How to Become an Explosive Baseball Player Part II

In part 1 of How to Become an Explosive Baseball Player, I talked about what you need to do to become a more explosive athlete. This post will be dedicated to the exact exercises that will get you there! While the Olympic Lifts are one of the best ways to improve explosive power and force production, the lifts take a lot of time to learn and are not my number one option. Since I have a limited amount of time to spend with each athlete, I want to get them the best results in the least amount of time possible. As I mentioned in the first article we accomplish this through jumping, throwing medicine balls and sprints. I have found these exercises to be the best way to develop explosive power, improve force production and rate of force development.  In the second part of this series I will cover jump training.

Jump Training

Jumping is one of the best ways to improve force production and increase athleticism because it is very easy to learn and forces athletes to be explosive.  Box jumps, vertical jumps, broad jumps and single leg jumps are my favorite variations.

For beginners, learning how to land properly is just as critical as performing the actual jump.  Other great jumping exercises for beginners include jump roping and jumping over objects such as benches and hurdles. Keeping it simple is the key for beginners. All jumps will be performed from the athletic stance and performed with their own bodyweight.  More advanced athletes will perform jumps with either a weighted vest or with their own bodyweight.  They will perform jumps from the athletic stance, seated or out of foam.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv9MFNNVdE4

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2znmaa45gmA

The best time to perform jumps is at the end of the warm up, right before the main lift of the day. So if we are going to do squats or deadlifts as our main lift for the day, I will have my athletes do a couple sets of 3-5 reps of box jumps. Not only is this great for improving force development but it will also prime the body and the nervous system for the workout.

As far as frequency and volume, I really like how Chad Wesley Smith breaks it down in his book, The Juggernaut Method. He recommends you adhere to Prilepin’s chart:

Say your best box jump is 40 inches for 1 rep and today’s workout called for box jumps on a 30 inch box. Simple math would tell you that30 inches is 75% of your 1 rep max, therefore according to Prilepin’s chart you want to be in the 18 rep range for an optimal total. In this case I would have my athlete do 6 X 3 or 4 X 5.  Please note that in order to maintain the explosiveness of each rep, stick within the 1-5 rep range on jumps. 

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