• Oliver Cunningham

How to Build Strength and Power With Explosive Training

Explosive training is a style of exercise that combines strength and speed to increase overall power output. While most commonly utilized with high-level, explosive-style athletes (football, rugby, hockey, and track-and-field), this style of training can be highly beneficial for everyone. It not only helps build protective tissue and muscle, but it’ll help any athlete who needs to generate quick bursts of power and speed (court sports, cycling, OCR).

The kinds of exercises used to build explosive power are movements that require a maximum or near-maximum power output in a short amount of time. Since being explosive requires moving quickly, it’s important to start with lighter weights and more controlled movements. To minimize risk, the weight you choose, and the speed at which you move should be increased over time (many weeks and many training sessions).

Here are several explosive exercises you can try adding to your workout if you’re trying to build strength and power. With most of these exercises, I recommend starting with a weight that’s between 10 and 20 percent of your body weight. As you build strength and confidence, you can move up in weight and increase your movement speed.

Explosive Box Squat w/ Power Step (beginner)

2-3 sets of 6-8 reps

Explosive Seated Jump Power Step (beginner)

2-3 sets of 4-6 reps

Explosive DB Step-Up (beginner)

2-3 sets of 8-10 reps per side

Plyo Step-Ups (intermediate)

2-3 sets of 6-8 reps per side

Dumbbell Squat Jumps - Noncontinuous (intermediate)

2-3 sets of 6-8 reps

Dumbbell Squat Jumps - Continuous (advanced)

2-3 sets of 6-8 reps

Split Stance DB Jump - Noncontinuous (advanced)

2-3 sets of 3-5 reps per side