Monday, December 13, 2010

Power Cleans

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Power cleans work the lower back, knee extensors, trapezius, and hip extensors. This can make one more explosive coming out of the blocks in short sprints and a stronger, more powerful runner overall by performing these with heavy weight and low repetitions. This will help increase the effectiveness of the fast twitch fibers which enable a sprinter to perform at high speeds. This exercise involves concentric contraction when lifting and eccentric contractions when you drop down into the squat.

Box Squats

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Box Squats are another great exercise for building explosive strength for not only sprinting but for coming out of the starting blocks as well. It is a squat that requires you to come to a complete stop when you sit down and then you must drive upward. Regular squats allow you to use some momentum where box squats involve a person to really use their hip extensors imparticularly to drive that dead weight upward. You want to sit down so that you are well below parallel which makes it harder to drive the weight upwards. Besides the hip extensors, this also attacks the knee flexors and extensors and hip flexors. These again should be performed at low repetitions to train the fast twitch fibers. This also can help increase the range of motion since you are squatting down further than a regular squat. There is eccentric contraction of the hip flexors and knee flexors and concentric contractions of hip and knee extensors.

Jump Squats

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Jump squats are great to do for athletes looking to gain explosive power, especially for short distance sprinters anywhere from the 55m dash to the 200m dash. They work on the hip flexors and extensors, knee flexors and extensors and strengthen your calf muscles. They especially aid a runner in exploding out of the starting blocks. This improves the fast twitch muscle fibers due to the low repetitions and heavy weight and involves concentric contractions exploding upward and eccentric contractions in the knee flexors and hip flexors.