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Mastering Explosivity

Taking the right steps into mastering explosive movements starts with base strength. From there, we’ll introduce more power exercises along the way that’ll help you take your explosivity to the next level. Through continuous repetition and true mastery of your basic lifts, you’ll build the proper strength and power that you need to build your explosive foundation.

It’s good to integrate explosivity training into your workouts because your fast-twitch muscles respond well to strength and power. Although lifting heavy is great, you don’t want to be very strong and not be able to move those muscles efficiently.

  • Phase 1
  • Phase 2
  • Phase 3
  • Phase 4

Phase 1: Foundation

Instead of focusing on a specific movement, Ten Thousand Ambassador Poppy Livers (@poppylivers) will lead you through the foundations of explosivity training. Providing you with tools that’ll help you move weight (including your bodyweight ) more quickly, efficiently and effectively.

Superset A

TRX SQUAT JUMPS  

EQUIPMENT: TRX STRAPS

If you’re new to plyometric movements, tackle these squat jumps with some added stability and balance from a set of TRX straps. Perform straight after the barbell back squat to overload your hamstrings, quads and glutes with this lower body burner.

BARBELL BACK SQUAT

EQUIPMENT: BARBELL, PLATES

Essential for building strong glutes, hamstrings and quads, this barbell staple loads up the big lower body muscle groups that help generate explosive power.

Superset B

DOUBLE Suitcase Deadlifts  

EQUIPMENT: DUMBELLS, KETTLEBELLS

Remember, the deadlift is primarily a hinge movement - not just a squat variation. Fire up your hamstrings, glutes, quads and lats and use dumbells or kettlebells for this movement.

Hanging Knee Tucks  

EQUIPMENT: RINGS or PULL-UP BAR

One of Poppy’s favorite movements for strengthening his core are these hanging knee tucks. They give the added bonus of strengthening the hip flexors which fire during running, jumping and changing direction.

Superset C

Hurdle Hops  

EQUIPMENT: HURDLE

These plyometric lateral jumps improve balance, coordination, and help strengthen the small muscles that lie deep beneath your gluteus maximus. They help stabilize your hips to prevent injuries when running or jumping.

Box Jump

EQUIPMENT: BOX

After lateral plyometrics, challenge your medial explosivity by jumping up on top of a sturdy box or surface. Make sure you land softly, and step off one leg at a time to descend.

FINISHER

MEDBALL SLAMS

EQUIPMENT: MEDBALL

This full-body explosive finisher spikes your heart rate and helps develop power, speed and coordination. Hit this one hard and finish your workout on a high note.

phase 2: Next Steps

This week, we’re continuing our exploration of explosive movements. Poppy’s back to help you build on the foundations he laid last week with more plyometric and bodyweight foundations, as well as high-intensity weight training. It’s a step closer on your pursuit of explosivity mastery.

Superset A

BARBELL BOX SQUAT WITH PAUSE

EQUIPMENT: BARBELL

Essential for building strong glutes, hamstrings and quads, Poppy’s leveling up a barbell staple with a pause at the bottom of the movement that’ll strengthen the big lower body muscle groups needed to generate explosive power. Start with a bench to practice your form and remove when you have it locked down.

JUMP SQUATS

EQUIPMENT: NONE

Build your dynamic leg strength with this key plyometric movement. Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, complete a regular squat, and then engage your core and jump up explosively. Focus on the landing: keep it controlled as you lower back into the squat position for max gains.

SUPERset B

KETTLEBELL SWING

EQUIPMENT: KETTLEBELL

Get your blood flowing and set your power zone muscles – glutes, hamstrings, and lower back – on fire with this foundational movement. To maximize your power gains, focus on using a heavy kettlebell for low rep sets.

DUMBELL SNATCH

EQUIPMENT: DUMBELL

A showcase movement for triple extension at the hip, knee and ankle, the key here is to keep your hips engaged and your core tight. Starting with the dumbbell on the ground, lift the dumbbell with your legs and back – your arm straight until it reaches your hip – before turning your elbow underneath the dumbbell and pushing it overhead.

Superset C

KETTLEBELL POWER CLEAN

EQUIPMENT: KETTLEBELLS

Another movement that comes from the hips, ensure that the kettlebell stays close to the body and that you take your arm around the kettlebell As you’re going through the movement, remember that it’s an explosive hip snap that sends the kettlebell up to your chest – not your arms.

SUITCASE DEADLIFT JUMPS

EQUIPMENT: KETTLEBELLS

Using dumbbells or kettlebells, complete a suitcase deadlift before exploding up and off the ground at the top of the deadlift. Keep your jump powerful and your landing controlled to build your hamstring, glute, and quad strength.  

Finisher

HANGING KNEE TUCK HOLD WITH PLATE

EQUIPMENT: RINGS, PLATE

We’re building on a movement Poppy introduced last week by adding weight. You’ll still be using an overhand grip on the bar, engaging your abs and raising your legs until they are at 90° to your torso, and bringing your legs back to the start. It’ll burn a little more, though – as it should.

Phase 3: Progression

Phase 3 of Poppy's program continues to build on top of the movements introduced in phases 1 and 2. He adds barbell Olympic lifts into the fold as the exercises continue to progress and become more advanced. This phase is sure to test your balance, proprioception, and fast twitch muscle fibers, while gearing you up to tackle phase four's most challenging workout next week.
 

Superset A

Single Leg Deadlift with KettleBell

EQUIPMENT: KETTLEBELL

Increase your balance while strengthening the muscles that help stabilize your knee. Also improves hamstring, glute and core strength.

Single Leg
Pistol Squat

EQUIPMENT: NONE

Continue to challenge your balance and stability, and make sure to consciously prevent your knee from buckling or caving in medially as you move through the range of motion.

set B

Barbell Snatch

EQUIPMENT: BARBELL, PLATES

This: raising the barbell from the floor to overhead in one fluid motion. Think it sounds easy? Instead of using just your arms, engage your core, glutes, and hamstrings to drive upward, while keeping the barbell as close to the body as possible.

set C

Barbell Power Clean

EQUIPMENT: BARBELL

Think about pulling your body underneath the bar in order to "catch" it safely during this movement.

FINISHER

Hurdle hops WITH BOX JUMP

EQUIPMENT: HURDLE, BOX

Two different levels of explosive power recruit muscle fibers from different muscle groups. The shorter hurdle hops will fire up your calves and lower leg muscles, while the larger box jump activates your glutes and hamstrings.

Medball Slams

EQUIPMENT: MEDBALL

Your upper body could use some plyometric training, too. Throw the med ball straight down forcefully to get the most out of this full-body finisher.

Phase 4: Mastery

Over the past 3 phases, Poppy Livers has shared the critical movements and foundational exercises that’ll help you become a more explosive athlete. For the final phase in the Explosivity Mastery series, Poppy's upping the ante, bringing in sled pulls and more single-leg and single-arm movements to truly challenge your power-generating muscle groups and small stabilizing muscles. Now, it's time to put the skills you’ve developed over the last month to the test and challenge yourself with this intense explosivity workout that’ll push you to your limit.

Superset A

Squat jumps

EQUIPMENT: NONE

Build your dynamic leg strength with this key plyometric movement. Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, complete a regular squat, and then engage your core and jump up explosively. Focus on the landing: keep it controlled as you lower back into the squat position for max gains.

Single Arm KB Swings

EQUIPMENT: KETTLEBELL

Take the standard kettlebell swing up a notch and go unilateral. For an added challenge, try switching arms at the top of your swing at eye level.

Superset B

Single Leg Box Jump

EQUIPMENT: BOX

Single-leg movements are going to provide a next-level challenge for your core and small stabilizing muscles. Just like a standard box jump land softly and step off one leg at a time, rather than jumping down.

Single leg Hurdle hops + Box Jump

EQUIPMENT: HURDLE, BOX

Combining this single leg movement with the explosive box jump creates a complex that challenges your proprioception, stabilizing muscles, and the power generating muscle groups in your lower body.

Superset C

Sled Sprints

EQUIPMENT: SLED, PLATES

Stay low and think about hip flexor extension (pushing your foot back behind you) as you drive with your glutes and hamstrings.

Sled Pull with Rope

EQUIPMENT: SLED, PLATES, ROPE

Remain in an athletic stance and pull hand over hand. Protect your lower back by engaging your core, glutes and hamstrings.

FINISHER

Lateral Medball slams single leg

EQUIPMENT: MED BALL

This full-body finisher is a spicy variation of the med ball slam. Focus on your balance and coordination and feel good about the new skills you've added to your toolbox.

40 YARD DASH
Leaderboard

We asked our team to put their explosivity to the test via a timed 40 yard dash. This activity it a true feat of strength - activating those fast-twitch muscles we've conditioned in the prior phases of this mastery series. Think you can do better? Record a video and submit yours if you can clock a better time than the ones below on our leaderboard.

TIME: 4.55 SECONDS

NAME: RASHAAD SLOWLEY
LOCATION: NEW YORK, NY
@SHAADIEFIT

TIME: 4.76 SECONDS

NAME: ROSS TSCHIRN
LOCATION: AUSTIN, TX
@ROSSMAN

TIME: 5.18 SECONDS

NAME: JOHN MORALES
LOCATION: MERRICK, NY
@YO.SOY.XAVIER

TIME: 5.31 SECONDS

NAME: DANNY CARPENTER
LOCATION: GRAND RAPIDS, MI
@DANNYYCARP