Build Explosive Power

Men's Health |

Test your vertical jump and build explosive power with one genius move.

A barrel chest and bulging biceps might look impressive, but true power originates further south. “The best athletes can explode off the ground repeatedly without rest and without losing power,” says strength and conditioning specialist and gym owner Jeremy Frisch. See how you perform with the weighted isometric sumo squat and jump drill. The isometric hold challenges the weakest part of your squat – the bottom – and forces your hips, glutes and lats to recruit more muscle fibres to overcome inertia and propel you skywards, says Frisch. The payoff: greater total-body power and backboard-clearing leaps.

Grab a 12- to 25-kilogram dumbbell and follow the instructions below. After you complete 10 jumps, begin the drill again. Your goal: three rounds without rest. Too easy? Rest for one minute after you finish the third round and then repeat the challenge.

Isometric Sumo Squat and Jump

1. Stand holding the dumbbell in both hands in front of your waist. Keep your feet twice shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed out slightly. Your weight should be on your heels.

2. Keeping your lower back naturally arched, push your hips back, bend your knees and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold this position for 10 seconds.

3. Drop the weight between your feet and explode off the ground. Land as softly as you can on the balls of your feet and then immediately squat down and jump again. Do 10 jumps total.

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