Flying. Judy; clapping pullups.

Flying. Judy; clapping pullups.

Explosion.  It is the name of the game, man.  The ability to explode is the most important physical attribute in an huge number of sports and activities.  There are exceptions of course, rock climbing and endurance stuff are a couple of examples, but the ability to really explode is where it’s at in most sports.  Explosion is the ability to go from non-movement to movement, inaction to action, as fast and hard as possible.  A wrestler shooting, a boxer punching, a sprinter out of the blocks, a shot putter throwing, a short stop diving for a grounder, a running back taking the ball, a volleyball player going for a kill, a lifter dropping under the bar.  These are all examples of explosion, of movement performed at the absolute edge of human speed.

However, even in CrossFit, explosion is not trained as much as it could be.  Sure, the Olympic lifts are a huge part of our programming, and rightly so, but a lot of other great stuff is rarely seen.  Short distance sprints, 100m and shorter, are a great training tool for explosion.  Jumping, both for height and distance, is another tool.  Height is usually done to a box, but it can also be done over hurdles with a bunch strung together.  Try going for distance with three to five jumps.  Calisthenics is an area ripe for explosive training.  Why do pushups when you can do clapping or chest slap pushups.  Even pushups where the hands just jump a couple inches off the ground are great for explosion.  How about squat jumps, with or without weight, and clapping pullups–try behind the back.

Explosion training is fun and challenging in a way that doing lots of reps can’t touch.  Add a little more to your workout.

What are your favorite explosive movements?  Please post to Comments.


5 Rounds (not for time)

5 Front Squats 75% 1RM

5 Broad Jumps (go for distance, no stopping between jumps)


On the minute for 15 minutes:

2 Power Cleans 80-85% 1RM

5 Clapping Pushups

5 Pullups C2B