Wouldn’t you like to leap over tall buildings with a single bound? Well, only Superman can do that, so he can save us from the dark forces of the universe.
However, with a minimal time investment you can add some fun and excitement to your existing routine and then you’ll (might) be able to leap over tall boxes with a single bound. Doesn’t that sound great?
If you answered yes, then power exercises are right up your alley.
But, what is power?
Power is determined by Force and Acceleration (P = F x A). Think of force as a push or pull from the object’s interaction with another object, such as the pull of gravity on you or the up phase of a push up.
Acceleration is the rate at which an object changes its velocity, like sprinting to catch the bus or a car moving from a dead stop.
As you age, you lose around 1.5% of your strength per year after the age of 50. More alarming, you lose twice that, around 3% of your power or the ability to move quickly every year after the age of 50.
However, even if you’re not 50, training for power is still important because it will help incinerate calories and assist you in becoming faster and stronger version of yourself.
Power exercises are best done after your warm up and before you hit the heavy weights. This ensures you get the best of out these exercises as your muscles will be ready for action.
Furthermore, doing these before you lift will prime your muscles to lift hard and heavy. Go forth and be strong, powerful and be prepared to turn some heads with your demonstrations of power.
1. Upper body power
My personal power favorites are medicine ball throws. They’re easy to perform and highly effective and fun. Most gyms have them tucked into a corner, unclean and unloved but once you use them, you’ll never let them go.
When performing the exercises above, make sure you follow through will your arms. This helps bring the ball towards you, which allows for easier transition between repetitions and gives you a little bit more oomph.
However, if playing with balls isn’t your bag baby, here are a few exercises you can perform with your body weight. But, if you’re not great at pushups, stick with the med ball chest passes for now.
How many pushups you perform depends on feel. The moment your hands don’t leave the surface and or you feel like you’ve lost your zing, please stop. If you keep going, you’re not training power anymore, you’re training muscular endurance.
2. Lower/ total body power
There is a multitude of exercises to choose from here, but for the sake of simplicity, the exercises below are relatively safe, easy to perform and a good introduction to total body power. However, if you have any knee/lower body issues, please let pain be your guide and put safety first.
These exercises are suitable to perform before your lower/upper or total body weight workout.
For best results, do 2-3 sets of 6-12 reps with the med ball exercises and for the bodyweight jumps keep the reps between 3-6 while doing 2-3 sets.
For all the power exercises above, I suggest resting 1 minute between each set. However, if you need more rest, take it.
Furthermore, pairing these exercises into superset before moving on to the main part of your training is a great way to insert power into your routine. For example
1A. Med ball slam 8-12 reps
1B. Squat jump 5 reps
Rest 1-2 min and repeat 1- 2 times.
Power is a use it or lose it scenario and I’d rather you use it. A minimal time investment can have a huge payoff for your body. And who knows, you may give Superman a run for his money after all.