The Muscular Power Development

Muscular power is a fitness component that combines speed and strength. In sports, athletes who are strong and move quickly show good power fitness. Examples include football players, sprinters, and throwers. These athletes generate a high level of force over short distances in the fastest possible time.

Power alone is not enough for most athletes. Acceleration is key--moving faster and faster until reaching maximum speed.

Football Power Positiion

Coordination also plays a role in generating greater power to build to maximum acceleration because all of the athlete's body parts must contribute in just the right sequence.

The vertical jump is one of the most popular field tests of power and acceleration. Top Olympic weightlifters are among the highest vertical jumpers of all athletes.

The pulling phase of the clean and snatch is almost identical to the vertical jump, so the transfer of training to sports that require explosiveness is high.

Power Clean High Pull

But errors in lifting technique limit the benefits of these explosive lifts on vertical jumping.

Strategic Weight Training for High Performance Athletes shows how athletes can learn correct technique to generate more power and acceleration for sports using both heavier resistances and lighter variations of the clean and jerk and the snatch used in Olympic weightlifting competition.

Athletes should always include a solid regimen of core exercises when training to develop muscular power. Core stability involves strengthening the trunk with exercises that combine three primary ranges of motion: flexion/extension, side-bending, and rotation.

Muscular Power Development Tips

1. Warm up properly to ensure that exercises can be performed through a full range of motion and to prevent injuries.

2. Perform coordinated, explosive exercises before slow, heavy exercises or isolation exercises.

3. Include cleans, split jerks, and similar high velocity exercises to optimize explosive development.

4. Emphasize slow-to-fast rhythms using correct form.

5. Rest 2-5 minutes between sets to foster highly explosive efforts on each set.

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