At TheHealthBoard, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What Is Explosive Exercise?

Explosive exercises are dynamic movements that build power and speed by rapidly contracting your muscles, often involving jumping or sprinting. They're key for athletes aiming to enhance performance. By engaging in these high-intensity workouts, you can ignite your fitness routine, unleashing potential like never before. Curious about how to safely incorporate them into your regimen? Let's dive deeper.
Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

Explosive exercise is any exercise that focuses on producing more explosive force, or basic force production. The goal of explosive exercise is to produce forceful, quick movement; this type of exercise is more commonly known as plyometrics. Athletes often undergo plyometric training to gain a competitive edge. Runners, for example, will benefit from explosive movements off the starting line, as will football players. Baseball players can improve their swings by focusing on explosive arm movements. Some of the most common exercises for explosiveness involve the use of medicine balls, though other exercises can be done without any equipment. Squats are common exercises done to improve explosiveness.

Quick, hard movements are often a part of explosive exercise. A medicine ball can be swung across the body, for example, in a controlled motion that trains the muscles both to start and end quickly. Such explosive exercise can be done solo or with a partner; one common exercise done with a partner involves sitting on the ground facing each other. One person will do a sit-up and throw the medicine ball to the partner, who will then do a sit-up and pass the ball back to the original partner.

An explosive arm movement can help a baseball player hit harder.
An explosive arm movement can help a baseball player hit harder.

A variety of squat exercises can be done to improve explosiveness. The idea with squats is to perform the explosive exercise quickly, but in a controlled manner. One can, for example, jump forward and land on one foot, then perform a squat with that foot; once the squat has been done, the person will then lunge forward and diagonal to the other foot, performing a squat with that leg. This can be done quickly and repeatedly to improve explosiveness in the legs. A stationary squat can also be done, and the person doing the exercise can enhance the exercise by adding weight. Dumbbells and barbells can be held during the squat to add weight, thereby enhancing the squatting motion.

Football players may benefit from explosive exercise.
Football players may benefit from explosive exercise.

The downside to explosive exercise is the elevated possibility of injury. If the exercises are not done properly, or if the athlete does not warm up adequately, the muscles can become injured fairly easily and joints can be overstrained. It is best to perform explosive exercise under the guidance of an experienced trainer or someone who is very knowledgeable about the proper technique. An adequate warm-up and cool-down session will also help prevent injuries during explosive training, as can adequate hydration and a healthy diet.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments


I used to be a sprinter and we would do an exercise designed to develop explosive bursts out of the blocks at the start of a race.

We would get down in the start position. We had elastic bands wrapped around our waists that would provide tension the minute we stood up and started running. The further you got the more tension there was. It was great because it recreated all the movements and timing of a normal race but it forced you to do everything with extra resistance. It made you stronger everywhere.


Box jumps are great for developing explosive energy. They are great because they develop strength, endurance, all over muscle tone and dynamic balance skills.

The exercise is easy. Find a sturdy platform. I use four milk crates shoved up against a wall. Stand about a foot back from the box and then jump up on to it landing with both feet. Jump down quickly and repeat over and over again until your legs feel like noodles. Trust me, it won't take long.

I think a burpee is probably the best full body exercise that there is and it is great for getting explosive bursts. Here is how it works.

You stand tall with your arms at your side. Bend at the knees and then kick your legs back so that you are in the push up position with you chest close to the ground. Push yourself up and kick your legs back in so that they are bent below you. Now jump up tall into the air as high as you can. Repeat as many times as you can at a pace that is fast while still maintaining your form.

You can see tons of videos of how to do it online. It works the entire body and the jump at the end is great for developing burst strength. Do 50 burpees every night and you will be strong all over in a month.

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • An explosive arm movement can help a baseball player hit harder.
      By: llandrea
      An explosive arm movement can help a baseball player hit harder.
    • Football players may benefit from explosive exercise.
      By: Melinda Nagy
      Football players may benefit from explosive exercise.
    • Doing squats using barbells can be an explosive exercise.
      By: dacasdo
      Doing squats using barbells can be an explosive exercise.