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I remember watching Bruce Lee perform his famous “one-Inch punch” on video awhile and even more recently. Most people would be amazed at his ability to do what he did with such power from only an inch away. And it was even more amazing due to his size of around 130 lbs. Was Bruce Lee someone special to be able to do that? Did he possess some sort of gift?
While most people will look at Bruce Lee’s famous build and low body fat percentage (which was estimated to be less than 3%), his secret came not from that, but from his training in plyometrics. This type of training involves the development of explosive strength and speed. This in turn created more power. If we were to look at the basic formula for power, then we can see why he had it.
Power = (Force x Distance)/Time
If we look at the one-inch punch and Bruce Lee’s size, it is obvious that the distance was out of the question in developing enough power. If one was to shorten the amount of time to develop force, then there would be an increase in power. Plyometric training accomplishes this.
To train this way, one must work the whole body as unit. It’s not about isolating muscle groups to get to where you want in developing power. You can work upper body and lower body, but it still has to be done as a whole. Second, when doing plyometrics, the goal is to spend as little time on the ground as possible. That means to get as high as possible during the training.
Since each person is going to be a different level athletically, work at your level, okay? That’s important so you don’t get injured. Do a good warm-up beforehand. And then get into the training.
I would do something like burpees to start out. This is one of the best overall body workouts you can do. Simply start at the standing position and then go down into a squat, extend your legs back behind you as you go into a push-up position. Bring your legs back to a squat and spring up into the air with both arms extended up. Go as high as you can. You can set up your own routine using burpees.
Clapping push-ups is another plyometric exercise. There are a number of exercises you can do, such as box jumps. In fact, jumping up onto a special box used for this and landing on one foot is great to create balance too. So you get a two-for-one special doing that training. Jumping side to side is great for agility. The four-square exercise is an example of this. There are so many variations of plyometrics that there is no way I could name them all here.
Just know that the benefits that you’ll get out of doing explosive strength training (plyometric) is increased power, increased speed and agility, burn more calories, better performance, muscular endurance and faster reaction times. Make sure to train on soft mats, such as rubber surface. Stay away from concrete or other hard surfaces such as that.
I wish you the best in your martial arts training and may you become the best practitioner you can be. Just be excellent at what you do. And it’ll serve you well. OSU!!!!
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