It's crucial to work on building strength from within, so that you can have the power to conquer any goals you set forth for yourself. For anyone to generate explosive power in their movements, whether it's in sports or through general physical conditioning, you must have strength. Where does strength come from? Strength stems from the "core," which essentially starts from the feet all the way up to the head.
According to Beverly Hills orthopedic surgeon Dr. Raj:
Strength is defined as one's ability to resist force -- more particularly, one's ability to slow the progression of osteoporosis and other degenerative joint diseases as they age. While genetics should be considered, if you choose the right training program, then you can attain your highest strength potential, which will reduce the risk of falling, which causes fractures. Falls are one of the leading causes of death in people over the age of 65. With the appropriate training program in place, a person can improve strength, balance, flexibility, and power, which will ultimately decrease their risk of falling and preserve their overall strength as they get older.
If you are strong, then you can generate power. The entire body acts in unity through building strength from the core outward, and you can do so much more physical work and sustain power output with a decreased risk of injury, when executed correctly. The workout below is a strength to power workout with the strength exercises containing external load (through one's body weight or external resistance) followed by a power exercise which includes explosive movements using the fast twitch muscle fibers.
Do each super set twice. The strength exercise is done for 10 reps and the power exercise is done for five reps. My recommendation is to do all the exercises first and then repeat your second set after going through each exercise once.
Pushups to Burpees
Strength Exercise: Pushups
Starting on your hands and toes in plank position (option to drop to the knees) position your hands a tad wider than shoulder distance apart. Looking down at the ground, keeping length in the spine, slowly bend your elbows to ninety degrees while keeping your abdominals engaged. Be sure to bring your hips down with your chest as you lower. Exhale your breath as you pushup. The more you engage all your muscles in the body, the less pressure you will feel in your shoulders and wrists.
Power Exercise: *Burpees
Starting in a standing position, crouch down carefully to place your hands on the ground. Either step both feet back or jump both feet back simultaneously, landing in plank position with your elbows slightly bent. Lower all the way down to the ground allowing your belly to touch the ground. Push yourself all the way back up to a plank. Either jump or step your feet back to your hands. Sit back into your heels as you come to a standing position and either jump up to the sky, or simply reach your arms up. That is one repetition.
Lunges to Jump Lunges
Strength Exercise: Lunges (Ladies=10 lbs+ Gentlemen=15 lbs+)
Holding dumbbells at your sides, with your legs hip distance apart, step your left foot all the way back until your right knee tracks over your right ankle. Tuck your hips under so that your entire trunk is perpendicular to the ground. Lower down to the ground bending both the front and back legs to a ninety degree angle. Stand up, with the option to do a biceps curl. Switch sides.
Power Exercise: Jump Lunges
Without weights, start in the same position as the lunges. Be sure that your stance is wide enough (length wise) so that you can reach down to the floor with your front knee tracking directly over the ankle. If your knee is beyond the ankle, then step your back foot further back. Once you're in position, jump up and switch your legs so that whatever foot started in front is now in back and the back foot is forward. Repeat for a total of six reps, three reps per side.
Iso-Squat Row to Power Jacks
Strength Exercise: Iso-Squat Row (Ladies=8 lbs+ Gentlemen=12 lbs+):
Starting in a squat position, with your hips back and knees tracking straight and over the ankles, position your upper body to a forty five degree angle to the ground. Keep your gaze at the ground which will keep your spine in neutral. Once you are in position, bring your elbows up to your side body squeezing your shoulder blades together in your back. The only part of your entire body moving is your shoulder and elbow joints as you pull your arms tight into your body. Squeeze your shoulder blades together in your back as if to squeeze a pencil. Exhale on the lift, inhale on the return.
Power Exercise: *Power Jacks
Instead of your ordinary jumping jacks, do power jacks. While a jumping jack has your feet landing on the ground as your clap your hands overhead, a power jack has your feet off the ground as you clap your hands overhead. If you have any knee issues and cannot jump, then simply choose one of the other power exercises to repeat during this set.
High and Low Bow to Mountain Climbers
Strength Exercise: High and Low Bow
Adopted directly from yoga practice, this total body move requires a lot of core strength. Start seated with your feet on the ground, grab underneath your legs with both hands. Once you feel balanced on your sit bones (not your tailbone), then remove your hands from under your legs and balance for a moment. An option is to bring your forearms to the ground for balance while maintaining the movement of the exercise. Curl and round your spine as you extend your legs out keeping your hands at your sides. With the strength of your core, pull yourself back to a seated position with your feet remaining off the ground.
Power Exercise: *Mountain Climbers
Flip your body over to start in plank position. Stack your shoulders over your wrists and balance on your hands and feet. Firm your hands to the ground and keep your arms strong, with your elbows slightly bent. Keep your abdominals engaged. Start slowly by bringing your right knee into your chest, and as it returns back, bring your left knee into your chest. Once you embody the movement, speed it up to make it the power exercise that it is.
*video demonstration is provided via hyperlink
Photo Credits: Ron Smith
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