6 Strength Exercises For Explosive Power

Plyometrics conditions your muscles to detonate on demand so you have the split-second force you need to crank up steep inclines, power through rolling terrain, and sprint to the finish line.


Bicycling |

And they work fast, too. Research shows that a twice-weekly plyometric routine can boost your power endurance (your muscles’ ability to contract at near-max force) by 17 percent and increase your lactate threshold cycling power (the max power you can sustain for about an hour) by 3.5 percent in just 4 weeks.

These plyometric moves will power up your hips, glutes, and legs, as well as fire up your core and the support muscles in your torso (especially important for ’cross and off-road riders).

Warm up thoroughly for at least 10 minutes. Always land softly by recoiling your joints like a spring immediately as you hit the ground. If fatigue is making your form sloppy, stop.

For the best results, combine this plyo routine with high-intensity sprint work on the bike (the trainer obviously works best here). Put the finishing touches on this workout with one to three sets of five 30-second sprints. Recover in an easy gear for 30 seconds between efforts. Take about five minutes to recover between sets.

Warm-Up Swings

Stand with your feet wide apart, holding a relatively light kettlebell with both hands, arms hanging down in front of you. (You can also use a medicine ball). Keeping your back straight, squat back, pressing your hips way back and swinging the kettlebell between your legs and behind your hips. Stand up, pressing your hips forward and swinging the weight up just past chest level.

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Jump Squat

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, arms at your sides. Sit back into a squat, lowering your hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Jump up as explosively as you can while reaching for the ceiling. Land gently, and immediately lower into another squat. Start with 10 jumps.

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Side Hops

Place a rolled-up towel on the floor and stand next to it. Bend your knees and jump up and sideways over it. As you land, immediately bend at the knees again and jump right back to the starting position.

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Pedalling Split Jump

Stand with your right leg forward and your left leg back behind you. Bend your right knee and dip your left knee toward the floor, so you’re in a lunge position. Place your arms out to the sides. Swiftly jump up and switch legs, driving the back knee up (like the upward pedal stroke) as you bring it forward. Softly land in a lunge position and immediately jump again.

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Ovation Pushup

Lie face down on an inflated exercise ball with both hands on an exercise mat or cushioned surface. Walk hands out until the ball is under your thighs or shins. Position your hands directly below your shoulders. Keeping your torso straight, bend your elbows and lower your chest toward the floor until your arms are bent 90 degrees. Push up as hard as you can, clap your hands once, and return to the starting position, before immediately dropping into another repetition. No ball? You can do this on the floor, but it’s much harder.

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Blastoff

Stand facing a step about 30 to 50 centimetres high. Plant your right foot on the step. Forcefully push off your right foot and jump straight up, swinging your arms forward and up for added momentum. Land with your right foot on the step and immediately push off for the next rep. Complete a set, and then switch legs.

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