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Top 5 Explosive Lower Body Exercises

Top 5 Explosive Lower Body Exercises

If you’re looking to increase your explosive power and athletic performance, add these exercises to your workouts.

Every athlete wants to run faster, jump higher and get stronger. One of the most common questions I get from athletes all the time is "how can I get more explosive.” Unfortunately many athletes think that getting explosive is as simple as doing drills with the agility ladder. The fact is that if you want to become a more explosive and powerful athlete, you have to improve your rate of force development. Rate of force development refers to more quickly you can apply force. Here are some examples of how improving your rate of force development will help you improve your athletic performance.

The more force you can apply to the ground while running or jumping, the faster you will run and the higher you will jump. In the weight room, the more force you can apply to the bar, the faster it will more and the stronger you will get. Clearly being explosive is critical to in power sports like baseball, football and any sport that involves short bursts of explosive power.

In order to improve rate of force development, an athlete needs a solid foundation of coordination, stability, strength and mobility. Without these essential components, your ability to improve explosive power will be limited. Once a solid foundation of athleticism is built, athletes should include some form of jump training, sprinting and medicine ball throws into their program.

Below you’ll find the top 5 explosive exercises to improve lower body power.

Box Jumps

Box jumps are a great way to learn how to get explosive in the lower body while also teaching hip flexion and proper landing mechanics. When you perform box jumps make sure you land soft and step down from the box. Do not jump down!

  • Start in an athletic position and the hands locked out overhead
  • Explosively whip your arms down and jump as high as you can
  • Tuck your knees in to ensure you clear the box
  • Land in an athletic position
  • Step down and repeat

Lunge Jumps

Lunge jumps are a great progression to lunges and can be performed anywhere. While weighted lunges are an excellent way to develop uni-lateral leg strength, lunge jumps are a great way to improve uni-lateral leg power. This is critical for athletes because all basic athletic movements take place on one leg (running, making a cut, blocking a defender).

  • Start in a static lunge position and your arms locked out overhead
  • Drop your back knee towards the ground and whip your arms down
  • Explosively jump as high as you can while driving your arms up
  • While in mid air perform a lunge
  • Land and repeat

Broad Jumps

Broad jumps are the ultimate test of lower body power and explosion. Other benefits of broad jumps include increase reactive strength and hip power.

  • Start in an athletic position and the hands locked out overhead
  • Explosively whip your arms down and jump as far as you can
  • Land in an athletic position and without any rest immediately go into the next broad jump

Vertical Jumps

Vertical jumps are a staple in the NFL combine for a reason: they are the ultimate test of explosive power. Another reason why I love vertical jumps is because they can be done anywhere and have a direct carryover to speed. Here’s how you make sure you’re getting the most out of your vert along with some video from Coach Joe DeFranco:

  • Start in an athletic position and the hands locked out overhead
  • Explosively whip your arms down and jump as high as you can
  • Land in an athletic position
  • Reset and repeat

Weighted Sled Sprints

I first learned about this exercise from world renowned strength coach, Joe DeFranco. I love this exercise because it teaches you to apply a ton of force to the ground and also reinforces proper running mechanics in the lower body. There’s a reason why this exercise is a staple in the programs of all his guys who are training for the NFL combine.

  • Load a sled up with maximal weight
  • Lean forward and drive with your legs
  • Apply as much force to the ground as possible
  • Drag the sled for 10 yards
  • Rest until you are fully recovered and go again

There you have it, my top 5 explosive exercises for the lower body. This article wouldn’t be complete without me telling you how to implement jumps into your training. Start performing jumps on your lower body days directly after your warm up and right before your main exercise. This is important because it will prime your central nervous system for the workout and because your body is not yet fatigued. It is important to closely measure your volume and intensity so adhere to Prilepin’s Table seen below.

In order to maximize your explosive power, 1R would also recommend the following supplements:

  1. Cytosport Creatine – By increasing your body’s ATP production creatine will help you become more explosive, more powerful, and more athletic when taken before or after workouts
  2. Optimum Nutrition AmiNO Energy – This preworkout supplement contains vital amino acids and beta alanine to get you ready for any workout that may come your way
  3. Optimum Nutrition Threshold Beta-Alanine – Will help increase your workout capacity which will improve performance and strength during high intensity training

30 / 01 / 2017 1R