One of the crucial factors in achieving athletic success is to perform a relatively high level of explosive power. It is necessary for many sports and workout movements such as jumping, sprinting, throwing, change of direction, to name a few. Essentially, all athletes should be capable of producing force, which is often more than enough, in a short period.


From the definitions above, we’re getting the idea of a formula that strength plus speed is equal to power. What’s more, to be able to learn to know this power, we should know the subject of weight training. Like studying Mathematics, weight training is hard, and it will require you to psyche yourself until you achieve your maximum athletic performance. 

What are explosive power and weight training? 

Explosive power is the ability of a person to perform a movement with an explosive intent or at a maximum force in the shortest possible time. Conceptually, it can be summed up with the formula below: 


Force (F) x Velocity (V) = Power (P)


Now, let’s not make this article an over technical one so let’s refrain from geeking out. In simple terms, you have to be stronger and faster so you can exhibit sufficient maximal strength. Are you wondering which movements need explosive power? Here they are: 



  • Sprinting
  • Leaping
  • Jumping
  • Hopping 
  • Bounding
  • Cutting
  • Kicking
  • Juking
  • Punching
  • Diving
  • Throwing
  • Rotating



In this regard, you can immediately realize that, to some degree, athletes who are playing golf, track and field, lacrosse, tennis, hockey, baseball, soccer, football, basketball, boxing, or wrestling need to have explosive power.


Apart from force and speed, here are other additional mechanisms, especially in neural adaptations, that athletes should keep in mind so they can effectively exert explosive power and achieve better athletic performance: 


  1. Motor unit recruitment. Train on fast-twitch muscle fibers to execute high force activities or explosive movements.


  1. Improved rate coding. Increase your neural impulses frequency to improve force.


All of these factors can be trained in weightlifting training. What’s more, weightlifting does only improves explosive power, but there are other reasons why weight training benefits you a lot: 


  1. Burns calories leading to fat loss
  2. Reduces arthritis pain
  3. Lowers blood pressure
  4. Reduces the risks of heart attack
  5. Strengthens  bone and muscles 
  6. Decreases risk injuries
  7. Improves flexibility, balance, and stability
  8. Boosts confidence and enhances the quality of life quality


In brief, like what I firmly mentioned earlier, all athletes should be capable of producing force in a short time interval, and all can be done weight training. In developing explosive power, the following are some of the exercises you can do in a generic weight training plan.

Olympic Lifts

Olympic lifts start from lifting a barbell off the ground to raising it to your shoulders while at the same time slightly squatting to lifting the barbell over your head in a full standing position. You see, it requires flexibility, coordination, and timing. Otherwise, you’ll end up breaking your wrists, shoulders, upper back or hips. 


Considering that it’s a challenging or shall we say dangerous exercise, are there any alternatives for it? Good question! And yes! But before that, there’s a need for you to understand Olympic lifts derivatives. Maybe you’ll change your mind, and when tried you’ll realize you can handle it. 


  • Clean. Pick up the bar from the floor then lift to either upper chest or chest while ass to the ground (ATG).


  • Hang clean. Pick up the bar at the thigh (not floor) then lift to either upper chest or chest while ATG.



  • Power clean. Pick up the bar at the thigh then lift to either upper chest or chest while squatting halfway (not too much, just a bit higher than ATG).




  • Hang power clean. Pick up the bar at the thigh then lift to either upper chest or chest while squatting in a right angle halfway (higher than the power clean).


Alternatives for Olympic Lifts for Beginners

If you’re still anxious in doing the said derivatives, it’s okay. You are not alone. There are many beginners who are like that. Here are alternatives to Olympic lift that you can try even without wearing a lifting belt


Medicine Ball Hang Clean 


  • For any level
  • Equipment: A medicine ball
  • Instructions:


  1. Hold a medicine ball at hip level while feet on the ground hip-width apart.
  2. Raise toes as high as possible while shrugging both shoulders to your ears.
  3. Drop the ball but don’t move your hand on the surface.
  4. Then squat right before the ball bounce back.
  5. Rotate hands under the ball to catch it.
  6. Repeat


Explosive Tire Flips

  • For intermediate level
  • Equipment: A medium-sized tire
  • Instructions: 


  1. Stand close to the tire with feet wider than hip-width apart.
  2. Squat and grab the tire with an underhand grip but straighten your arms
  3. Lift tire explosively while heels off the ground and flat back (imagine jumping with a tire on straight hands).
  4. Lower the tire on the same spot or flip it on the other side, then repeat.


Barbell Power Jumps


  • For advanced level 
  • Equipment: Empty barbell 
  • Instructions: 


  1. Place the empty barbell on your upper back then move knees and hips to a quarter squat position.
  2. Jump off the ground.
  3. Land smoothly without noise.
  4.  After landing (the moment when you feel the shock from the contact of your body to the ground) return to the quarter squat position.
  5. After going back to the quarter squat position, stand tall and repeat.

Barbell Squat

Barbell squats are a kind of resistance and compound exercise that develops your flexibility, core strength, strong thighs, and powerful abdominal muscles. If done properly, it can enhance your total body development and strength, allowing you to excel more in your sports performance. 

Romanian Deadlift

It might be easier compared to the Olympic lifts, but Romanian deadlift (RDL) improves our deep core stabilizers’ endurance strength and biomechanics of standing hip extension and flexion, strengthening the posterior chain muscles.


In simple terms, RDL generally hones our body awareness and fundamental movement skills, which are all crucial in your sports performance.