When you think of explosive power, your first thought is likely of sprinters or strongmen who need to move a weight (or themselves) from point A to point B as quickly as they can. But building explosive power won’t just make you faster or stronger, it will also help you build more lean muscle mass in less time. That’s because the quicker and harder you can contract a muscle, the more weight you can lift, and the more tension you can place upon it both during the concentric (lifting) part of a rep as well as the eccentric (lowering) part too. Fortunately, improving your explosiveness is simple. Try this five-move workout that requires just one bit of kit – a medicine ball – to fire up your muscles and build the explosive speed and power that will transform your training and performance, as well as your physique.
RECOMMENDED: Medicine Ball Exercises
How to do this workout
This workout has five moves. The first four moves are paired in supersets. Do all five reps of move 1A, rest for 10sec, then do all five reps of 1B, then rest for 60sec. Repeat this for five sets, then move on to moves 2A and 2B and follow the same pattern. The final move is performed as a straight set. Focus on keeping your abs, lower back and glutes engaged for every rep of every set to keep your body stable and improve power transfer between your upper and lower body.
Pick a med ball at a weight that allows you to perform all the exercises explosively – the main aim here is to develop speed.
Sets 5 Reps 5 Rest 10sec
How Bend at the hips to lower the ball. Stand and raise it, then return to the start position quickly.
Why Moving the ball from in between your legs to over your head requires explosive power.
Progression Hold yourself in the bottom position for one second.
Sets 5 Reps 5 Rest 60sec
How Get in a press-up position with your hands on the ball. Lower, then press back up quickly.
Why The ball’s instability works your core hard, and you must press explosively to return to the start.
Progression Slamming the ball into the floor then catching it will force more abs muscle fibres into action.
2A Squat jump throw
Sets 5 Reps 5 Rest 10sec
How Squat down, then stand up quickly and launch the ball up. Catch it on its way down.
Why It requires significant force to jump up off the ground and launch the ball skywards.
Progression At the bottom of the move, thrust your legs behind you and perform a press-up on the ball.
Sets 5 Reps 5 each side Rest 60sec
How Hold the ball in one hand, then pivot your hips to launch it towards a wall or partner.
Why You must generate explosive power from your heels to your hand to propel the ball forward.
Progression Increase the reps to ten per hand in each set to push your muscles harder.
3 Crunch swap
Sets 4 Reps 10-12 Rest 60sec
How Start with the ball behind your head. Crunch up and put it between your knees. Keep your heels off the floor for the duration of the set to keep your lower abs engaged and work your muscles harder
Why Moving the ball between your hands and knees fires up your core muscles to move the ball.
Progression Use a heavier ball to increase the workload on your abs muscles.