7 Exercises to Help You Gain Explosive Power

gain explosive power

If you’re athletically inclined at all, you’re no doubt always working to get stronger, faster, and more explosive. Because no matter what level of athlete you are, it’s always possible to run faster, jump higher, and push harder.

And whether you’re training for a specific sport, or just want to increase your fitness and get improve at your regular workouts, getting more explosive can help boost your athletic performance and build speed, power and endurance.

And the good news? You don’t have to hire a sport-specific trainer to start gaining some serious speed and power.

Because many of the best exercises to get you more explosive in a hurry can be done in your own home or gym using your own bodyweight and maybe a kettlebell or two. 

Here are seven awesome exercises to help you gain explosive power:

Box Jumps

Box jumps are a perfect power building exercise since they teach your body to create a large amount of force and power from a static, isometric position. As you gain in strength and power, you can increase the height of the box to continue making progress.

How to do them:

Stand in front of a box or sturdy raised surface. Jump up onto the box, landing with both feet on top then straighten your legs. Jump back down from the box, then immediately jump back up.

Explosive Push Ups

Explosive (or plyometric) push ups are a fun way to start gaining more power in your upper body. As a bonus, they make a pretty cool party trick!

How to do them:

Start in the standard push up position with your hands placed directly below your shoulders and feet together. Lower yourself down by bending your elbows, keeping them in line with your body. Bring your chest close to the floor, then push up with your arms in an explosive movement. As your body raises from the floor, lift your hands up and clap them together. Land back in a push up position.

Tip: As you get better at explosive push ups, the trick possibilities become endless—you can try clapping twice, clapping behind your back, jumping up onto higher surfaces and more. Play around and have fun with them!


If you’ve been reading 12 Minute Athlete for any amount of time, you probably know that I’m a huge fan of burpees in all their wonderful forms. And for good reason: burpees not only build massive amounts of endurance and are great for burning mega calories in a short amount of time, they’ll also cause you to be more explosive in your workouts and any sports you play. For maximum effect, really focus on getting air on the jump up.

How to do them:

Get into a squat position with your hands on the floor in front of you. Kick your feet back into a push up position and lower your body to the floor. Return your feet back to the squat position as fast as possible, then immediately jump up into the air as high as you can. Make sure and add a little clap for pizazz!

Double Unders

Double unders are an awesome way to practice controlled explosion, since in order to do a bunch in a row you want to keep your jumps as close to the ground as possible. Do them often and you’re bound to build up immense amounts of power and strength in your lower body.

How to do them:

Stand in place with your feet hip-width apart while holding one handle of the jump rope in each hand. Start with a couple of single jumps, then use your wrists to swing the rope faster so that it passes under your feet twice in one jump. Do your best to keep your knees and ankles close together and your legs straight.

For a complete guide on how to get started with double unders, check out this how to article.

Wall Balls

Since wall balls are an exercise based on speed, strength and power, they’re an awesome exercise to increase your explosiveness and work your entire body. The key to getting the most out of wall balls is to really focus on the upward motion of throwing the ball high up on the wall and making sure it’s as explosive as possible.

How to do them:

Stand holding a medicine ball in front of your chest on front of a wall. Pull your shoulders back and engage your abs, then push your butt and hips back as if you were sitting in a chair. Push up back into a standing position while simultaneously throwing the ball toward the wall so it hits at about 10 feet. Lower down back into a squat position, simultaneously catching the ball in front of your chest and repeat.

Jump Lunges

Jump lunges are a great exercise for building explosive power  across both sides of the body. Since the more power you get in each jump, the easier the exercise is, jump lunges teach your body to use strength and explosiveness together.

How to do them:

Start in a lunge position with your knees touching or almost touching the floor. Jump up explosively and switch legs so that your rear leg is in the front and front leg is in the rear. Repeat as fast as you can.

Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell swings teach your body to use your hips to create massive amounts of power in order to get the kettlebell high up in the air. Get good at these and you’ll find that the power you’re able to harness when doing them starts to transfer in all areas of sports and working out.

How to do them:

Stand with your legs about hip-width apart, holding the kettlebell between them and allow the kettlebell to swing slightly behind your legs. Propel your hips forward, bringing the kettlebell straight over your head. Make sure and keep your eyes on the kettlebell at all times and point it straight up or slightly forward. Pull the kettlebell down from the sky and repeat.

What are your favorite power building exercises? Tell everybody in the comments!

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8 thoughts on “7 Exercises to Help You Gain Explosive Power”

  1. wow this has some very good workout sites and like I wouldn’t be able to do some of the stuff back then I can do it today thank you guys soo much


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