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

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


  • 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


  • 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


  • Drive knee and opposite arm up
  • Lower slowly


  • 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 - Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami University...
Become a Contributing Expert
From Around The Web