Sunday, November 6, 2016
Muscular Power and It's Effect on the Body
Power is a multi-factor case. It develops based on two other factors of fitness; strength and speed. Muscular power is defined as the ability of a muscle to produce force at a rapid, quick velocity of movement.2 It is produced during exercise is dependent upon the type of exercise needing to be performed. For example, for an athlete to jump to block an opponent’s shot, the power needing to block the opponent’s shot is dependent upon the height at which the athlete is needing to jump. Sudden bursts of power is necessary for rapid changing direction, or accelerating during various sports such as football, basketball, soccer, and many other sports. Although power is a separate factor of physical fitness, it is directly related to and often times associated with strength.
Power is the product of strength as well as speed. It is similar to strength in the fact that both have the goal to maintain or restore function. Often times when constructing an exercise protocol, many Strength and Conditioning coaches put together both strength and power. One does not exist without the other. In order to perform certain exercises such as plyometrics, resistance exercises, and medicine ball exercises, one must have enough strength built to explode through those actions and vice versa.1
There are many examples of power exercises. A few, most common examples are box jump, depth jump, squat jumps, clapping push-ups, medicine ball throws, and many more. The activities that are listed are mainly used when specifically training for power.
Power training is accomplished by using several tests as a baseline. These tests include but are not limited to vertical jumps, standing long jump, and three-hop jump. Once the athlete hit a certain level or pass a certain time, that determines his or her score. For example when conducting a vertical jump test, the athlete is instructed to stand tall and reach his or her arm against the pole. Once the pole is level within their arm’s reach, the athlete is then instructed to jump as high as possible and hit the tabs that are attached to the pole. The athlete is given three attempts. The best of the three attempts are noted and compared to the team’s average.
Power is an important aspect of physical fitness. Muscular power is the product of muscle strength by speed and can be defined as the capacity of the muscle to produce strength quickly.1 It can be developed or trained by specifically performing plyometric, resistant, and medicine ball exercises. It is most commonly used within athletics; however, it is used within the health field across the board.
1Kawamori, N., & Haff, G. G. (2004). The Optimal Training Load For The Development Of Muscular Power. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 18(3), 675-684. doi:10.1519/00124278-200408000-00051.
2Sapega, A. A., & Drillings, G. (1983). The Definition and Assessment of Muscular Power. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 5(1), 7-9. doi:10.2519/jospt.19188.8.131.52.