Exercise of the Week: Explosive Lateral Step-Up

Learn how to perform Explosive Lateral Step-Ups, an exercise Henrik Zetterberg uses to build his skating speed and lower-body power.

The STACK Exercise of the Week will help you improve your overall sports performance—including strength, speed, conditioning and flexibility. This week, we highlight the Explosive Lateral Step-Up, an exercise that builds power and speed.

Who's Doing It

  • Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings LW

Muscular Benefits

  • Increases lower-body strength and power, particularly in the glutes and quads
  • Increases single-leg strength and stability

Sports Performance Benefits

The Explosive Lateral Step-Up will increase your overall power and speed. The stomp at the beginning of each rep simulates making contact with the ground or ice, followed by an explosive extension of the hip and knee. This will increase the amount of force you can put into the ground, thus improving your jumping ability, acceleration and, in Zetterberg's case, skating stride power. Also, the single-leg nature of the exercise equalizes strength on both legs to improve agility in all directions.

Explosive Lateral Step-Up How To

  • Stand to right of knee-high plyo box holding dumbbells at sides
  • Place left foot on box
  • Stomp on box with left foot and immediately contract left quad and glute to explosively drive body up
  • Fully extend left leg and drive right knee up until thigh is parallel to ground
  • Bend left knee and hip to lower to starting position
  • Repeat for specifi ed reps
  • Perform set with right leg

Sets/Reps: 3-4x5-8 each leg

Coaching Points

  • Use light dumbbells
  • Stomp on box to initiate movement
  • Drive up as explosively as possible

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock