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...

Featured Videos

Quest for the Ring: Duke University Views: 70,557
Path to the Pros 2015: The Journey Begins Views: 19,026
Quest for the Ring: University of Kentucky Views: 78,399
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

More Cool Stuff You'll Like

7 Best Lower-Body Strengthening Exercises

Posterior Chain Fixes to Improve Your Game

Reach New Training Heights With Resistance Band Exercises

12 Strength Moves from NFL WR Harry Douglas's Full-Body Workout

Improve Soccer Agility with Lateral Strength Exercises

7 Ways to Work Out Competitively Without CrossFit

Dominate Your Bench Test With This Strategy

4 Lifts to Build Wrestling Strength

Use Eccentric Lifts to Increase Size and Strength

Master the Lateral Lunge to Improve Your Hockey Stride

4 Deadlift Variations to Increase Your Pull

Never Bench Press With Your Feet in This Position

How NOT to Perform a Pull-Up (With Fixes)

Bench Press Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

These 3 Single-Leg Movements Will Improve Your Squat Technique

The Science of Building Muscle: 2 Ways to Maximize Hypertrophy

3 Nordic Hamstring Curl Exercises to Boost Your Performance

4 Exercises to Build True Lacrosse Power

5 Exercises to Develop Soccer Power

Improve Your Squat Depth With 5 Easy Warm-Up Exercises

The Best Single-Leg Exercises for Youth Athletes

Develop Core Strength for Throwing

Putting Together an Off-Season Workout for Point Guards

12-Week Resistance Band and Chain Workout

7 Strategies for Faster Workout Recovery

Prevent ACL Injuries With This Exercise

Increase Your Explosiveness with the Power Curl

Mike Boyle: 4 Small Muscles That Can Lead to Big Gains

A Better Way to Train Your Core

How to Design a Greco-Roman Wrestling Training Program

Make Lifts More Challenging With Resistance Bands

Perfect Your Squat Technique With the Unloaded Squat

7-Exercise Core-Blasting Workout

How Functional Training Has Overly Complicated Strength Training

How Often Should You Vary Your Exercise?

3 Tricks for a Stronger Front Squat

6 Gym Machines That Are Actually Worth Your Time

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

4 Simple Golf Core Exercises to Increase Your Driving Distance

Mike Boyle's 5 Tips for More Effective Workouts

Build Max Power With These Pulling Exercises

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

3 Post-Activation Potentiation Combos for Explosive Strength

10 Ways to Get Stronger With a Sandbag