Curated By Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S.
Most workouts push you to build muscle and strength. But you also need to develop something else, too: Explosive power. The strength you’ve built in the gym allows you to create force. By building power, you create that force fast. A powerful body will make you a better athlete (hello, marathon PRs!), and it’ll also protect you against injuries.
And the exercises you do to develop power have other benefits, too. They almost always challenge your abs – and they’ll also redline your heart rate at light speed. Power exercises require every muscle in your body to work together, setting up strength gains and blasting calories along the way. Start building that power with this workout; aim to do it three times a week, resting at least one day between each session.
1. DUMBBELL SWING
No power exercise is more legendary than this variation of the kettlebell swing. And the key is to make this a swing. Your goal on each rep is to push your butt back as you drive the bell back between your legs.
Then, instead of trying to “raise” the weight with your upper body, just think of standing up and squeezing your glutes. That will explosively power the bell forward. Do 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
2. PUSH PRESS
This move focuses on upper-body power. You’ll stand with a dumbbell in your right hand at your right shoulder. Then bend your knees and hips slightly. Explode upwards (so powerfully that you rise onto your tiptoes) and drive the weight overhead. Lower it back to your shoulder.
Do 3 sets of 6-8 reps per side. And if you’ve ever wanted to dunk a basketball, know that this exercise is quietly helping you reach that goal.
3. SINGLE-ARM SNATCH
Now you’ll blend upper- and lower-body explosion in one move. Start holding a dumbbell in your right hand, at about knee height, abs tight, knees bent. Explosively stand (just as you did on the push press) and simultaneously pull the dumbbell to shoulder height, keeping it close to your torso as you do.
Once it reaches shoulder height, punch overhead. Do 3 sets of 6-8 reps.
Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S.
Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., is a certified trainer with more than 10 years of training experience. He’s logged training time with NFL athletes and track athletes.
His current training regimen includes weight training, HIIT conditioning, and yoga.
Ebenezer has had multiple prestigious positions including serving as a sports and tech columnist for the New York Daily News.