Top 5 Explosive Upper Body Exercises
Top 5 Explosive Upper Body Exercises
If you're looking in increase your explosive power and athlete performance, add these exercises to your workouts.
While the lower body is of the utmost importance to athletes who want to run faster, jump higher and be more explosive, a powerful upper body is extremely important for combat athletes and others who require hand speed, upper body power, and, well, just want to look better at the beach.
Think about a football lineman blocking a defensive end coming off the line of scrimmage or a wrestler trying to avoid a compromising position. Or an MMA fighter in the second round looking for a takedown. Or even a baseball player looking to improve his power numbers. Upper body power is important for all of these athletes and so many more. So without further ado here are my top 5 explosive upper body exercises that will help take your game, and your body composition, to the next level.
Plyo push-ups is a great way to improve upper body pressing power. In addition to sport performance benefits, plyo push-ups are a great way to help improve your bench press.
- Assume a push-up position on the ground
- Lower your chest towards the ground
- Explosively push off the ground as fast as you can
- Catch yourself and repeat
Medicine Ball Kneeling Chest Throw
Medicine ball exercises are an excellent way to improve rate of force development for athletes. The kneeling chest throw has no deceleration phase, which will improve explosive power in the upper body and hips.
- Start in the tall kneeling position w/ the medicine ball at chest level
- Push your hips back & then explode your hips forward
- Throw the ball as hard as you can
- Land in a push-up position
- Reset and repeat
Medicine Ball Push Pass
Medicine ball exercises are an excellent way to improve rate of force development for athletes. The medicine ball push pass is a great full body exercise that requires a lot of upper body power. This throw is the ultimate test of upper body pressing power.
- Start in an athletic stance with the medicine ball at chest height
- Push your hips back and then explode your hips forward
- Throw the ball as far as you can
Rotational Medicine Ball Throw
Medicine ball exercises are an excellent way to improve rate of force development for athletes. Not only can they be performed on the sagital plane, but they are also a great way to incorporate other planes of motions. If the medicine ball push pass is the ultimate test of upper body pressing power than rotational medicine ball throws are the king of rotational power.
- Start in an athletic stance with your lead hip facing the wall
- Hold the medicine ball like you are trying to crush it and by your back shoulder
- Recoil your lead hip internally and explosively throw the ball by internally rotating your back hip
Medicine Ball Slam
Medicine ball slams are a great exercise because they can be used to develop upper body power or aid in fat loss. Unlike the other exercises on this list, medicine ball slams will build power and explosiveness throughout the lats.
- Start by holding a medicine ball with your arms extended overhead
- Explosively slam the medicine ball down into the ground
- Make sure you drop your hips and maintain a neutral spine throughout
- Catch the ball around shoulder/face level and repeat
With all these exercises it’s important to make sure each rep is done as explosively as possible. Perform multiple sets (3-6 sets) and stay within a rep range that allows you to stay explosive throughout (typically 3-6 reps). More reps than that trains power endurance and not pure explosive strength so make sure to keep the sets short. But no matter what you do, be sure to give these exercises.ShareThis
About the Author
Joe Meglio is a strength & conditioning coach at the Underground Strength Gym in Edison, New Jersey. While Joe has worked with various athletes at the high school, college, and professional level, Joe specializes in the training of baseball players. Joe has played four years of college baseball and was the captain of the FDU Baseball team his senior year. In addition to training athletes, Joe has written articles for EliteFTS.com, STACK.com, DieselCrew.com and Synergy-Athletics.com. Aside from being a strength coach, Joe competed in his first powerlifting meet on December 11, 2010 and set the NJ State squat, deadlift and Total records in his weight class and division. For more information on Joe Meglio and his unique training methods please check out www.megliofitness.com
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