Explosive Strength Development for Team Sport Athletes

In sports, speed is often the difference maker between the winners and the losers. It’s important to understand that speed development is achieved through a systematic implementation of training methods on the Speed-Strength Continuum. 

One of the most underrated facets of power development is Explosive Strength. To optimize Explosive Strength, you need to focus the training on Starting Strength and Acceleration Strength.

Starting Strength is defined by the capacity to generate maximal forces at the beginning of the concentric contraction to overcome resistance and initiate movement, while Acceleration Strength is the capacity to develop a continuous rise in force through the concentric contraction once the movement has been initiated. 

Here is an example of a Lower Body session dedicated to improving Explosive Strength on the Squat:

A Squat with Chains 6 x 3-5 40X0 180

B Inertia Squat from Mid Range 5 x 6-8 22X0 150 

C1 DB Front Step-Up 3 x 8-10 1010 60

C2 Safety Bar Goodmorning 3 x 8-10 3010 60 

Notice that the overall volume of the workout is kept relatively low (45-minute session) as the CNS demands of accelerating a load with intent over 11 sets of Squats can become quite challenging. 

The primary lift in the A-series focuses on Acceleration Strength by using Chains for accommodating resistance purposes. The Chains will force the athlete to keep accelerating the load throughout the entire concentric range.

The assistance exercise in the B-series is dedicated at improving Starting Strength. The Inertia Squat starting from mid range is an effective way to work on Starting Strength at a knee angle more specific to sporting actions.

Because the Squat with Chains is from a full range of motion as well as the fastest exercise (relative to the Inertia Squat), it’s important to train it first in the training session when the CNS is fresh to make sure high-threshold motor units are favorably recruited.

Explosive Strength is only one aspect of the entire Speed-Strength spectrum, but dedicating an entire Mesocycle at training this skill will go a long way at improving the power output of any athlete.

Want to learn more about Sports Performance? Check out our Sports Specific Training Camp!

The strategies covered in this Camp are very technical and apply most specifically to team sport athletes. The student will learn how to program every aspect of sports performance from the assessment process to exercise selection and training methods. The attendees will also learn how to periodize every facet of the training period, from the off-season to the in-season to better the performance of each individual athlete...

Stephane CazeaultComment