According to Juan Carlos Santana, director of the Institute of Human Performance in Boca Raton, Florida, power endurance is your ability to perform consecutive power (strength and speed) exercises with the least amount of recovery time. It helps build stamina (ability to resist fatigue), muscle mass, and increase reflexes necessary in many sports, particularly combat sports like mixed-martial arts and boxing. Power endurance requires you to have a strong core, optimal mobility, and proper technique and should be done under supervision and guidance from a qualified fitness professional or coach before attempting on your own.
Kettlebell Snatch and Clean
This exercise teaches you to use your leg drive to transfer energy from your legs and hips to your upper extremities. A leg drive is where you push against the ground to generate force to lift a resistance. You can use either two kettlebells or one.
Hold a kettlebell between your legs with your knuckles facing forward and your legs shoulder-distance apart. Bend your hips and knees and push against the ground, generating enough force to lift the kettlebell up with your body and flip it over your hand. The kettlebell should be resting on the top of your forearm with your elbows tucked in close to the center of your body. Do another leg drive and extend your arm above your head, pushing the kettlebell up with your body, not your shoulder or arm. Lower the weight slowly and return to start position. Keep your spine neutral throughout the exercise. Use a weight that you can do for 8 to 12 reps per side for 3 sets.
Lateral Box Hops
This exercise develops power endurance in your lower extremity while maintaining a neutral spine. Use a plyometric box or step about 6 to 18 inches high. It should be at or just below your kneecap. Place your left foot on the box. Push your left leg off the box and switch legs in the air so that you land with the left foot on the box and the right foot on the ground. Immediately repeat the movement for 16 to 20 reps for two to three sets.
Power Push-ups and Pull-ups
Push-ups and pull-ups are the most basic upper-body movement to develop power endurance. You can do these two exercises back-to-back with no rest in between.
For the power push-up, start in a push-up position with your chest close to the ground. Push your body up quickly and clap your hands together. Quickly return both hands to the floor and repeat the move. For the power pull-ups, increase the speed as you would do a normal pull-up but maintain the full range of motion and proper form. Avoid swinging your body back and forth. You can do it with an overhead or underhand grip. Do three to four sets of 5 to 15 reps for each exercise.
Plyometric Squat Jumps
To develop explosive power and endurance in your legs, perform squat jumps. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, bend your hips and knees and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Push through your feet, swing your arms up and jump as high as you can. Upon landing, lower into a squat and immediately repeat. Perform the movement for 16 to 20 reps for two to three sets.
- "Athletic Body in Balance"; Gray Cook; 2003
- "Essence of Program Design"; Juan Carlos Santana; 2004
- Sports Fitness Advisor: Lower Body Plyometric Exercises