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What is the best conditioning for explosive sports?

Excelling at explosive sports involves other factors beyond the physical. In regards to team sports, being aware of the playing environment, will give you the edge in competing. Identifying before your competitor will how a play will develop, will give you a "leg up" so to speak. Wayne Gretzky did not possess the best physical skills but he had an ability to "go where the puck will be"; which led to his greatness. 

In explosive oriented sports, the ability to react the fastest is often the difference between 1st place and 2nd. Reacting to a starter's pistol is just as much mental as it is physical. Having said that, a mental edge can only take you so far if you don't possess the phyiscal capabilities to produce force in the shortest time possible.

To condition your body for explosive sports, it will be important to implement a progressive training program focused on bolstering strength, speed, and explosiveness. Generating power (or explosiveness) requires a strong foundation of stability since we can only move to the extent our bodies are properly stabilized. After all, you can't effectively shoot a canon from a row boat. So, conditioning for explosive sports requires that you first train your body to be stable, using lighter weights and focusing on making sure your core, smaller, and major muscles are properly balanced and working effectively to stabilize the spine and joints of your body. Once you have created a foundation of stability, you should progress by increasing the demand of exercises by increasing the load and intensity. At this point, you will be training for strength - as increased strength is important in increasing your ability to generate power. The last progression simply requires increasing the speed at which you perform the exercises. This means reducing the weight of the load, but increasing the speed at which you perform the movement. This helps to develop and condition your body for increased explosiveness during sport. In addition to these strength training parameters, your cardiorespiratory conditioning is an extremely important factor in increasing your body's ability to generate power. You might have heard the term anaerobic training before and it is defined by short, quick bouts of explosive cardio that require minimal oxygen intake. This can be easily done through interval training during which you perform low intensity bouts of cardio with higher intensity bouts in the same workout. To train your system effectively, your cardio training focus should be on expanding your anaerobic threshold - working progressively from 75%-90% of your heart rate maximum. A resistance training program should start with these variables: 2-3 sets of 12-25 repetitions at an intensity of 50%-70% of your 1 repetition maximum and then progress to 3-6 sets of 1-12 repetitions at an intensity of 70%-100% of your 1 repetition maximum and end at 3-6 sets of 1-10 repetitions at an intensity of 30%-45% of your 1 repetition maximum.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.