Basic Power Development Drills for the Contact Sport Athlete

For sports that require explosive bursts of power against outside forces (like other athletes) you will want to look towards loaded plyometric movements to get the job done.

Most athletes and coaches think that the clean, snatch, and their variations are the only option for power development. Fortunately there are many alternative exercises that are both safe for athletes new to this type of training and extremely effective.

Medicine Ball Keg Toss

Good for: Beginners

Virtually any athlete can safely use this movement. The primary goal is to make sure triple extension of the hips, knees, and ankles is achieved on each toss.

Explosive Medicine Ball Push

Good for: Intermediate Skill Levels

For athletes that need explosive starts, this is a great option. You will need a medicine ball and something soft to fall onto.

Dumbbell Box Jump

Good for: Intermediate Skill Levels

Before adding weight to the box jump, the athlete should be able to demonstrate correct mechanics of an unloaded box jump. There is no need to select a high box for these to be effective. Instead focus on the box appropriate for the athlete to use about 30-40% of their body weight.

Hex Bar Jump

Good for: Advanced Skill Levls

Prior to using this movement, an athlete should be proficient in the barbell or hex bar deadlift. They must also be comfortable with hip hinge mechanics and be able to maintain a neutral spine. With this movement, start with about 50% of body weight and progress up as long as mechanics are maintained along with speed.

Try adding in one of these movements on your next leg day after the warm-up and before the main lift of the day. Keep everything crisp and fast to rack up the power production benefits.

Coach Sarah Walls, founder of SAPT, is a professional performance development coach and personal trainer with over 15-years experience. SAPT offers athletic training programs for individuals of any age and background. Please email Sarah if you would like to learn more!