How do you execute this type of training into your program?
First, you should be strength training already—doing squats, deadlifts, shoulder presses and chin-ups or pull-ups. These types of exercises increase your force production and will improve your ability to perform explosive exercises.
The best way to integrate explosive training into your program is by doing a four-to-six-week block before your next big race. After you complete the training block and the race is over, immediately start strength training again. It is imperative that you maintain your strength over the long season to stay healthy and injury free.
Power Clean1 of 7
The setup is the same as the deadlift—bar in hands, elbows straight and chest up. Pull the bar off the floor using hip and knee extension and keep the bar close to your body. Jump up aggressively while shrugging your shoulders and drive the bar into the rack position with your elbows high and pointed forward. Make sure the bar travels in a vertical path.
3-5 reps, 3-5 sets
Alternating Lunge Jumps2 of 7
Start in a lunge position and jump straight up as you drive your arms forward with your elbows bent. Land with one of your legs forward and the other leg behind you in a lunge. Repeat and jump straight up, switching legs mid-air. Repeat movement.
8-16 reps, 2-4 sets
Plyo Pushup3 of 7
Place your hands on the ground about shoulder-width apart and lower your body until your chest touches the floor. Forcefully push yourself up with your upper body and your hands will leave the floor. Land back into the starting position and repeat the exercise.
4-8 reps, 2-4 sets
Box Jumps4 of 7
Get into an athletic position with your feet shoulder-width apart and a comfortable distance from the box. Bend your knees quickly so you're in a quarter squat, extend your hips and swing your arms up—propelling yourself to the top of the box. Land on top with soft feet, hop down and repeat the exercise.
5-10 reps, 3-5 sets
Broad Jump5 of 7
Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Push your butt back, bend your knees and jump up and forward into the air. Land softly on your feet with your knees bent.
5-8 reps, 2-4 sets
Dumbbell Snatch6 of 7
Get into an athletic position with your feet shoulder-width apart and place the dumbbell in front of your thigh. Bend your knees quickly so you're in a quarter squat and pull the dumbbell up by extending your hips and knees. Explode upward by extending your body.
Shrug your shoulder and snap the dumbbell upward with your arm and catch the dumbbell above your head. Lock out your arm while you are in the quarter squat position. Lower the dumbbell back to the starting position and repeat the exercise.
4-6 reps on each arm, 2-4 sets