Build Explosiveness

Build Explosiveness

Before you begin your development of explosiveness, you should first have a good 2 - 3 months of strength training under your belt, especially for the lower body.
Strength training for the lower body includes squats, both front & back, lunges (forward & side), glute - ham raises, romanian deadlifts, and leg presses. These movements will stress the ankle, knee and hip joints, which play a HUGE part in building explosiveness.
Using isometric contractions in different positions of the squat and then exploding upward will help your body to adapt to explosive training. This also can be used in the bench press. By using isometrics, and visualizing positions and angles that are close to your sports movement, will aid in giving you the edge.

Leg Explosiveness

To build leg explosiveness you should train appropriately for the specifics of your sport(s) and the level you participate at. For example, if you are sprinter, you can do double leg and single leg hops. In these exercises you jump forward as quickly as possible, striving to keep the amount of time your feet are in contact with the ground as short as possible. If you are involved in sports such as volleyball and basketball, you do more stationary power jumping, using a double leg take-off. In this exercise you jump up as high as possible, reaching upward with your arms. If you are involved in a sport such as long jumping, then you can do bounding, which, in essence, is multiple hopping (like a kangaroo) for maximum distance. Use a double leg and single leg take-off. Repeat 5-7 times.
As you execute some of the specialized strength work, you can also begin jumping, but at a moderate rate and without great intensity. Some of the more effective exercises are as follows:

Change in Direction Jumps

After developing confidence in your ability to do these jump exercises, you can then begin doing some jumps with changing directions. Some of the exercises that you can do are as follows:

Altitude Jumps

Begin altitude jumps from about 5' - 7' and gradually work up to 6' - 9'. One way you can guage at which height you should be jumping is to look at the amount of flexion in the knee joint. If it gets less than 90 degrees, your jump height is too high. It is most effective if your kness bend very little to absorb the force of landing. You must not jump from such a height that it becomes necessary to descend into a full-squat position upon landing. You can begin doing depth jumps at this stage in your training. However, altitude jumps are NOT a prerequisite to depth jumps. You may wish to begin depth jumps right away without first doing altitude jumps. Here are some important guidelins for depth jumping:

Jumping with Weights

Jump exercises with weights can also be done at this time (and some even earlier). For example, hold dumbbells in the hands and do squat jumps for 8 - 10 reps, 2 - 3 sets. You can also do split squats with our without dumbbells in the heands or barbell ob thge shoulders. The key in these two exercises is to jump as quickly and as high as possible. If holding wieghts in the hands or on the shoulders is not comfortable you can hang weights on the waist or wear a weighted belt.
If you are involved in the long jump or high jump, you can execute 5 - 7 take-offs while moving forward, imitating the take-off in the long jump or the high jump.
If you are a sprinter and wish to improve running speed for a short distance of up to 40 yards (or a football player who is tested in this event), you can do short, fast jumps with the take-off on one or both legs and variants of the triple and quintuple jumps from place. In the "short" jumps the exercises are executed with maximum take-off power. Soviet research has shown that the "short" jumps substantially improve running speed for short distances up to 40 yards. (Hint to all power, i.e, football, hockey, athletes) Long jumps help improve running speed in longer distances and also on shorter distances started from a walk. In the short jumps you have the ability to improve starting acceleration while in the "long" jumps you raise the level of specialized speed-strength endurance and maximum running speed.
If you wish to develop both starting acceleration and your level of sped-strength endurance, you should do both long and short jump exercises. If doing both short and long jump exercises in one session, the "short" jumps should precede the "long" jumps.
In executing the jump exercises to improve sprinting speed, the lower leg should move forward smoothly and the landing should be on the ball of the foot. It should not be a hitting placement, but instead the foot should be placed on the ground resiliently and immediately begin with a pawing action. The jumps are executed on a low trajectory with arm action synchronized with the leg movement.

Explosive Arms

In general, the same progression is used for explosive arms as it is for explosive legs. First, you must begin with an all-round strength training for the shoulders and arms. Thus, for the upper body you should do exercises such as bench press, overhead presses, incline and decline presses, lateral arm raises, medial shoulder joint rotation, bicep curls, tricep extensions, supinations-pronations, ulna and radial flexion, and finger flexion.
It is difficult to bring out examples of specialized exercises for the upper body since each sport has its own particular coordination and basic movements. If you are a shot putter, a more specialized exercise would be incline presses as opposed to the regular bench press. If you are a thrower, you would do more medial shoulder joint rotation with the upper arm in line with the shoulder, forearm perpendicular to the upper arm. If you are a baseball batter, you would do more reverse flyes and ulna flexion of the wrist joint together with triceps extension.
After getting a strong muscular base from these exercises, you can do combination exercises such as an isometric hold followed by an initial explosion in the beginning position. For example, when doing the bench press, hold the barbell close to your chest for a count of 5 and then maximally explode to raise the barbell. However, make sure the weight is heavy enough so that when you explode the bar will be slowing down and stop as your arms come to full extension. To ensure that your arm is not moving explosively or very fast near the end of the range of motion, you should think of short, quick explosions.
In addition, to develop more speed you can execute the exercises at a faster rate of execution but always with the barbell coming to a stop or being quickly reversed near the end of the range of motion. After this, you will be ready for "jumping" with the arms.

"Jumping" With the Arms

This can be done in several ways as follows:

Depth Jumps

The depth jumps can also be done with a partner holding your feet. Assume a push-up position with a partner holding your feet and your hands on a box with the shoulders directly above. Jump down from the box, land, and immediately explode upward. Your partner keeps your legs up high enough so your body does not hit the box. The boxes should not be so high that your body makes contact as you drop down.

Medicine Ball Exercises

The catching and throwing of medicine balls can also be used to develop arms and upper body explosiveness. Some of the exercises that can be done are as follows:

You can also use medicine balls to duplicate the isometric contraction and then an explosion. For example, hold a heavy medicine ball over and behind your head. Hold for 5 seconds and then throw upward and forward as forcefully as possible. The same can be done holding the ball in a sidearm, underhand, or 3/4 arm position.