Muscular Power

Meghan B

Definition

Muscular power is the component of fitness that allows athletes to jump higher, hit a ball harder and ride uphill more easily. Muscular power is the ability to exert a force rapidly, over a short period of time, and it’s closely related to muscular strength and speed.

Factors affecting MP

Factors that effect muscular power include the efficiency of the ATP PC system and the requirement of a high percentage of white fibres. Muscles with higher percentages of fast twitch fibres are able to generate greater force than muscles that have a higher percentage of slow twitch fibres.

Tests

Standing long jump

Method: The athlete stands behind a line marked on the ground with feet slightly apart. A two foot take-off and landing is used, with swinging of the arms and bending of the knees to provide forward drive. The subject attempts to jump as far as possible, landing on both feet without falling backwards. Three attempts are allowed. The measurement is taken from take-off line to the nearest point of contact on the landing (back of the heels).





Vertical jump

Method: Stand sideways to the wall with one arm extended. Make a chalk mark at the height of your reach. Don’t elevate the shoulder. Lower the arm and, without moving your feet, squat down and jump as high as possible, making a mark on the wall as high as you can reach the peak of the jump. Three trials are allowed, with the best result used for rating. Measure the distance between the starting mark and the jump mark.

Standing long jump test
Vertical Jump Test
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Training Methods

Training Methods

Training to improve power can include lifting weights, throwing implements such as medicine balls, running against resistance, and plyometrics (depth jumping and bounding).

Resistance Training

Resistance training is a form of strength training that involves some form of resistance used against a muscle contraction – such as exercises using weights and Pilates. When resistance training is undertaken repeatedly and consistently, muscles and bones become stronger hence the ability to have better muscular power. Benefits of resistance training include:

Ø Increases strength; allows an increase in force production which can be adapted for improvements in both power and speed

Ø Improves body composition

Ø Helps prevent osteoporosis

Ø Forms the foundation for the development of speed, power and agility

Weight training guidelines for muscular power include 30-60% maximum repetition/1-3 sets/as fast as possible and resting for 2-3 mins.

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Circuit training

Circuit training comprises a sequenced performance of exercises at different activity stations.

Benefits of circuit training include:

Ø Offers variety

Ø Several fitness components can be targeted in the one training method

Ø Specificity can be maintained

Ø Can accommodate large groups of people and may be a good alternative for sporting clubs in inclement weather

Ø Minimal equipment is required; body weight exercises such as push ups and sit ups can be used as stations.

Examples: fixed time circuit training, fixed load circuit training, individual circuit training and overloading circuit training.

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Plyometrics training

Also known as the stretch-shortening cycle. Plyometric, also known as "jump training" or "plyos", are exercises in which muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time, with the goal of increasing both speed and power. This training focuses on learning to move from a muscle extension to a contraction in a rapid or "explosive" manner, such as in specialized repeated jumping. Plyometric’s are primarily used by athletes, especially martial artists and high jumpers, to improve performance, and are used in the fitness field to a much lesser degree.

Because of its explosive nature, care needs to be taken to minimize the risk of injury when introducing a plyometric program. Consider the following:

Training considerations:

Ø A strength base is recommended before commencement of a plyometric program.

Ø Appropriate footwear, warm up ad surface paramount.

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