Every athlete wants more strength and more power. Today, we’ll teach you the difference AND reveal the fastest way to build elite-level POWER for full body explosiveness! Before you begin developing these game-changing abilities, it is important to know the difference between strength and power, two words that are often confused and misused. Let’s start with strength, or the ability to generate as much force as possible without time being considered. Power, on the other hand, is the ability to generate as much force as you can, as fast as possible. The equation for Power is actually P = F/t, where P = Power, F = Force, and t = time.
Here’s another way to think about it:
Let say you can lift 400 pounds. And let’s say I can also lift 400 pounds. We’re producing the same force, so our strength is equal. But let’s say you need 2 seconds to complete that 400 pound, while I only needed 1 second. Using the equation above, I am more powerful since it took me HALF the time it took you to produce the same amount of force. (400lbs/2sec = 200lbs/sec VS. 400lbs/1sec = 400lbs/sec) My power output is TWICE yours!
Like we said in the beginning strength and power are two different attributes – and BOTH need to be maximized if you want to dominate at the highest level!
INCREASE YOUR POWER TODAY
One of the fastest ways to increase your power, is to train with ballistic movements – movements that teach rapid and constant acceleration. The most well known example is the medicine ball – throws, slams, chops, etc all teach your body to produce force as rapidly as possible AND to continue to do so throughout the entire range of motion. They are a great training tool for athletes who need to learn how to transfer their bodyweight into an object over and over again – think tackling, hitting a ball, punching, kicking, absorbing contact in the paint…in other words, EVERY ATHLETE NEEDS THIS!
My favorite training moves involve triple extension and triple flexion as these movements train the body to work as one unit, maximizing power output!
Triple extension – a position where the 1) hips, 2) knees, and 3) ankles are fully extended
Triple flexion – a position where the 1) hips, 2) knees, and 3) ankles are fully flexed.
The ability to transfer from the triple flexion to triple extension as quickly and explosively as possible is the goal when performing the two types of power based medicine ball exercises; throws and slams. Read that again – the magic happens when the transfer occurs as rapidly as possible! This is called the amortization phase (nerd-talk) and it’s the breif period between going down and coming up (from eccentric to concentric or lower to lifting). The faster (shorter time) the amortization phase, the greater the power output.
A throw will consist of your body starting in the triple flexion position with your arms slightly bent, and ending in the triple extension position with your arms straight, with all of the force you have generated being transferred directly into the ball. On the other hand, a slam is when you will start in a triple extension position with your arms straight, and end in a triple flexion position with your arms bent slightly. As with a throw, when performing a slam you will be transferring all of the power you have generated into the medicine ball.
There are several different variations of a medicine ball throw, and some of the more commonly used ones are:
When you are executing throws in any direction, make sure to try and get the ball as far from you as possible. With slams, imagine trying to actually slam the ball into the ground so hard that the ball breaks. If you do break the ball, CONGRATS – You WON! Well done give yourself a pat on the back. Now go get a stronger ball and keep training!
Think of using your body in a whip like fashion with the ‘crack’ of the whip being where the ball is released with the most amount of power going into it. I have found that medicine balls for power can be used in either the activation phase and the final portion of the workout after the main strength move. With a medicine ball you can be as powerful and explosive as you want and have it all unloaded into a resilient object over and over again. Without using a medicine ball with these movements it is the equivalent of ‘dry firing’ a bow and the force has nowhere to go! So add medicine balls exercises to your routine and learn to ‘load’ and ‘unload’ your hips as powerfully as possible which in the end will make you more powerful!
***This post was written by HOS Coach Tyler Perdue. A former athlete himself, Tyler is now sharing knowledge like this with the best athletes in Roanoke and helping them make their athletic dreams become a reality! If you want more from Tyler, let us know by clicking the “LIKE” this post button below! ***