Last time we discussed the importance of lower body power and why it needs to be trained. For that reason, this month’s blog is a bit shorter than the rest in our series, but it will still provide plenty of value. Before we cover why you should do upper body power exercises in your training programs and our favorite variations, let’s recap a few points.
POWER = FORCE/TIME
How to Train Power
Power can be trained in two specific ways. We are looking at this from the 100-thousand-foot view and not diving into the specific exercises that can be done for power.
- High Velocity – exercises that lack external resistance (or use very little) are movements that train the ability of the body to move at a high rate of speed. Sprinting, jumping, and bounding fit here. Our time variable is usually very low.
- High Load – exercises that have significant external resistance (such as a Kettlebell Swing) will require more time to go from start to finish. However, due to the amount of load being used, there is an incredible expression of power taking place. Once again, our formula uses two factors to calculate power, and so a higher “F” value will counter a higher “T” value.
It is important for you to own these factors as we move forward.
Why Power for the Upper Body
We normally see expressions of power produced by the lower body. We see movements such as running and jumping and assume that the big muscles of the lower body are best for power, which is true; however, that doesn’t mean we forget training the power potential of the upper body musculature.
Look at throwing, swimming, rowing, and potentially bracing yourself in a fall as specific examples of the upper body executing power. Remember, power is the ability of the muscles and bones to accelerate or negatively accelerate forces. We either produce or reduce force.
Everyone, from your favorite grandmother to a young pitching prospect, needs to develop upper body and core power capabilities.
How CS1 Train for Upper Body Power
Our unit has bars that run on the backside and steps on the opposite. We also have hooks on the unit for bands, bungies or suspension trainers. We integrate medicine balls, maces, kettlebells, and other means of resistance as well.
We train upper body power by matching our client or athlete’s need with an exercise. An individual who throws or swims may pair upper body power rows with single stepping snatches. Our calisthenic friends may do bouncing plyometric pushups and hand switches to work the muscles of their core, wrists, and shoulders.
At our core (pun intended), we are always matching the client output with the client input. We see needs, wants, and abilities and marry them to exercises meant to elicit results. We know you share that vision too.