Short, effective workouts (like 10-minute explosive workouts) to improve strength, power and speed are better than long, tiring workouts. Its important to do these exercises when you are fresh to make improvements and avoid injuries.
If you have weak structures supporting your ankles, knees, low back, hips, elbows and shoulders, your power potential will suffer. And, you are headed for avoidable injuries.
Here are some general steps to take to improve your strength, explosive power and speed:
1. Bodyweight and dumbbell exercises are great for stabilizing your joint structures and core. For example, if your right leg is significantly stronger than your left leg, you cannot compensate for the weaker leg. It will cause it to "catch up in strength" to the right leg. These exercises will also prepare your body for heavier weights and intense plyometric and speed exercises.
2. Plyometrics and sport specific exercises are important but only if you have enough strength and joint stability to make these more risky exercises work effectively for you (to improve explosive power).
3. The core muscles are very important in preventing low back pain and stabilizing the shoulder girdle and hip structures. A strong and stable core will maximize your extremity strength (limbs) and explosive power. If your core is weak, you will not effectively transfer power from your legs to your upper body.
A core strengthening program involves using many muscles in a coordinated movement. Rather than isolating specific joints as in most weight lifting exercises, core stability exercises focus on working the deep muscles of the entire torso at once.
4. You can improve the ankle's joint proprioception (position sense) and dynamic joint stability with balance training. Doing one-legged balance exercises will accomplish this goal.
One-leg balancing on foam pads or disks for 4-5 minutes (each leg) is a great exercise. Other great exercises are lunges, single-leg squats, step ups and medicine ball rotations on one leg.
5. You will need to strengthen your knees and ligaments around them. Having strong, stable knee structures will influence how high you can jump. The deep knee bend exercise is good for this purpose.
6. Do your speed training at full speed. Take adequate rest between sprints so you are able to do each repetition with maximum effort. This is the only way to get faster. Rest about 1 minute for each 10 yards sprinted. So, if you sprint for 60 yards, rest about 6 minutes before doing the next repetition.
Work hard and smart to succeed in your sport!
Download your FREE 10-Minute Strength and Power Workouts now!
Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
Your Fitness University
My Fitness Hut
Her Fitness Hut
Sports Fitness Hut
Rapid Fat Loss and Six Pack Abs