How To Gain Explosive Power In Martial Arts
In martial arts, explosive power is one of the key elements that fighters strive to achieve. The reason is pretty obvious — if there is enough explosiveness in your movements, you will deliver a knockout blow. Otherwise, you can just make your opponent madder.
What exactly is this explosive power? It refers to the ability to use more force in less time. In martial arts, fighters need to move quickly in order to manipulate their opponents into such positions that will allow them to get the submission. These athletes usually repeat the same movements over and over again because that way the body remembers the patterns, which allows it to react quickly.
Combined with strength, explosiveness gives a fighter all the power he needs during a fight. Have you ever seen those fighters who can break a board with a punch? That’s the kind of power we are talking about here. In other words, releasing maximum muscular force at maximum speed is what defines power. Obviously, to increase power, you will need to work hard on both explosive power and strength. Let’s now focus on the exercises for increasing explosive power.
Let’s Get Down To The Exercises
Besides martial artists, other athletes such as golfers, basketball players, and football / soccer players need explosive power to get advantage over their opponents. Basically, including these exercises into your workout routine will soon allow you to move quickly and hit with more force.
Dumbbell / Kettlebell Snatch
For this exercise, you will need one dumbbell or a kettlebell. Let’s see how to do this exercise. Stand with your hips shoulder-width apart. Grab the dumbbell and hold it in front of you at arm’s length. Slowly bend your knees and hips so that the dumbbell is hanging below your knees. Make sure that you keep your lower back in its natural arch. Then, take a deep breath and extend your knees and hips explosively. At the same time, you need to pull the dumbbell in front of your body and overhead. To do this, you should shrug your shoulders and come on the balls of your feet. Finally, lower the dumbbell down, and this makes one rep. Once you complete all the reps on one side, switch hands and repeat the same procedure on the other side.
Dumbell snatch can help you boost explosive power in your martial arts. Image source (Link)
Push-Up Variations For Explosive Power
Push-ups are a general exercise known for challenging your whole body and building strength. Namely, they engage not only your chest and triceps, but they also challenge your core, shoulders, lower back, lats, glutes, and legs. Push-ups are such a versatile exercise that even slightest modifications in posture or position can hit your muscles from different angles. Thus, there are a couple of variations that are specifically designed to build that explosive power that is necessary for martial arts.
This is a yoga variation of the traditional push-ups. Besides working on your explosive power, this challenging variation of push-ups will increase the flexibility in your shoulders, back, and hamstrings while at the same time, the exercise will sculpt you from head to toe.
To do dive bombers, first get on all four. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart and feet hid-width apart. Then, lift your hips up as far as possible and as it feels comfortable. Your body should resemble an inverted V in this position. Make sure that your arms and legs are straight (the knees should not be locked).
Now comes the tough part. Lower your upper body towards the floor between your hands. It may be easier for you to perform this movement if you imagine that you are sliding under a bar or a fence. Then, flatten yourself out so that your upper body is now parallel to the floor. Drive your head up keeping your hips close to the floor. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders. Look straight ahead. In this position, your back should be arched, your chest up, arms straight, and head up. Remain in this pose for a moment and then do the movement in reverse so that you come to the starting position, i.e. inverted V.
Spartan push-ups do not only challenge a wider area of your chest, but they also increase balance in the entire body as they place a heavier load on one arm.
To do the Spartan push-ups, go to the standard push-up position. Then, place your right hand slightly above the right shoulder whereas your left hand should be slightly below your left shoulder. Make sure to keep your elbows close to your sides. Keeping your core tight, lower your body to the ground. Make a pause when your chest touches the ground. It is important to keep your back flat and hips in alignment all the time throughout the movement. As with regular push-ups, press back to the starting position. After you repeat your set on one side, reverse arm position and repeat the same.
Basically, this is an alternating one-arm push-up. It is also known as the Rocky Balboa push-up. What a cool name, huh? One-arm push-ups improve your stability and, of course, increase your pushing and grip strength.
If you are just starting out with one-arm push-ups, then you may consider using a step, bench, wall, or table. This will make it a lot easier for you because you will do these push-ups on an incline. Then, go to the push-up position but with one hand on the surface. Make sure that your feet are wide apart. Place your other hand against your lower back, hold it tight and tense your entire body.
It will be tough now. Slowly lower your body until you nearly touch the surface or floor with your chest. Your shoulders should be parallel to the ground and twist of the body should be minimal. Explode up to the starting position. After you do all the repetitions on one side, switch arms and do the same. If you choose to begin with a bench or any other sort of elevation, as you progress and gain more strength, lower the elevation until you eventually move to the floor.
Don’t let the simple name mislead you. The plyometric box jumps will target the big muscles in your entire body. Plus, you will improve the reaction time of fast-twitching muscles, and your body will learn how to generate a large amount of force and power from a static position. Let’s see what’s the proper way to do this exercise that increases your explosive power.
Find a raised surface or a sturdy box. Stand shoulder-width apart at a comfortable distance. Then, get your body in the quarter squat position. As you swing your arms, push your feet through the floor so as to launch yourself onto the box. When you land with your both feet on the box, you can straighten your legs. Jump back to the starting position, and this is one repetition. Make sure that you land gently because this decreases the risk of injury. Now, you can immediately do the next rep.