Fighting is all about applying explosive strength and power to your opponent’s chin, but how do you maximise that power? Here are six exercises you can incorporate into your strength and conditioning program to help maximise your explosive power.
Everyone knows that power comes from the ground up and strengthening your posterior chain (the muscles on the back of your body) is essentially how you transfer that power to your strike. Deadlifts are one of the best ways to target your posterior chain, and there’s a ton of different variations that you can incorporate to build a base of strength.
Hip thrusts are similar to deadlifts, in that they target your posterior chain, but they really target the glute muscles, which will give you more power in your kicks and allow you to transfer all the power you generate from your legs into your upper body and your punches. There’s a reason why you see Anthony Joshua doing loads of these in his training videos.
Squats are another great way to build that all important lower body strength, but for an explosive athlete the most important element is powering back to standing. Coming ‘out of the hole’ with speed and power is what will help you develop explosiveness that will transfer to your performance. Simply squat down, pause at the lowest point, and power back to standing.
Clap Press Ups
This exercise really takes it back to basics with the humble press up. It doesn’t really take much explaining technique wise, but adding in a clap forces you to explode upwards and changes a simple exercise into a great polymetric one. Bonus points if you’re doing them with a weighted vest on.
Another straightforward exercise that’s great for building explosive power, box jumps are a staple of a lot of strength and conditioning programs. Again there’s a ton of variations you can do, such as starting from a seated position or carrying a weight in each hand – find the one that works for you and start including it in your program.
Finally we have sled pushes, an exercise that seems simple but absolutely hammers your muscles if you do it right. Pile up the plates on the sled, mark out a 10 metre track and push it at maximum speed, really powering through the whole length of the push. This is great for developing that explosive power you need from your legs – just embrace the burn. This is by no means an exhaustive list of explosive exercises, we haven’t even mentioned olympic style weightlifting, but they’re relatively straightforward and easy to include in a strength and conditioning program. This is also just an exercise suggestion; if you’re unsure about any of the exercises or strength and conditioning as a whole always consult with a professional who can offer you advice.