The Best Workout for Explosive Legs

Do you want to increase your leg strength and power? To build explosive, powerful legs, you need the right workout. Read on to discover the best exercises for developing your leg muscles.

Quick facts: Best Workout For Explosive Legs

  • ✅ Doing squats can increase your vertical jump and explosiveness in the lower body –NCAA
  • ✅ The Bulgarian Split Squat is a great exercise for improving single leg explosiveness –American Council on Exercise
  • ✅ Squats and lunges are best for developing explosive leg strength –Healthline
  • ✅ The box jump is a great exercise for increasing explosiveness in the lower body –The American College of Sports Medicine
  • ✅ Explosive Plyometric Training is the best way to improve lower body explosiveness –U.S. National Library of Medicine
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    Warming up is an essential step before any intense leg workout. A proper warm-up increases your blood flow, as well as maintains safe joint and muscle movements. Taking the time to properly warm up before your workout will also help you maximize the performance of your leg exercises and reduce the risk of injury.

    Let’s take a look at the best warm-up exercises for explosive legs:

    Dynamic stretching

    Dynamic stretching involves active movement, often of the muscles and joints, to increase core temperature, heart rate and blood flow. This type of stretching helps to warm up and prepare your body for more intense exercise. It is particularly beneficial for athletes and those whose workout involves explosive movements such as running, jumping or bounding.

    During dynamic stretching, you move through a range of motion without holding a static position. Examples include walking lunges, leg swings, high knees and lateral squats. Performing dynamic stretches prior to a workout can help to prevent injury by increasing circulation throughout the body and improving flexibility in your joints and muscles. Using dynamic stretches will also help you transition into explosive movements such as sprints or jumps with greater ease while still activating your muscles to fire when they need to.

    Light cardio

    Light cardio before any leg workout is essential because it helps your body adjust to the physical demands you will place on it. Light cardio can be anything from jogging, walking, elliptical, skipping rope, or jumping jacks. The purpose of light cardio is to get your heart rate up and prepare your body for the upcoming workout.

    Light Cardio should last about 3–5 minutes and should leave you feeling slightly out of breath but still able to perform dynamic warm-up exercises. This will help ensure that your legs are ready for explosive movements in the workout without risking injury from improper warm-up techniques.

    After completing the light cardio exercises, it’s important to finish with some dynamic stretches like

    • high knees
    • butt kicks
    • lunges

    etc. This helps activate certain muscles and prevents injuries from occurring during the workout.


    Squats are a great exercise to build explosive legs and improve overall strength. They target multiple muscle groups simultaneously, making them effective for increasing hip, thigh and gluteal strength. Squats also help with balance, coordination and posture, meaning they are beneficial for both athletes and everyday people alike.

    Let’s discuss why squats make such a great workout for explosive legs:

    Bodyweight squats

    Bodyweight squats are a great exercise for any fitness level. They provide both strength and muscular endurance benefits, while targeting the major muscles of your lower body. The primary muscles used in a bodyweight squat include the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings and calves.

    Bodyweight squats can be done anywhere and require no additional equipment except for some type of elevated surface such as a box, step or bench. To perform the exercise, stand with your feet about hip-width apart, toes slightly turned out. Keeping your chest up and chin up, lower yourself down into a squat until your thighs are at least parallel to the ground then press back up to standing position. When performing bodyweight squats correctly you’ll begin to feel them in your quads first before shifting to your glutes or hamstrings as you go deeper into the movement range.

    Bodyweight squats offer an excellent workout without any additional stress on joints or spine due to eliminating excess weight from barbells or dumbbells. They also strengthen core muscles and improve coordination as you challenge yourself to balance throughout the entire movement—making them an incredibly effective way to build explosive leg strength!

    Barbell squats

    Barbell squats are considered one of the most effective exercises to train and strengthen lower body muscles such as glutes, hamstrings and quads. This exercise is performed with a barbell, which is held across the back of the shoulders while performing a deep squat movement.

    Barbell squats can be performed as part of a routine or as a single exercise. Performing multiple sets of reps with proper form will help maximize results. Barbell squats can also be manipulated in weight, speed, tempo and range of motion for maximum effectiveness. Other variations may include sumo squats, front squats or box squats for different benefits on different target muscles. With the right form and adequate rest between sessions, barbell squats are an effective exercise to increase leg strength and power from sports performance to everyday fitness activities.

    Goblet squats

    Goblet squats are a popular variation of the traditional air squat and one of the best exercises for developing explosive leg strength. This type of squat involves holding a dumbbell or kettlebell in front of your body, near your chest. The goblet position enables the lifter to better maintain an upright torso, and allows for greater mobility in the hips when compared to other variations like back squats or front squats. Also, since it’s a unilateral exercise, you can focus on each side independently to prevent any imbalances.

    Goblet squats are great for:

    • Building lower body strength
    • Increasing power and speed
    • Increasing muscular endurance because of their unique range of motion and ability to target all muscle groups in the legs at once.


    Lunges are an excellent workout for building explosive leg strength. They engage multiple muscles in the lower body and are relatively straightforward to perform. Lunges also require minimal equipment, making them a convenient workout to add to any training routine.

    Let’s take a closer look at the different types of lunges and the benefits they offer:

    Reverse lunges

    Reverse lunges are an exercise variation to the traditional lunge, and they offer great benefits similar to normal lunges, including improved lower body strength, stability and balance. Reverse lunges target the entire lower body, with additional emphasis on the glutes, hamstrings and quads.

    An advantage of reverse lunges is that you’re able to work your muscles from a different angle which helps you build strength in areas that may not be achieved with regular forward or backward lunges.

    • When doing this exercise you should ensure that your knee alignment is correct in order to prevent any risk of injury.
    • You can perform reverse lunges while either standing still or walking – both variations will provide similar benefits when it comes to flexibility and strengthening of the muscles.
    • As with all exercises involving legs, proper form should always be prioritized for maximum benefit.

    Walking lunges

    Walking lunges are a great exercise for individuals looking to build explosive leg strength. These exercises target the quads, hamstrings and glutes.

    To perform walking lunges, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and take a large step forward with one foot. Lower your body down so that both legs form 90-degree angles at the knees. Push your back heel up as you return to standing and then repeat on the other side.

    Walking lunges add more of an endurance component than stationary lunges do, but they still provide an excellent burst of strength in the legs when used correctly. Make sure to maintain good form throughout the exercise and keep your torso upright while pushing off with your back heel. This is definitely one of the best exercises to help build explosiveness in your lower body!

    Split squats

    Split squats (also known as Bulgarian split squats) are a great leg exercise which target both the quadriceps and hamstrings. This type of lunge can be done with either one leg forward, in a split squat position or both legs forward, in a traditional lunge position.

    The main difference between these two variations is that in the split squat position, your back leg is resting on an elevated surface such as a bench or box. During the movement you should focus on keeping your torso upright and balanced over your front leg (whichever one you start with). You then push up through your heel to return to standing and repeat on the opposite side.

    Split squats are great for building lower body strength and increasing stability, especially in athletes who are preparing for sports performance.


    Plyometrics are an effective way to strengthen the muscles in your legs, improve coordination and develop explosive movements. Plyometrics can involve a range of exercises, such as squat jumps and box jumps, that help you build power and agility. While plyometrics can be a great workout for legs, it’s important to understand the benefits and risks before you get started. Let’s take a closer look.

    Box jumps

    Box jumps are a type of plyometric exercise that can help build strength and explosiveness in your lower body. Plyometrics involve dynamic, explosive movements that recruit several muscle groups at once, helping to increase strength and power.

    To perform a box jump, stand in front of a box or bench with feet shoulder-width apart and hands at your sides. Bend your knees and explosively jump as high as possible on top of the box or bench while extending your arms forward so they are parallel to the ground. Landing with both feet firmly planted on the box, immediately drop down to the starting position. Repeat this movement for desired number of repetitions.

    Box jumps are effective for helping develop explosive leg strength due to their use of multiple muscle groups in the lower body, such as the quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves.

    Broad jumps

    Broad jumps, also known as long jumps, are an explosive plyometric exercise that works the quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

    To do this movement correctly, start standing up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend at the knees and hips to create a forward swing before powering through your legs to jump as far forward as possible. As you reach the end of your jump, land with both feet square and absorb the shock of landing with a slight bend in the ankles and knees before immediately pushing back into a standing position for your next rep.

    Broad jumps not only strengthen muscles in your lower body but can also improve agility and coordination. Aim for 10-15 reps per set to get an intense leg workout.

    Single-leg hops

    Single-leg hops are a type of plyometric exercise designed to build power, strength, and endurance in your legs. These hops involve explosive movement, starting with one leg on the floor and the other one pushing off (or hopping) up into the air. These exercises are typically done in sets of 10 repetitions for each leg, with each hop covering about 1 meter in distance.

    The goal is to move as fast as possible while maintaining proper form and focus on fully extending your hips, knees, and ankles as you jump. Plyometric training also not only creates explosive power but can also increase agility and coordination. Plyometrics can be done using whatever equipment you have available; if nothing else, you can simply use a flat surface like a driveway or field and jump with both feet together or alternating single-leg hops.

    Core Work

    Core work is an essential component of workout routines for explosive leg power. As the name suggests, core work focuses on the muscles around the core of your body, which together form an integral part of leg power. By working on your core muscles you can ensure your legs will have the necessary strength and stability to be explosive on the court or field.

    Let’s take a look at some of the best exercises for core work:


    Planks are a great core exercise that helps build core stability and strength, as well as leg power. In performing a plank, you start by laying down on your stomach with your feet together and your arms bent at the elbow, hands about shoulder-width apart. Lift your body off the ground using your forearms and toes, creating a straight line from head to heels. Squeeze all the muscles in your body—especially in the core and glutes—and hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

    To make it more difficult, instead of holding yourself up with just your forearms, you can lift one arm and extend it up while you’re in plank position. This will help improve unilateral balance and strengthen the obliques along with the abdominals through increased resistance.


    Sit-ups are one of the best exercises you can do to target and strengthen your core muscles. Sit-ups build strength in the abdominal muscles and adjacent stabilizing muscles. These exercises are excellent for strengthening, toning, improving balance and posture, and overall abdominal health.

    Sit-ups require that you move through a full range of motion which helps improve hip flexor flexibility. When combined with other exercises such as squats, lunges, planks and other bodyweight core exercises it’s possible to achieve an all-over toned physique. Try adding sit-ups into your leg day workouts to challenge your core and get explosive legs!

    Russian twists

    Russian twists are an effective exercise for strengthening and toning the core. This exercise requires the user to sit on the floor, legs slightly bent, feet flat on the ground. With a weight in your hands (a medicine ball or a light dumbbell), you twist your torso from side to side so that your arms reach up and over your ankles. The key is to go slow and make sure you’re engaging your core muscles, not just swinging from side to side using momentum.

    Russian twists can help build strength in the lower back, obliques, and abdominals – an essential part of any explosive leg workout. This exercise can also be done without any weights or equipment; simply keep your feet flat on the ground as you twist from side to side with good form.


    After you finish a workout for your legs, it’s important to do a cooldown session in order to avoid any potential injury. It’s also important to give your muscles time to recover after a strenuous workout. A cooldown session can help prevent injury, as well as reduce any post-workout cramps.

    Let’s take a look at the best type of cooldown for explosive leg workouts:

    Static stretching

    Static stretching is a type of stretching that involves holding a stretch for an extended period of time (often 20-30 seconds). This type of stretching is done after an intense workout to help the muscles cool down and repair the tiny micro-tears that happen during rigorous physical activity. During static stretching, there should be no movement; the joints and muscles should stay at the same position while you focus on breathing and releasing tension from the body.

    By incorporating static stretching into your cooldown, you can prevent injury and help protect your body from fatigue. Additionally, research suggests that static stretching can reduce muscle soreness following exercise as well as improve flexibility over time.

    Static stretches are best done with a partner to ensure proper form and alignment, so be sure to include this in your next gym session for more efficient workout recovery!

    Foam rolling

    Foam rolling is an essential cooldown for any workout or training session. The purpose of a cooldown is to bring the body back to a state of relaxation and balance after a strenuous workout. Foam rolling helps reduce the risk of muscle fatigue and soreness while improving flexibility, circulation, and mobility around the joints. This can be particularly beneficial for those who are looking to improve explosive leg strength as well as overall athletic performance.

    Foam rolling involves using a foam roller over specific muscle groups before stretching exercises to help improve flexibility, mobility and will reduce lactic acid build up in the muscles post-workout. This can also help expedite the recovery process, allowing athletes to spend more time in their workouts than they would if they did not foam roll afterward. As well as being an effective cooldown technique, foam rolling can also be used during workouts before specific lifts or exercises to increase range of motion and maximize performance potential during later sets or exercises.

    FAQs about: Best Workout For Explosive Legs

    Q: What exercises are best for explosive legs?
    A: Squats, box jumps, power cleans, deadlifts, and lunge jumps are all excellent exercises for explosive leg strength and power.

    Q: How often should I do these exercises?
    A: It depends on your individual fitness goals and current fitness level. Generally speaking, you should be aiming to do these exercises 2-3 times per week if you’re looking to increase your leg strength and power.

    Q: How can I make sure I’m doing the exercises correctly?
    A: It’s important to make sure you are doing the exercises correctly in order to avoid injury and get the most out of the exercise. It’s always best to consult with a qualified trainer or coach to ensure you are performing each exercise correctly.

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