Increasing Power to Excel in other Sports

Ever walk into a gym over in the dark, seldom used area where the chalk is and see someone doing power lifting moves? You say to you self, “Hmmm they don’t look like an Olympic athlete, so I wonder why they’d be performing those moves.”  POWER!! My friends. They are generating POWER!

Maximizing power production and remaining injury free is a top priority for athletes of all levels in a wide range of sports. Power is Important in baseball, to hit that ball out of the park, or in football to explode off the line or even in boxing and more recently MMA fighting also. Where do you think that this power is generated from? Many of you might think that a punch or a swing is only upper body strength, well… you are wrong!  You will be surprised to know that a one punch knockout is generated through violent hip extension, or the forward throwing of your hips, as well as torso rotation (turning the shoulders to follow through on the punch).

It’s my opinion that Olympic lifting (power/hang cleans, power/hang snatch) is probably the best way to train your hips to accelerate into full extension and then stabilize back to base. The barbell snatch specifically is my favorite of the two. The lift itself requires you to powerfully throw your hips forward in order to accelerate the bar to a locked out overhead squat position. In addition to the explosive hip extension, explosive hip flexion is equally important because without it you will not be able to receive and stabilize the bar overhead. We are essentially training two modalities here. Not to mention the shoulder stability that is being worked from holding the weight up. I think the snatch is one of the best power exercise because of the distance the bar must travel in order for the lift to be completed. Thus strength through speed is our foundation for maximizing total body power production.

Regardless if you are wrestling an opponent to the floor or hitting that home run , powerful hips are the key. They are the generators for delivering that one punch knockout power as well as that out of the ballpark swing. Power can be developed from exercises that use medicine balls and even resistance bands. Two of my favorites include: the medicine ball rotational throw and the band push, pull combo. The rotational toss requires you to load through the hips with the ball on the outside hip, then all at once finish with an explosive hip extension and torso rotation to throw the ball across the body and into the wall.

 

The band push, pull combo use two bands attached in front and behind you. I like to use this to train speed in the transverse plane (rotational space) while standing, as well as getting the heart rate up. Basically the bands are continuously pulled and pressed simultaneously, mimicking punches and emphasizing hip, hand, and rotational power production.

 

 

These are just a few of my favorite power producing exercises for sports like baseball, and boxing. Give them a try.

 

 

 

 

 

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