Exercise of the Week: Lower-Body Strength and Power Circuit | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Exercise of the Week: Lower-Body Strength and Power Circuit

December 5, 2012

The STACK Exercise of the Week will help you improve your overall sports performance—including strength, speed, conditioning and flexibility. This week we highlight a lower-body circuit that develops strength and power.

Who’s Doing It

  • Tobin Heath, U.S. soccer star

Muscular Benefits

  • Increases glute, quad, hamstring and calf strength and power
  • Improves balance and single-leg stability
  • Builds endurance

Sports Performance Benefits

The four exercises in this circuit primarily develop lower-body strength and power to improve acceleration, agility and top speed. The single-leg aspect of the Step-Up and Lunge build stability and balance to help you stay strong on your feet and prevent opponents from knocking you out of position. Also, performing these exercises in a circuit is a great way to keep your heart rate up and improve late-game endurance.

Lower-Body Circuit How To

Circuit the following exercises using a knee-high box

Box Squat

  • Assume athletic stance six to 12 inches in front of box
  • Bend hips and knees to slowly lower into Squat
  • Tap butt on box
  • Explosively drive out of Squat
  • Repeat for specified reps

Step-Ups

  • Assume athletic stance six inches behind box with right foot fully on box
  • Contract right quad and glute to explosively drive body up
  • Drive left knee up until thigh is parallel to ground
  • Bend right knee and hip to lower left leg to ground and return to starting position
  • Repeat for specified reps; perform set on opposite leg

Lunges

  • Assume athletic stance
  • Step forward with right leg and lower until thigh is parallel to ground and rear leg is one or two inches above ground
  • Drive up with front leg to return to start position
  • Repeat for specified reps; perform rep with opposite leg

Box Jump

  • Assume athletic stance about one arm-length away from plyo box
  • Lower into quarter-squat, then explode through hips, knees and ankles to jump for maximum height
  • Land softly with bent knees on top of box
  • Step down slowly
  • Repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 4x6-8 each exercise

Coaching Points

Box Squat

  • Sit back
  • Lower slowly
  • Drive up explosively

Step-Ups

  • Drive knee and opposite arm up
  • Lower slowly

Lunges

  • Keep chest up and knee behind ankle
  • Go as deep as possible

Box Jump

  • Begin in power stance
  • Use arms to explode up
  • Land softly
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is an Associate Content Director at STACK Media. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science...
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is an Associate Content Director at STACK Media. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

7 Best Lower-Body Strengthening Exercises

How to Design a Greco-Roman Wrestling Training Program

Notice On-Court Results With This Basketball Core Workout

Make Lifts More Challenging With Resistance Bands

4 Sure-Fire Ways to Build a Strong Core

5 Isolation Exercises Your Workout Is Missing

7-Exercise Core-Blasting Workout

3 Nordic Hamstring Curl Exercises to Boost Your Performance

Master the Lateral Lunge to Improve Your Hockey Stride

3 Sandbag Training Mistakes Athletes Make

Dominate Your Bench Test With This Strategy

Build Full-Body Strength With 5 Suspension Trainer Exercises

Improve Your Back Strength with the Inverted Row

7 Strategies for Faster Workout Recovery

3 Explosive Exercises Designed to Increase Pitching Power

These 3 Single-Leg Movements Will Improve Your Squat Technique

How Functional Training Has Overly Complicated Strength Training

7 Strategies for Dealing With a Meathead in Your Gym

Never Bench Press With Your Feet in This Position

Top 5 Baseball Strength Training Myths

7 Exercises That Safely Build Shoulder Strength

Perfect Your Squat Technique With the Unloaded Squat

4 Weaknesses That Can Ruin Your Exercise Technique (With Fixes)

Break Through Plateaus With the 1-10 Drop Set Method

Bench Press Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

A Better Way to Train Your Core

3 Post-Activation Potentiation Combos for Explosive Strength

The Best Single-Leg Exercises for Youth Athletes

4 Deadlift Variations to Increase Your Pull

10 Ways to Get Stronger With a Sandbag

Kyle Lowry's 12-Week All-Star Training Program

Get a Ripped Core With 6 Advanced Dead Bug Variations

The Science of Building Muscle: 2 Ways to Maximize Hypertrophy

How Often Should You Vary Your Exercise?

Don't Train Your Arms Until You Can Do These 4 Things

5 Softball Catcher Drills for Throwing Power

7 Ways to Work Out Competitively Without CrossFit

Blast Through Plateaus with Tempo Sets

4 Lifts to Build Wrestling Strength

4 Exercises to Build True Lacrosse Power

Build Powerful Pecs With This Multi-Angle Chest Workout

The Simplest Bodyweight Workout Ever

Get Faster by Improving Your Core Mobility

Develop Core Strength for Throwing