes 2,3 . Besides improving performance, strength training decreases the chance of sport-related injury and creates a foundation for maintaining an active lifestyle and protecting against the onset of diseases 4. Strength training can increase strength, power, vertical jump, speed, and acceleration in a range of different sports 5,6.

For example, explosive strength training has been shown to increase maximal sprinting speed and vertical jumping in soccer players 7. Heavy lifting has been shown to improve 5 m acceleration speed and throwing velocity in elite handball players 8,9. For elite handball players, strength training increased their throwing velocity in addition to other capacities such as vertical jumping and sprinting. Some studies even reported an increase in performance after the application of explosive strength in training programs 10,11.

The explosive workout routine incorporates strength and speed to enhance the power output. Power is the ability to recruit many motor units into a rapid movement. By improving this quality, you as an athlete can perform skills, exercises, and movements with the max amount of force in the shortest amount of time as demonstrated in this equation:

Power (P) = Force (F) x Velocity (V)

Is Explosive Power Equal to Explosive Strength?

“Explosive Power” is defined as the capacity of the athlete to exert his max force or power output in a rapid /explosive amount of time. On the other hand, explosive strength is the ability to increase force or torque as quickly as possible during a rapid voluntary contraction realized from a low or resting level 12.

Rate of force development (RFD), which is derived from the force- or torque-time curves recorded during explosive voluntary contractions 13—hereafter also referred to as rapid or ballistic actions—is increasingly evaluated to characterize the explosive strength of athletes, elderly individuals, and patients.

If you’re asking yourself, “how can I increase explosiveness?" , we give your one of the best explosive workouts for athletes that includes three awesome training programs containing exercises for explosiveness to help you to build explosive strength.

1st training program

Box Jump

This is a leg workout for explosiveness and quickness that increases your lower-body power.

Getting in a half squat position before the jump cancels momentum and forces.

  • Begin with a squat into a stationary position in front of the box. Keep your arms in front of you.
  • Jump explosively up onto the box, landing with both feet together.
  • Repeat after each jump.

3-4 sets

5-8 reps

Double Kettlebell Swing

Double kettlebell swings help you to generate massive amounts of power with your hamstrings, glutes, hips, and lower back. The purpose of the exercise is to get the kettlebell high up in the air. By focusing in on the core, you can perform easily other athletic activities and lifts. Also, double kettlebell swing improves the grip strength and the scapular control.

  • Stand with your legs about hip-width apart with placing two kettlebells between your feet. Push back with your butt, your back must be flat, and bend your knees to get into the starting position.
  • Hold the kettlebells and swing them between your legs forcefully.
  • Reverse the direction quickly and drive through with your hips taking the kettlebells straight out to chest level.
  • Pull the kettlebell down between your legs.

2-5 sets

8-10 reps.

Barbell Power Snatch

The power snatch is one coordinated, continuous movement executed with speed. It is a dynamic exercise for improving the strength, function, and coordination of the posterior chain, it can help you have a good posture with a straight back, keeping shoulders retracted and your core tight.

  • Begin by getting into a deadlift position.
  • Make sure that your shoulders are over the bar with back arched tightly.
  • From there, by extending hips and knees, pull the bar up off the floor, moving it smoothly past the knees.
  • Pull and launch vertically the bar from the top of the knees to the hip
  • Pull the bar up to the mid-chest or sternum, by using high elbows. Catch the bar from underneath.
  • Bend your knees slightly and lower the bar to mid-thigh position.

3-5 sets

10-12 reps

Lateral Sled Drag

This exercise generates less amounts of muscular tension that prevent muscular damage and soreness by the absence of eccentric loading. Also, it improves acceleration and helps to work your body in the frontal plane of motion. This movement improves functional strength and conditioning by developing adductors and abductors as well as having great hip and glute strength.

  • Load a sled with a weight that is adequate for you.
  • Perpendicularly, face the sled and grab the handles to the rope and lean away from the sled slightly.
  • Staying low, drive your feet into the ground keeping them perpendicular by staying low for 20 seconds.

4-6 sets

8-10 reps

Plate Jump

By jumping harder and by forcefully swinging the weights forward, this exercise helps you to jump harder and faster on each essay.

  • With plates in each hand, swing them backward, and let your body bend downward forming a countermovement.
  • As you begin the jump, swing the plates forcefully forward and upward up to head

3 sets

10-14 reps

2nd training program

Medicine Ball Throw

Medicine ball throw is a great exercise for speed, strength, and power, it helps to increase your explosiveness and work your entire body by recruiting triceps, abdomen, shoulders, calves, back, glutes, quads, etc.

  • Stand with your feet at shoulder width by holding a medicine ball with both hands in front of your chest in front of a wall.
  • Lower down into a squat position and push the ball from your chest directly on the wall from the standing position.
  • Catch the ball with both hands on the bounce and repeat.

4 sets

8-10 reps.

Dumbbell Jump Squat

This exercise helps to build explosive strength, increases your explosive power, and burn calories faster compared to regular squats. Also, it increases the ability to transfer energy during ballistic athletic movements.

  • From a standing position with your hands holding dumbbells in each side and get ready to the squat position.
  • Once you reach the bottom position get ready to explosively jump up as fast and as hard as possible by pushing through your heels.
  • Avoid to bend your arms.
  • Land flatly on your feet

4 sets
12 reps

Clean Pull

This exercise boosts your athleticism on any field of play by increasing lower and upper body strength and power.

  • Place the barbell on the floor.
  • Stand in front of the bar with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
  • Squat down and grab the bar firmly.
  • Try to keep the bar close to your body as you do and use your legs to stand up.
  • From the standing position, shrug your shoulders up, pop your hips forward, and raise on your calves.
  • Bend at the knees again and lower the weight back down to the floor.

3 sets

6-8 reps

Long box Jumps

It is a stretch-reflex exercise that helps you become more explosive and powerful.

  • Away from the box, perform a horizontal jump to the box.
  • When you land, jump up onto the box as fast and as hard as possible.
  • Land softly in the middle of the box and stand upright.
  • Reset after each jump.

3-4 sets 3-6 reps.

Kettlebell rotational lunge

This exercise improves your lateral core and general leg strength. It helps to reinforce foot stability also.

  • Stand upright with your feet are shoulder-width apart.
  • Hold a kettlebell with both hands in front of your chest.
  • With the left leg, make a step forward and down into a lunge position.
  • As you lower, twist your upper body in the direction of the right side. Return to the starting position.

3-5 sets

12-15 repetitions (for each side)

3 rd training program

Ravers

This exercise is important for lower body strength especially calves and help getting a good stretch in the muscles.

  • Put the barbell behind your shoulders with one foot forward and the other foot backward.
  • Quickly switch foot positions with a little jump by bending your knees gently.
  • Replace foot positions back and forward quickly and forcefully.

5 sets

8-12 reps

Cleaning from Blocks

This is one of the best exercises that improve the rate of force development and can be a good choice for training speed. For most athletes, starting the lifting off blocks provides the same explosive benefits than the cleans from the floor without exposing your back to injury.

  • Drive the chest up while dropping your hips and looking forward.
  • After jumping straight up explosively, shrug the bar aggressively.
  • When the bar passes your shoulders, make your elbows facing forward by rotating them around the bar.

4 sets

10-12 reps

Explosive Pushup

The Explosive Pushup helps to improve the athletic performance by building strength, speed and endurance. It can help strengthen many of the muscle groups especially in your upper body, including the muscles in your (Chest, abdominals, shoulders, triceps.)

  • In the pushup position with hands in shoulder-width position. Your body should form a straight line through your ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders.
  • Lower body by bending your elbows until your chest nearly touches the floor.
  • Press yourself up explosively so that your hands leave the floor.

3 sets

12 reps

Seated Box Jumps

The seated box jump allows athletes to focus on the explosive only, concentric action of the movement by removing all eccentric loading.

  • Sit on a box facing an elevated platform.
  • Swing your arms back, then swing them forward and shift body weight onto feet to explode up off the ground.
  • Land feet on top of elevated platform then jump back down.

3-4 sets

6-10 reps

Dumbbell Split Jerk

This exercise is used to Increase upper and lower body strength and power (calves, glutes, groin, hamstrings, hip flexors and shoulders) and to improve conditioning state.

  • Hold down at your sides a dumbbell in each hand. Stand with feet about hip-width apart.
  • Move the weight above your shoulders by bringing dumbbells up. Keep your palms facing your head. This is the start position.
  • Squat down slightly and exploding up as you push dumbbells up above your head and split feet apart.
  • Bring dumbbells back down to shoulder height and feet back to hip-width apart.

4-5 sets

6-8 reps

References

  1. Dahab, K. S., & McCambridge, T. M. (2009). Strength training in children and adolescents: raising the bar for young athletes?. Sports Health, 1(3), 223-226.
  2. Behm, D. G., Faigenbaum, A. D., Falk, B., & Klentrou, P. (2008). Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology position paper: resistance training in children and adolescents. Applied physiology, nutrition, and metabolism, 33(3), 547-561.
  3. Faigenbaum, A. D., Kraemer, W. J., Blimkie, C. J., Jeffreys, I., Micheli, L. J., Nitka, M., & Rowland, T. W. (2009). Youth resistance training: updated position statement paper from the national strength and conditioning association. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 23, S60-S79.
  4. Barbieri, D., & Zaccagni, L. (2013). Strength training for children and adolescents: Benefits and risks. Collegium antropologicum, 37(2), 219-225.
  5. Baker D, Newton RU. Adaptations in upper-body maximal strength and power output resulting from long-term resistance training in experienced strength-power athletes. J Strength Cond Res. 2006;20:541–546.
  6. Olsen PD, Hopkins WG. The effect of attempted ballistic training on the force and speed of movements. J Strength Cond Res. 2003;17:291–298.
  7. Buchheit M, Mendez-Villanueva A, Delhomel G, Brughelli M, Ahmaidi S. Improving repeated sprint ability in young elite soccer players: repeated shuttle sprints vs. explosive strength training. J Strength Cond Res. 2010;24:2715– 2722.
  8. Chelly MS, Hermassi S, Shephard RJ. Relationships between power and strength of the upper and lower limb muscles and throwing velocity in male handball players. J Strength Cond Res. 2010;24:1480–1487.
  9. Gorostiaga E, Granados C, Ibanez J, Gonzalez-Badillo JJ, Izquierdo M. Effects of an entire season on physical fitness changes in elite male handball players. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2006;38:357–366.
  10. De Proft, E, Cabri, J, Dufour, W, and Clarys, JP. Strength training and kick performance in soccer players. In: Science and Football. Proceedings of the 1st World Congress of Science and Football. Reilly, T, Lees, A, Davids, K, and Murphy, WJ, eds. London: E & FN SPON, 1988. pp. 108–113.
  11. Jelusic, V, Jaric, S, and Kukolj, M. Effects of the stretch-shortening strength training on kicking performance in soccer players. J Hum Mov Stud 22: 231–238, 1992.
  12. Maffiuletti, N. A., Aagaard, P., Blazevich, A. J., Folland, J., Tillin, N., & Duchateau, J. (2016). Rate of force development: physiological and methodological considerations. European journal of applied physiology, 116(6), 1091-1116.
  13. Increased rate of force development and neural drive of human skeletal muscle following resistance training.Aagaard P, Simonsen EB, Andersen JL, Magnusson P, Dyhre-Poulsen PJ Appl Physiol (1985). 2002 Oct; 93(4):1318-26.