In many sports, players being explosive is of key importance. For example, in football, the more explosive a player is, the faster they get off the line of scrimmage and get involved in the play. Because of this, it is quite desirable for many to take part in explosive power training.
In this training, the first step is to determine how explosive an athlete is. This can be done by having them take a vertical jump test. The test is used in numerous sports as a benchmark for explosive power because it actually correlates well to performance. The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) has a chart that gives general ratings for average vertical jump in different sports, allowing a quick distinction to be made on whether an athlete is explosive or not. The chart can be found here: https://apps.carleton.edu/campus/rec/lifestyles/assets/Normative_and_Descriptive_Data_for_Fitness_Tests.pdf. Once the distinction is made, the next step can occur.
The second step involves the explosive power ratio. The ratio determines the optimal amount of power an athlete must have to achieve the perfect balance for the vertical jump. The ratio is determined by dividing an athlete’s maximum back squat weight by his or her maximum power clean weight. The resulting number can be compared to a chart, where it has been determined that having a ratio between 1.5 and 1.6 is the best for the vertical jump. What is useful about the ratio is that it shows clearly the best amount of weight an athlete should be training with in order to have the best explosiveness. As such, an athlete can tailor their training to fit within the numbers of the ratio, almost guaranteeing improvement with enough weight training.
Once an athlete’s ratio has been established, he or she can use it to compare him or herself to other athletes using the ratio. This provides for a competitive aspect, possibly encouraging all to greater heights. Athletes can even look up the ratios of professional athletes, hoping to have a similar one to them.
In conclusion, the vertical jump test and explosive power ratio can all be useful in improving the explosiveness of athletes. It is up to the athlete to determine whether he or she would like to be more explosive, however, and to follow through on the training.
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