You aren’t the type of woman who settles. You are always pushing yourself further and this definitely holds true of your workouts. You can increase your power and force by adding some ballistic exercises to your training program, according to a study published in the “Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research” in 2008.
When you do an exercise with maximum velocity and acceleration, you are performing a ballistic movement. During these moves, your muscles contract extremely fast and generate a large amount of force. Ballistic movements are different from other traditional styles of strength training because they eliminate the deceleration phase. Instead of slowing down at the end of a rep, you project the weight. Medicine balls and other weights are common tools in ballistic training.
At certain levels, training with ballistic movements produces more force and power compared to exercises with free weights, according to “Sports Biomechanics” in 2008. This is true when you do ballistic exercises with a weight that is between 15 and 60 percent of your one-rep maximum. Over time, this teaches your muscles and joints to fire faster and with more force and power.
Unlike traditional strength-training moves where you focus on one muscle at a time, ballistic exercises more closely mimic a sporting environment. This is especially true in sports such as basketball, baseball, tennis and golf where you have to quickly accelerate to strike or throw an object. Ballistic exercises train your body to efficiently take the power produced at your core and pass it effectively out to your hand or foot.
Adding Ballistic Exercises
When adding ballistic exercises to your training, start with medicine balls or other lightweight pieces of equipment. Start with 15 percent of your one-rep maximum and gradually increase to 30 percent. Examples of ballistic exercises include bench medicine ball throws, jump squats, overhead medicine ball throws and medicine ball chest passes. To do the medicine ball chest pass, stand erect while holding a medicine ball overhead. Squat and with your arms straight, touch the ball to the ground and jump up while forcefully throwing the ball forward using a chest pass.
- Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology: Ballistic Movement: Muscle Activation And Neuromuscular Adaptation
- Sports Biomechanics: Have We Underestimated the Kinematic and Kinetic Benefits of Non-Ballistic Motion
- Stack.com: Power Development: Ballistic Training
- Human Kinetics: Using Development Sequence Theory to Study Ballistic Skills
- Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: Eight Weeks of Ballistic Exercise Improves Power Independently of Changes in Strength and Muscle Fiber Type Expression
Fitzalan Gorman has more than 10 years of academic and commercial experience in research and writing. She has written speeches and text for CEOs, company presidents and leaders of major nonprofit organizations. Gorman has published for professional cycling teams and various health and fitness websites. She has a Master of Arts from Virginia Tech in political science and is a NASM certified personal trainer.