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Power and your hips…

Let’s talk quickly about power and your hips…

If we accept that:

Power = force * distance/time 

Then we know that to increase the amount of power that we are producing we need to use more force (or load), move something further in the same amount of time as before or move the same object faster through the same range of motion.

Your body is capable of producing a whole load of power with the muscles in the middle of it.  The big joints right in the middle that have the largest muscles in your body controlling them are your hips.

A great example of this is comparing a strict press to a push press.

In a strict press our legs stay still and only our arms and shoulders work to lift the weight upwards over our head.  

When we move to using a push press we ask the hips to start the movement by shifting down and back up (like you were jumping up off the floor).  This small change means that we can move the same load faster (as we share the work out across more muscles), we can load the movement heavier and we also move the weight slightly further as the bar moves down slightly first at the start of the rep.

Let’s work through some examples and do some simple maths…

As a baseline, let’s say that you can strict press two 10kg dumbbells 10 times in 10 seconds.

With the addition of power you might be able to:

  • Add reps and do 12 push press reps in the same 10 second period, or
  • Add load and use 15kg dumbbells for the same 10 reps in 10 seconds

In the original example there was 200kg of weight moved in 10 seconds.

Then we added power into the mix:

When we added reps there was 240kg of weight moved in 10 seconds,

When we added load there was 300kg of weight moved in 10 seconds.

If we can regularly try to do more work in less time the journey towards strength, conditioning and general health suddenly gets a lot smoother.

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