Developing an Explosive Workout

Gio JL

Explosive power is a skill we need for life, It is the core of functional fitness. As human beings we are hard wired to do things short and fast. Think about things like swinging, kicking, sprinting and throwing they are all movements we have evolved to do and are necessary in everyday tasks and sports…..

Here is a guide to developing an explosive routine in the gym and with body weight in order to get your fast twitch muscle fibers built up and ready to go!

Explosive in the GYM

In the gym you have a load to work with when developing an explosive workout. The first thing I would do is aim to keep the workout under 20 minutes as it is going to be very taxing on your nervous system so don’t push too hard.

– Squats: Start your workout with some squats, don’t go heavy and keep form strict. You can choose either front squats or regular squats. Aim for 6-10 reps with the positive part of the movement being explosive and the negative being slower. Explode as fast as you can while maintaining good form and do the negative at a steady pace. As soon as your reps slow down rack the bar and do as many Air Squats as you can.

– Military Press: This is the second movement and it should be done in a similar fashion to the squats. Exploding on the outward (positive) and lowering slowly until your speed drops. Make sure you pick a weight that is fairly light as you want to maintain tight form. Remember this is about developing the explosiveness and not lifting a heavy weight. For a video demoing the form check here………

Its a great exercise and can be done with dumbbells, Kettlebells or a barbell. Again like the squats once you slow down with your first weight pick up something really light and practice some explosive shoulder presses with little or no weight to finish off the fast twitch muscles.

– Jumping Pullups: These are a great explosive movement to work your lats, rear delts and really just give you that edge on pulling movements. I reccomend these even if you can do normal pullups as the extra jump really helps develop the explosivity. Again explode up and lower yourself slowly. For this exercise the reps aren’t too important just stop once your explosive power has depleted and work on 1-2 slow negative chin-ups.

Video for form, click here………

Cool so thats it for the gym, aim for a few sets of each exersise (2-4) and thats all you need. Your whole body will have been worked hard by this routine and you may feel a different type of soreness so be prepared!

Explosive with no Equipment

Outdoors you have a huge complex of movements that can make your body weight alone. It just takes a bit of imagination and away you go……

Just make sure you warm up, maybe do go for a short run 1K will do and do some pushups and body weight squats to get things moving.

– Sprints: This is the best way to start a workout outdoors. A few sets of these will get the body firing and ready to move. For a comprehensive guide on sprinting check out my article here…..

– Plyo Pushups: These are great for developing explosive power in your chest, triceps and shoulders. They also work on stabilizing your abs and quads so you will get a full body workout. Again shoot for as many reps as you can until your speed slows down and you lose your “spring”


– Ledge Jumps: These are pretty simple but a very effective exercise. They are basically the same as box jumps except you will need to find a ledge of an appropriate height to jump up to. Explode up onto the ledge with both feet and repeat for as many reps as you can. Once the ledge becomes too easy try something higher…..

Well that’s it for an outdoor workout. Again that comb of 3 exercises will hit your entire body. Aim for 2-4 sets of each and keep your rests fairly short to keep the intensity up.

Benefits All Round

You will find that by practicing explosive workouts once or twice a week you will become far more efficient in many tasks and especially the sports you play which require short, sharp burst of energy…….

Give one of these workouts a try this weekend and see how you cope!

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