Track Exercises that Build Explosive Muscle

Find out how to build explosive power to improve your all-around track & field performance.

Box Jump

If you are a sprinter, jumper or thrower, you need to be explosive. Without this essential attribute, you will be left standing on the blocks, miss your jump height or fail to match your opponents on your throws.

The key to getting more explosive is to perform exercises that target your fast-twitch muscle fibers. These fibers specialize in quick and powerful contractions that propel explosive activity. (Learn more about fast-twitch muscles.)

The best way to improve your muscle fibers is with maximum effort explosive movements, like plyometrics, variations of Olympic lifts and sprints. Below is a track-inspired workout, which you can perform once or twice a week to become a better athlete on the track or field.

Med Ball Vertical Jump

  • Hold med ball in front of chest
  • Lower into squat
  • Explode up to jump as high as possible
  • Land with soft knees
  • Repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 2x6, 2x6

Med Ball Vertical Jump and Press

  • Hold med ball in front of chest
  • Lower into squat
  • Explode up to jump as high as possible
  • Simultaneously throw med ball straight into air
  • Land with soft knees and catch med ball off bounce

Sets/Reps: 2x6, 2x6

Box Jumps

  • Assume athletic stance arm's 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 plyo box
  • Step down slowly; repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 3x6 with 2-minutes rest between sets

Sand Broad Jumps

  • Assume athletic stance in sand
  • Lower into quarter squat and swing arms backward
  • Explode with legs and swing arms to propel body forward as far as possible
  • Land on balls of feet with bent knees to absorb impact
  • Repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 2x6 on sand followed by 3x10 on grass

Hill Sprints

  • Assume starting stance at bottom of hill
  • Sprint up hill for specified distance
  • Walk down hill and immediately repeat sprint

Sets/Distance: 3x15-20 yards

Photo: Danny Vega

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