Let’s Talk Explosiveness
Often confused with acceleration and pace, explosiveness is the ability to rapidly change direction and burst into a top speed. Acceleration and explosiveness are really similar to each other. Whilst acceleration is the process of getting into top gear, explosiveness is the rapid change of direction.
They both share the similarity, when it comes to importance however. Every player on the pitch needs to have an adequate level of both acceleration and explosiveness to compete at the highest level.
Why Explosiveness is So Important
Explosiveness propels you in new directions. Many times in soccer you are in need to change direction, especially when playing in the center of the park. Doing so effectively and efficiently can bring many benefits to your game and make you stand out as a result.
The burst and the power can be the difference between beating your man or getting in reach to make that last ditch tackle. Sure speed and acceleration are crucial parts to the game, but without that lower body drive and quick change of direction, your movements can be ineffective and can bring the level of your game down. Take top-level athletes like Ronaldo for an example. Ronaldo’s quick burst of power is key for him in order to beat defenders and accelerate away. Messi has explosive power as well and is evident as his ability to rapidly change direction allows him to go on solo runs.
Have explosive power also means developing your fast-twitch muscle fibers. These fibers are the muscles that allow you to have these quick bursts of pace and quick movements.
How to Train Explosiveness in the Gym
Training explosiveness in the gym is arguably the better if not the best way of training the fast-twitch muscle fibers. In soccer, of course the lower body muscles are going to propel you more than your upper body muscles but training both is key as your upper body can aid the momentum caused by your lower body.
Here are a couple of exercises to help improve lower body power.
- Front Squats
- Back Squats
- Hack Squats
- Body weight Squats
- Dead lifts
- Conventional Deadlifts
- Single Leg Dead lifts
- Sumo Dead lifts
- Box Jumps
- Good Mornings
- Stiff Leg Dead lifts
To improve upper body power, here are some exercises.
- Overhead Shoulder Presses
- Bench Press/Incline Bench Press
- T-Bar Row
- Barbell Rows
- Lateral Pull-Downs
Remember, in order to train explosiveness, you need to be doing these exercises with power and with good form.
If you find yourself needing a gym workout, click here to access my gym routine.
Train Explosiveness Outside the Gym
It’s very simple to train power outside the gym area. Practicing rapid movements outside of the gym can make it more game-realistic and you can practice the technique of these movements to make them more effective and efficient.
Here are some easy and quick drills to practice your power output. You will need a open space.
- Vertical Jumps
- Broad Jumps
- Agility Ladder Exercises
- Rope Jumping
- Quick, 10 yard bursts
- Hill Sprints
- Short, Zig-Zag Sprints
- Hurdle Jumps
- Jumping Lunges
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