Thursday, November 10, 2011

Building Explosive Power through Drop Squats

A key component to building explosive power is teaching all your muscle groups to work together—cooperating and firing at the proper time to ensure maximum transfer of energy to it’s final destination, whether that be a punch, a kick, a successful vault or jump. Here is an excellent exercise you may want to incorporate into your training regime.

Drop Squat with Jump. 
You will want to practice the Drop Squat with a light 35lbs or 45lbs bar (or lighter depending on your strength), until you get the feel for it before adding the jump.

  1. Begin by placing a bar or kettle bell in front of you on the floor. 
  2. Take a wide stance (6" wider than shoulder width), and squat down sitting on your heels keeping your back as straight as possible with your head up. 
  3. Grasp the bar using a wide grip, or the kettle bell on the outside of the handle. 
  4. Now clean the bar, or lift the kettle bell, to the shoulders just under your chin. Be sure to drive from your heels up through your hips, keeping your back as straight as possible and head up.
  5. From this position, do not press the weight overhead but maintain it at your standing shoulder level as you drop your body down to a squat position sitting on your heels, back straight, head up and weight now overhead. It is extremely important you do not press the weight overhead, rather drop your body down. 
  6. From this position you will stand back up, keeping the weight overhead. 
  7. Once standing, lower the weight back to the floor and repeat.
Adding the Jump
  1. Once you have mastered the technique, place a box (6–8” high x 40” long x 24” deep) just in front of the bar/kettle bell. 
  2. Perform the Drop Squat, however this time explode out of the bottom position after the drop, jumping onto the box. Remember to drive from your heels up through the hips maintaining a straight back with head up all the while keeping the weight overhead. 
  3. Step off the box and repeat. Start with just five or six repetitions. You may add weight to the bar, use a heavier kettle bell, or use a higher box as you get stronger. 
  4. Three or four sets with a 1½- to 2-minute rest in between will be adequate. 

Be aware that any physical activity brings with it the risk of injury. If in doubt, find a competent trainer well versed in this technique to assist you. Perform at your own risk.