by: Brandon Richey
3 Exercises For An Explosive Upper Body…
Strength has many faces and when it comes down to putting some boots to asses such as the way a fighter needs to be able to do when the bell rings then this means you need a special kind of strength from time to time. You need speed strength.
Explosive Upper Body…
In the realm of athletic competition strength coaches such as myself work hard to address the needs of every athlete or regular old fitness junkie. The process comes from looking at what variables their respective sport or competition demands of them and from these demands we derive a program, or plan of action for getting them prepared for what lies ahead.
If you are like me and enjoy being able to maintain a certain “explosive element” within the scope of your own movement and strength arsenal then you’re going to love this little post. The bottom line is that we all love to be strong, but being strong is one thing and being strong and fast is another!
This is why I want to talk about a killer combination of exercises that you can incorporate into your strength and conditioning program to help you to ramp up the speed element of your upper body for greater hand speed and overall reaction time.
If you are looking to move better and to enhance your ability to tee off on either hitting a golf ball, a baseball, or another opponent inside the octagon then you’ve got to be able to enhance your ability of thoracic rotation. Rotational motion is crucial in performing these physical skills and some good ‘ole rotational medicine ball slams will help you to sharpen this very thing.
Just keep in mind that I was performing this with a sand filled ball which had very little bounce. This drill can also be performed with a medicine ball that does bounce and throws can be done further away from the wall. Also make sure to stand tall and to pivot the front foot to effectively execute the throw.
Another great exercise to help give your arms some pop involves performing some plyometric push ups. Plyometrics train your body to produce rapid muscular contractions through a mechanism known as the Stretch Shortening Cycle (SSC). It essentially trains your body’s nervous system to respond in a more rapid manner such as you would need to have in an athletic scenario like blocking, throwing a punch, or dunking a basketball. Plyometric push ups are a fantastic drill to help you acquire an effective SSC for the upper body.
The following video with me demonstrating these should make more sense. You’ll definitely finish your set of push ups a lot faster too. This video is only about 18 seconds so don’t blink!
As you can see these would really add a nice POP to the equation.
Another great method for adding to your upper body explosiveness is with more medicine ball slams. I know I’ve already mentioned the rotational slams in the first exercise, but for this one I want to talk about executing some one arm slams with a rubber bounce medicine ball. With these you want to be able to throw the ball with force and catch it with one arm to immediately throw it again. Check these out.
As you can see these promote speed/explosion, reaction time, and hand/eye coordination. These are all traits that would benefit most any athlete. You can perform these with a medicine ball between 6 and 10 lbs. Heavier doesn’t necessarily mean better because you want to be challenged, but at the same time you want to be able to perform the movement fast. Fast is what we WANT!
I hope you enjoyed today’s post and please add these drills to your program and let me know what you think. Just remember that you only want to perform between 5 and 7 reps on most of these and make sure you do them in a safe environment. Remember that you want to steer clear of those numb-nuts that would want to walk right into your line of fire after you start throwing the balls in these drills.
If you enjoyed today’s post please feel free to leave your questions and comments in the box below this article. In addition to that if you are interested in more direct training strategies and tactics then I want to urge you to subscribe (for FREE) to become one of my BRF members! All you have to do to sign up is click here. Remember that most anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart.
3 Exercises For An Explosive Upper Body…