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.
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.
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.