Increase Your Leg Power & Speed In 5 Exercises

  

Article Summary:

  • To develop your leg power, its important that you adjust your training accordingly.
  • To best achieve a high level of power, you want to be both quick and strong.
  • Many people forget about the role that calves will play in generating power.
 5 Exercises To Boost Your Leg Power & Quickness!

For many people, having strong legs isn’t their goal; rather, they are looking to have a maximum amount of leg power. The difference between having a high amount of leg power and a high amount of strength is that if you’ve got very powerful legs, you will be able to press a great deal of weight over a short period of time.

Essentially, you can generate a high amount of force and generate that force quickly. This comes in very helpful if you’re involved in a higher amount of sports that require you to be strong and quick at the same time.

In order to develop this physical characteristic, it’s important that you adjust your training accordingly since there are certain aspects you must touch upon to get a high degree of leg power.

 

The Exercises

1. Heavy Squats Or Leg Press:
      To best achieve a high level of power, you want to be both quick and strong. Many of the exercises below are not going to stress maximum strength to a huge degree, so its important to perform at least one exercise where you will lift as heavy as possible.  

Barbell SquatBarbell Squat 
Barbell Squat
 Since squats put you in your strongest position (or the leg press  for those who struggle with squat positioning), perform this exercise for a rep range of 5-8 reps lifting as heavy as you possibly can. Do 3-5 sets of these and youll be well on your way to develop a very solid strength foundation. 
Leg Press
Leg Press



Leg Press

2. Jump Squats:

Following a good rest after doing the squats (at least 3-5 minutes to fully recover), next you want to move into jump squats. These won’t be performed with much weight if at all (you can wear a weighted vest if desired), but will focus on maximum quickness and explosiveness.

Freehand Jump Squat
Freehand Jump Squat
Freehand Jump Squat
      When doing these, you want to jump up off the ground as high as possible while reaching the arms above your head to help increased the entire movement pattern.
3. Calf Raises With A Quick Eccentric Component:

One factor that many people forget about is the role that calves will play in generating power. Since this is the last link of the chain when you perform any type of run or jump, it’s vital that this muscle is also trained for power.To do this, you want to perform your standard sitting or standing calf raise with a heavy weight, but focus on really making the concentric portion of the exercise (where the muscle shortens – in this case when you rise up) as fast as possible. Then pause for a moment when you’re at the top and slowly lower to a count of two or three seconds..
Seated Calf Raise
Seated Calf Raise
Seated Calf Raise
      Repeat this process for 12-15 reps for a total of three to four sets. If you really want to make things challenging for yourself, consider doing it with one leg calf raises as well.

Standing Calf Raises
Standing Calf Raises
Standing Calf Raises
4. Tempo Hamstring Curls:

      While both the quads and hamstrings will be worked when you perform a squat, to zero in and focus on purely the hamstrings, adding some tempo hamstring curls to the program will also be a good idea.

      For these, focusing on maintaining a constant speed throughout the entire movement so there’s a constant tension on the muscle tissue. A tempo of 3-0-3 will work well, but you can extend this to 4-0-4 if you really want to slow things down. 
Lying Leg Curls
Lying Leg Curls
Lying Leg Curls
      Perform two sets in this manner and then supplement that with another two sets where you shorten the tempo to a 1-0-1 or 2-0-2 (you may must adjust the weight for these ones). This will give a good mix and train the muscles to effectively fire at unique rates.
5. Interval Sprints:

Finally, the last way to really boost your leg power is to perform interval sprints . Ideally you would want to do these at a completely separate time than you do your leg weight workout however since weight training will slow the muscle tissues down making it very difficult to work to maximum effectiveness with sprints. Perform your sprints either later in the day or on an entirely different day altogether depending on your overall workout set-up. Aim to sprint for 10-20 seconds at 100% effort and then rest for 30-60 seconds accordingly. You aren’t aiming to sprint long but rather focusing on being as quick as possible off the absolute start.

Conclusion

So if you’re looking to boost your leg power, make sure you’re including these exercises. Avoid doing too much leg work though as training for explosiveness is quite stressful on the body and you could quickly find yourself overtraining if you aren’t careful. Two sessions a week will be plenty and it would be ideal if these are separated by two days in between workouts.

Sample Workout

  • Squats/Leg Press: five sets of 5-8 reps
  • Jump Squats: three sets of 10-15 reps
  • Calf Raises: four sets of 12-15 reps
  • Leg Curls (Fast): 30 seconds
  • Leg Curls(Slow): 45 seconds
  • Interval Sprints

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