Just a quick post today to share with you some of my favorite exercises to develop power for athletes. Obviously there are plenty more exercises that I like to use throughout a training year, but these are just a couple of my favorite ones if you need some variation and something different from the traditional plyo exercises and the common Olympic lifts.
Unloaded squat jumps are a great exercise that I learned from Cal Dietz, strength coach at the University of Minnesota. It allows you to jump higher by pulling down on the bands as you jump (although it doesn’t necessarily translate into more power development), but because of the height of the jump, you have more force to absorb (or decelerate) when you come back on the floor. That really is what’s beneficial about the exercise; an increased ability to absorb forces and react to high velocities.
The second one is more of a method than an exercise itself. It’s called the complex method, and the concept is simply to perform a heavy lifting exercise (with about 90% of your 1RM) for 2-3 reps, rest for anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes and then perform a bodyweight plyometrics exercise. The idea is that the heavy lifting exercise will activate more fast-twitch muscle fibers that you’ll in turn be able to use when doing the plyo exercise. In the video I perform them within 15 seconds, but ideally you’d want a longer rest.
The third one is a medicine ball throw variation that I got from Eric Cressey. It incorporates more velocity in the movement by running a couple steps and jumping before smashing the med ball into the wall. I’ll use this variation a lot with baseball players.
The last one is a variation of an Olympic lift. The reason I like it so much is because it usually is so much easier to teach and to learn than the traditional Olympic lifts. The 1-arm DB snatch is very effective to develop power and will take minimal time to master. If you haven’t already, try it!
As I mentioned in the beginning, this really is just the tip of the iceberg, as there are so many exercises to help develop power. I just wanted to share some of my favorite ones with you if you always end up using the same ones and need variety!
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