Building explosive strength in the lower body can aid performance across a huge number of sports.
It can be worked on specifically through a number of exercises.
Here are six movements that you can use to improve explosive power in the legs.
Frog Squat Jump
In this exercise, the body switches from a slow eccentric contraction to a forceful concentric contraction very quickly.
Begin standing upright with both hands holding one end of a dumbbell. Squat slowly until the dumbbell touches the floor. When it does, this is your trigger to jump upwards explosively, keeping your arms straight.
This exercise is good if you have fairly deep outdoor stairs close to your home or a gym. Stand on a stair, squat and swing your arms forward as you powerfully jump forwards and upwards along the staircase. Once you land, repeat again as quickly as possible.
Stand over the bar with it touching your shins, holding it just outside the width of your hips. Raise your hips and shoulders until the bar is just above the knees. Then violently extend your hips, knees and ankles whilst shrugging your shoulders to bring the bar to the rack position. Extend the hips and knees fully before returning the bar to the ground.
The unilateral element of jumping lunges makes them very applicable to a range of sports. From a lunge position, explosively jump up and switch legs while in mid-air, landing with soft knees and not letting your back knee touch the ground.
Medicine Ball Throw
Holding a medicine ball, drop into a squat and bring the ball down towards your feet. Extend from your hips, straightening your knees, and throw the ball up high as you do so. Catch the ball and use its momentum to start a new rep.
Single-Leg Explosive Step-Up
Stand with your left leg on a box that is roughly knee-high. Drive your right leg upwards in a running motion until it reaches about a 90-degree angle. At the same time, extend through your left leg so that it straightens and hops off the box.