Muscular power correlates with sports performance in many sports. As strength and conditioning programs grow, having safe and effective methods for monitoring improvement is paramount.
The testing of maximal muscular power is one of the most important tests of athletic performance. A possible benefit of body-weight exercises is that you could work out your body with hardly any equipment. A body weight power exercises could include squat jumps, long jumps and single leg jumps is going to challenge major groups of muscles in the lower body. Weightlifting movements such as the power clean are the best measure of combined whole body strength and power. During the power clean, the lifter must initially exert high forces to accelerate the barbell through the entire range of pulling without actively decelerating the barbell (Faigenbaum 2012).
The hang clean is great way to build power in many athletes. By starting from the above knee position the athlete takes advantage of the strong stretch shortening cycle, maximizing their potential pulling power. I believe that the ability to move a load quickly and explosively is essential for athlete. The hang clean is by far the best way to learn and develop this skill.
1. Squat Jump: Explosive leg power is a key ingredient to maximizing vertical jump performance. In training, the athlete must use the most effective program to optimize leg power development. Forty-eight subjects were divided equally into four groups: S, P, SP or control (C). The subjects trained two days a week for a total of seven weeks, which consisted of a one-week technique learning period followed by a six- week periodized S, P or SP training program. Hip and thigh power were tested before and after training using the vertical jump test. The results indicate that both S and P training are necessary for improving hip and thigh power production as measured by vertical jumping ability.
2. Long Jump: Long jumping is all about explosive power. The more power you can generate through your legs, the higher and farther you’ll be able to jump. Explosive power is a combination of speed, muscular endurance and muscular strength, all of which can be developed through targeted exercises and activities such as running sprints, lifting weights and performing plyometrics.
3. Power Clean: The results indicated that 1 RM power clean testing is reproducible for testing male adolescent athletes when standardized testing procedures are followed and qualified instruction is present. It is also important for youth coaches to be able to determine if gains in performance following a training program. The findings indicate that a difference in 1 RM power clean performance of less than 2.9 kg between tests is an expected difference for this exercise. In addition, it appears that a change of at least 8.0 kg is needed to identify a real change in 1 RM power clean performance as a result of strength and conditioning program in this young population (Faigenbaum 2012).
These tests provide reliable methods for monitoring muscular power. Ensure safe testing procedures and biomechanics with qualified coaches. Not following these procedures increases the risk for injury, a major setback for any athlete.
Faigenbaum AD, McFarland JE, Herman RE, Naclerio F, Ratamess NA, Kang J, Myer GD. Reliability of the one-repetition-maximum power clean test in adolescent athletes. J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Feb;26(2):432-7.
Written by Chris Barber, CPT