Believe it or not, not every athlete wants to build massive muscles. Think about wrestlers, MMA fighters, gymnasts, or athletes who use their own body weight as their primary resistance, they need the strength, but the additional bulk can be more hindering than helpful. What’s important to consider is that strength is not solely a property of muscle, but rather a property of the motor system. So going for the pump, total muscle exhaustion and complete muscle annihilation is not the name of the game here. Your body increases its strength by a) recruiting more muscle fibers in a particular muscle group and b) increasing the firing frequency of your motor neurons (neurons and muscle fibers). Apply these methods below to jack up your strength, but not your size.
Otherwise known as jump training, plyometric training involves hop- and jump-type exercises that train and develop what’s called the stretch shortening cycle. The stretch-shortening cycle teaches the body to better utilize stored elastic energy to produce stronger and more forceful contractions. This improvement in reactive ability can also be explained by improvements in muscle-tendon stiffness. Body-weight or weighted plyometric exercises can be utilized such as consecutive body-weight jumps over hurdles or continuous dumbbell jump squats.
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