The Neutral Corner: How To Build Explosive Power For Fight Sports

They say some things can’t be taught. I agree with this when it comes to natural ability and seemingly “freakish” genetics. But when it comes to attributes like speed and power, these can absolutely be taught and developed through the proper training protocol, programming, and progression. When it comes to power development, dynamic explosive movements are key and it’s important not to shy away from the use of heavy weights when performing these movements, as long as proper form, mobility, and rep schemes are applied.


Plyometric Exercises– One of the best ways to build explosiveness is through plyometrics. Plyometric exercises train the body to exert maximal force over a short period of time and usually involve jumping of some sort.

Box Jumps, jump squats and jump lunges are some of the most effective Plyometric movements.

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Olympic Weightlifting– Any athletic movement requires the body to work together as a unit from the legs up. In my opinion, the most effective way to train the body to produce total body power and explosiveness is through the use of Olympic weightlifting movements, such as the snatch and clean and jerk. These lifts train the body to produce power through the transfer of energy on an external object (barbell). They also train athletes to produce power from the legs first, then up through the body to the upper extremities, just like a punch. A great way to get power and endurance is by doing these barbell movements.  Clean, jerks, and snatches with kettlebells will add some extra stability work to the equation.

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Again, proper technique is key when performing any movements, especially these more technical exercises. Proper flexibility and stability must be developed first and the proper progressions must be utilized in order to effectively execute these movements. The use of max to sub-maximal weight is ideal but lighter weight must be used initially to master the body mechanics…Go be great people!

Jeff Hunter
About the Author:

Jeff Hunter. Passion for fitness and results based training is what drives Jeff to share his knowledge with the world. With over 6 years of experience as a personal trainer and strength & conditioning coach, Jeff brings a wide range of practical know-how from his experience with the general population and also elite athletes. Jeff is certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and is also a USAW and USA boxing coach. You can find him training out of the Everlast Lab in Hoboken, NJ.