Although you are probably tired of hearing of "secret" Soviet training programs, the Soviet athletics teams were really dominant in the Olympics. One reason for this is the work of obsessed sports scientist Yuri Verkhoshansky, who has created a highly successful training protocol based on jump exercises.
He would drop athletes out of 60-inch boxes in so-called depths. In particular, an athlete falls off a box, lands briefly to absorb the shock, and then instantly jumps as high as possible, resulting in a 14% increase in maximum strength among highly skilled volleyball players.
Still, I would not recommend it to most athletes unless they have a superb squat shape and strength. However, there are safer alternatives.
Lower Body Shock Training ̵
1; Kettlebell Overspeed Eccentric
We can activate the same advantageous mechanisms as in depth skipping with Russian kettlebell turns. As? By emphasizing the downward (eccentric) part of the swing.
Instead of absorbing the weight of our own body, as we do in depth bumps, we absorb the impact of the kettlebell as it changes direction. The more we push the kettlebell down, the stronger the plyometric effect.
In the lab, Brandon Hetzler discovered that experienced kettlebell instructors could swing down a 32-kilogram kettlebell with a force three times their body weight. The most beneficial effects of kettlebell turns are when we reverse the force. The more power there is to reverse, the more power (and explosiveness) we will gain ways.
- Accentuate the Eccentric: Normally, we let the kettlebell float in place and let gravity bring it back into our next swing. However, we can actively accelerate it down by forcing it between our legs.
- Partner Assisted Downward Cast: In this scenario, a person stands on the side and pushes the kettlebell down when he reaches the top.
- Band Assisted Eccentric: In this version, a band is wrapped around the kettlebell and stood on the band. Once the kettlebell reaches the top of the swing, the belt accelerates the kettlebell back down.
Do not do these overspeed eccentrics with higher repetitions. They burden the nervous system much more than you would with regular swings. Ten or fewer repetitions are a good rule of thumb.
Upper Body Shock Training – Drop Push Ups
Verkhoshansky also created several devices to achieve a similar "deep-jump" effect on the upper body. Imagine a bench-press device that lets you lose weight and allow it to explode. (Do not try to make this type of gizmo at home because Verhoshansky's device has security features built in.)
However, we can mimic this effect with push-ups.
To do this, create a stable base about 12 inches high, just outside your normal push-up posture.
- Position yourself on the stable basis.
- Drop down from the base.
- Catch (and at the same time force something plyometric on it) before you make a face plant.
- As fast as possible, press up explosively (similar to the depth jump) Start the next repetition.
An Explosive Program
This type of "deep-jump" training can generate a tremendous amount of explosiveness. It can also serve as a nice addition to your traditional workout by making it a bit more explosive.
For most people, I would recommend the following program to break out of your plateaus. It takes about 6-10 minutes and should be done three times a week.
A note of caution: This program is only for trained athletes who have good control over their movements:
- For odd minutes, you should run 10 kettlebell swing over-speed excenters.
- Do 10 pushups in even minutes.
- Drive back and forth for the prescribed number of laps.
- Mondays: 6 laps
- Wednesdays: 10 laps
- Fridays: 8 laps
Why This Works
There are three main reasons why kettlebells are overblowing eccentrics and pushups Swinging (and, of course, Depth Jumps) Building Explosivity and Strength:
- Increased CNS Stimulation: The shock of sudden force reversal results in greater muscle stimulation. The more frequently the muscle nerves fire, the more power you build up.
- Myotatic Reflex: As the muscle lengthens, the muscle spindle expands and its nerve activity increases. Powerlifter Andy Bolton uses this reflex. Immediately before performing the lift, he performs three stretches of the hamstring and performs the lifting while performing the third stretch.
- The motor cortex anticipates the shock. This means that our reflexes get faster.
In general, the more we do these plyometric movements, the more explosive our body builds. This explosive power can help our absolute power (deadlift), speed (clean), and pure speed (sprinting).
Basically, we learn to load our muscles with potential energy for later release. These movements can also be helpful in sports with many changes in direction.
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- Cook, Christian J., C. Martyn Beaven and Liam P. Kilduff. 2013. "Three weeks of eccentric training in combination with overspeed training improves strength and running speed gains in trained athletes:" Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 27 (5): 1280-86.
- Isner-Horobeti, Marie Eva, Stéphane Pascal Dufour, Philippe Vautravers, Bernard Geny, Emmanuel Coudeyre and Ruddy Richard. "Eccentric Training: Modalities, Applications and Perspectives." Sports Medicine (Auckland, N.Z.) 43, no. 6 (June 2013): 483-512.
- Santello, M. 2005. "Review of Motor Control Mechanisms Underlying Impact Absorption from Falls." Gait & Posture 21 (1): 85-94.
- Turner, Anthony N and Ian Jeffreys. "The Stretch Shortening Cycle: Suggested Mechanisms and Methods for Improvement." Strength and Conditioning Journal 32, No. 4 (August 2010): 87-99.
- Verkhoshansky, YV. "Are depths useful?" Track and Field 1967 12 (9).
- Verkhoshansky, Yuri V. and V. V. Lazarev. 1989. "Principles of planning speed and strength / speed endurance training in sports." Strength & Conditioning Journal 11 (2): 58-61.
- Yessis, M., "Kinesiological Research in the Soviet Union". Journal of Health, Physical Education, Recovery 1972 43 (1): 93-98.