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Top 5 Explosive Upper Body Exercises


Top 5 Explosive Upper Body Exercises

If you're looking in increase your explosive power and athlete performance, add these exercises to your workouts.

While the lower body is of the utmost importance to athletes who want to run faster, jump higher and be more explosive, a powerful upper body is extremely important for combat athletes and others who require hand speed, upper body power, and, well, just want to look better at the beach.

Think about a football lineman blocking a defensive end coming off the line of scrimmage or a wrestler trying to avoid a compromising position. Or an MMA fighter in the second round looking for a takedown. Or even a baseball player looking to improve his power numbers. Upper body power is important for all of these athletes and so many more. So without further ado here are my top 5 explosive upper body exercises that will help take your game, and your body composition, to the next level.

Plyo Push-up

Plyo push-ups is a great way to improve upper body pressing power. In addition to sport performance benefits, plyo push-ups are a great way to help improve your bench press.

  • Assume a push-up position on the ground
  • Lower your chest towards the ground
  • Explosively push off the ground as fast as you can
  • Catch yourself and repeat

Medicine Ball Kneeling Chest Throw

Medicine ball exercises are an excellent way to improve rate of force development for athletes. The kneeling chest throw has no deceleration phase, which will improve explosive power in the upper body and hips.

  • Start in the tall kneeling position w/ the medicine ball at chest level
  • Push your hips back & then explode your hips forward
  • Throw the ball as hard as you can
  • Land in a push-up position
  • Reset and repeat

Medicine Ball Push Pass

Medicine ball exercises are an excellent way to improve rate of force development for athletes. The medicine ball push pass is a great full body exercise that requires a lot of upper body power. This throw is the ultimate test of upper body pressing power.

  • Start in an athletic stance with the medicine ball at chest height
  • Push your hips back and then explode your hips forward
  • Throw the ball as far as you can


Rotational Medicine Ball Throw

Medicine ball exercises are an excellent way to improve rate of force development for athletes. Not only can they be performed on the sagital plane, but they are also a great way to incorporate other planes of motions. If the medicine ball push pass is the ultimate test of upper body pressing power than rotational medicine ball throws are the king of rotational power.

  • Start in an athletic stance with your lead hip facing the wall
  • Hold the medicine ball like you are trying to crush it and by your back shoulder
  • Recoil your lead hip internally and explosively throw the ball by internally rotating your back hip


Medicine Ball Slam

Medicine ball slams are a great exercise because they can be used to develop upper body power or aid in fat loss. Unlike the other exercises on this list, medicine ball slams will build power and explosiveness throughout the lats.

  • Start by holding a medicine ball with your arms extended overhead
  • Explosively slam the medicine ball down into the ground
  • Make sure you drop your hips and maintain a neutral spine throughout
  • Catch the ball around shoulder/face level and repeat

With all these exercises it’s important to make sure each rep is done as explosively as possible. Perform multiple sets (3-6 sets) and stay within a rep range that allows you to stay explosive throughout (typically 3-6 reps). More reps than that trains power endurance and not pure explosive strength so make sure to keep the sets short. But no matter what you do, be sure to give these exercises.



24 / 07 / 2017 1R