Learn exactly what Ballistic Training is.
Have you ever seen a weird guy in the gym throwing the Smith Machine bar through the air with low weights or jumping after a squat as he wanted to fly with the bar with just a few kilograms or pounds?
Why isn’t this guy lifting heavy loads to show everyone in the gym he is “strong” – after all, this is what every guy does, right? Especially when there are beautiful girls around 🙂
I’m going to tell you he probably is a Karate athlete who knows exactly what Ballistic Training is and its importance to the development of Speed and Power!!!
That’s right, follow that guy and make what he makes: mix Ballistic Training with Plyometrics, Maximal Strength, Endurance Strength, and so on. All of them are crucial so you can be a faster and healthier Karateka.
All you need to know is how to use them in your Classes and Training.
Most of karate movements and actions are ballistic, right?
They are fast movements that go full speed up to the end. Ballistic Training is used, essentially, to improve the Velocity dimension of Power.
When you perform Traditional Strength Training with light loads (so you can enhance the speed of the movement) you will slow down your movement way before the end of it.
That happens because you have to hold the bar or dumbells, right? And you know what? When you practice those fast Traditional Strength exercises with lighter loads, your Neuromuscular System starts to slow down your movement even earlier!
This way, you are not fully stimulating your Muscle Power!
Ballistic Training solves this problem! Instead of making a quick squat (when you come up), you make a jump with maximum speed and height; instead of making a quick bench press, you must throw the bar as fast and higher as you can.
This is Ballistic Training… don’t slow down the movement at its end; take your feet off the ground or throw the bar or the medicine ball and catch it again (or you can make several exercises with a partner or a wall).
This way you can reach much higher levels of Power and Concentric Velocity. And your Karate will become much, much more Explosive.
But should you rely on Ballistic Training, exclusively?!? Of course, not…
First, you must prepare your muscles and tendons (and other anatomical structures) to support the Ballistic exercises. Because it demands your maximal effort and it can lead to injuries on weaker body structures.
Begin with Traditional Strength Training and Low to Moderate-Intensity Plyometrics… Besides that, Traditional Resistance Training for Muscle Power where you don’t release your body or an external weight also has its role – but that’s another story 😉
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