Olsen, P. D., & Hopkins, W. G. (1999). The effect of weight training and explosive isometrics on martial-art kicks and palm strikes. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 31(5), Supplement abstract 790.

The effect of explosive isometrics combined with conventional weight training on speed and impact martial-art activities was investigated. This study extended the findings of Behm and Sale that showed action-intent, while performing isometric contractions explosively, to be a factor associated with strength and speed development.

A control group (N = 11) was compared to an experimental group (N = 19). For eight weeks, the control group performed normal training and the experimental group performed normal training as well as weight-training twice per week. For the final 10 weeks, the experimental group added 50 explosive isometric contractions three times per week, while the control group added 50 front kicks also three times per week. The kinetics of 10 rear-foot front kicks, 10 rear-hand palm strikes, and 10 front-foot side kicks, were recorded every two weeks using a padded force plate.

In the first eight weeks, the experimental group increased peak force 13% more than the control group in front-foot kicks. In the final 10 weeks, the peak-force difference was reduced to 7% improvement. Movements were 4-19% faster in the final 10 weeks in the experimental group when compared to control group improvements.

Combined weight training and explosive isometric training primarily improved the speed of martial-art movements.

Implication. Speed of movement activities are enhanced by augmenting normal training with weight and explosive-isometric training.

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