Where Athletic Power Really Comes From

David Weck
Strength and Conditioning, Biomechanics
We’ve all heard the statement “power comes from the ground up.” I want to talk about why this is true, but doesn’t tell us all we need to know about how to maximize explosiveness and power for athletic movement.
Gravity and ground reaction are the forces we use to move. These forces are expressed through the feet, both into and out of the body, which is why it is true that power comes from the ground up. Without something substantial to anchor bodyweight against, there is very little power that can be expressed. This is why, for example, an astronaut floating in space can throw a ball, but it won’t go very fast.
Now when it comes to expressing force to and from the ground to move with the greatest speed, power, and agility, it is essential to understand that there is a fundamental difference between supporting your weight on two feet versus one foot at a time. The key difference is in how you use your core. The definition I’m using for core is your entire torso.


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