Plyometric exercises for increasing upper body power
- Push-ups with handclap. Push-ups with a handclap in between are a particularly vigorous way to condition the arms and chest. The pre-stretch takes place as the hands arrive back on the ground and the chest sinks. This is followed quickly by the explosive upwards action. Once again, to get the best training effect, keep the time in contact with the ground to a minimum.
- Medicine ball. Lie on the ground face up. A partner then drops a medicine ball toward your chest. Catch the ball (pre-stretch) and immediately throw it back. This is another high-intensity exercise that should only be used after some basic conditioning.
Using strength shoes
A strength shoe is a shoe with an elevated sole, but the sole is only on the ball of the foot. The calf is allowed to hang free, forcing it to be stretched (thus loaded) on every step. Strength shoes make every step a plyometric exercise for the calf. Since they only work the calf, you must do regular plyometric exercises in them to work the other muscles. Be aware that the calf plays a limited role in jumping and acceleration, approximately 30%, so while strength shoes will help they are just a tool for a good plyometric regime.