Explosiveness

One of the most frustrating things that can happen in this sport is losing without having had the opportunity to express your strength. And for anyone who has had the opportunity to watch a match take place, you will surely have noticed how most matches end in a sec. Despite this, “speed” training remains particularly neglected or even ignored by most athletes; Let’s try to change things! 

“Speed” is a very broad term, the author from now on will use this word to indicate the general increase in table performance, specifying the sub-categories using specific language:

Reaction times.

As everyone knows, the match does not begin at the discretion of the athletes, but rather the referee will give the starting command. The time interval that goes from “GO!” to muscle contraction is the time window in which our quick reflexes come into action. We’re talking about a few tenths of a second, but the difference is very notable; controlling an opponent from a disadvantaged position is certainly not what we are looking for in competition. According to what the author has researched, there is no scientific evidence that reflexes are specific to a single stimuli (at least, not in such a significant way as to make what follows useless ), it is therefore possible to train one’s quick reflexes, that is, to reduce the time interval in which we are able to respond to the stimulus (in this case auditory, “GO!”), also through exercises that are not quick starts at the arm wrestling table. Therefore, any app or game will be fine (catching falling balls, clicking on the screen following an auditory or visual stimulus….).

Predominance of muscle fibers

The fibers that make up the muscles of the human body are divided into two types, white or red fibers. Red fibers have blood circulation, and are better suited to slow but prolonged efforts. White fibers, on the other hand, are better suited to a short anaerobic performance. The relationship between these fibers is purely genetic, some individuals will have a naturally higher percentage of white fibers, and will therefore be more prone to explosive efforts. It is important to note that, even if it is not possible to transform one’s red fibers into white fibres, it is possible to slow down the natural process which, with aging, transforms the fibers from white to red. Explosivity work exercises are therefore recommended, such as performing curls or pull-ups as quickly as possible.

Motor scheme

Our body improves with reiteration: performing a gesture several times makes us more coordinated, efficient and skilled. The consequences of this obviousness is that it is necessary to practice the gesture that you want to bring to the table as often as possible. If before we said that specificity was not necessary, now the exact opposite applies; the goal is to replicate the gesture of the competition in training in every aspect, and perform it as quickly as possible without resistance.

By combining these three aspects, we will obtain a qualitative performance, with shorter reaction times, conditioned by explosive and efficient work, and smoothed by practice. We highlight the different types of stress to consider to make training profitable. The least taxing on a physical and mental level is the improvement of reaction time, although it requires constant attention, it can be repeated throughout the day without particular problems. Following is the replication of the specific gesture. Very taxing for our CNS (central nervous system) has to be performed at the beginning of training, and for a few series, due to the immediate drop in performance.

Lastly the explosive work. Caution is recommended, and the use of this practice only by trained and conditioned athletes, as the tendon, joint and muscle stress is considerable. Do not perform more than a couple of times a week, never without warming up. Good speed to everyone!

Martino Doni
Author

Martino Doni

SBFI Athlete; Medical Student; Personal trainer; Training Methodologist

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