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Build Explosive Strength: Workout I

The first muscle-building routine from our MMA-inspired workout routine.

Exercise 1: Dumbbell Snatch

Sets: 6 Reps: 3 Rest: 90-120 Seconds

Get into a shoulder-width stance and hold one dumbbell in front of you at arm's length, palm facing you. Keeping your lower back in its natural arch, bend your hips and knees until the dumbbell hangs below your knees [1]. Extend your hips and knees explosively, shrugging your shoulders and coming up on the balls of your feet as you pull the weight straight up in front of your body and overhead [2]. Lower the weight back down. That's one rep. Complete all your reps on that side and then switch arms and repeat.


Exercise 2: Box Squat

Sets: 2-4 Reps: Work Up to a 3 RM Rest: 45-60 Seconds


Set up a barbell on the supports of a squat rack and place a box a few feet behind you. The box should be low enough that your thighs are parallel to the floor when you sit on it. Step underneath the bar and grab it with your hands about 8 to 12 inches wider than shoulder width. Nudge the bar off the rack and stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart [1]. Bend at your hips and sit back, lowering your hamstrings onto the box as far back as you can [2]. Pause for a moment and then explosively stand back up. That's one rep.


Exercise 3: Towel Pullup

Sets: As many as needed Reps: 40 Rest: 45-60 Seconds


Drape a towel over a pullup bar, grab an end in each hand, and hang [1]. Pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar [2] and then lower yourself back to the starting position. That's one rep.


Exercise 4: Pushup

Sets: As many as needed Reps: 40 Rest: 45-60 Seconds

Place your hands on the floor about shoulderwidth apart and extend your legs straight behind you—your body should form a straight line from your heels to your head [1]. Lower your body until your torso is about one inch off the floor [2] and then push yourself back up.


Exercise 5: Spread Eagle Situp

Sets: As many as needed Reps: 40 Rest: 45-60 Seconds

Lie on your back on the floor. Spread your legs and hook your feet around something sturdy, such as the frame of a power cage or a pair of heavy dumbbells [1]. Sit all the way up [2]. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position. That's one rep.


Exercise 6 Cable Suplex

Sets: 3-4 Reps: 8-12 Rest: 45-60 Seconds

Attach a rope handle to a low cable pulley and get into a shoulder-width stance facing the cable stack. Squat down and, keeping your chest up, grip the rope with your thumbs up [1]. Explosively straighten your hips and lift the cable up, extending your arms as you rotate your body and shoulders to your right side [2]. Quickly drop to the starting position and explode up to the left side. That's one rep.

Back to the Workout Program to Build Explosive Strength