Explosive power is vital to every athlete and it’s not something you should avoid if you have aging joints. Here’s how to do it safely so you’re setting new records

Plyometrics are the kind of thing can make you walk like a newborn giraffe the day after training. That’s because they’re a powerful movement that starts with an eccentric (muscle-lengthening) action and is immediately followed by a concentric (muscle-shortening) action. This was originally designed for sprinters looking for faster sprint times.

Most exercises are for the lower body, however with invention of rubberized medicine balls, and high-quality trampolines, that has all changed. These workouts are designed to develop explosive power and agility. The ability to change direction quickly and come off the line quickly. It’s a different alternative to regular strength training and you will definitely need one day recovery after it. These movements are made to be very dynamic in nature but are also a lot of fun. If you remember being a kid running, hopping and skipping, you were doing plyometrics without realizing it.  The combination of stretching and contracting your muscles gets them in shape while helping you to drop body fat.

If you’re young, then you can probably handle landing on a hard surface, but these box jumps can be tough when you’re in your fifth decade. That’s not to say that you should avoid them, but it does mean you should get creative by investing in some equipment and being smart. Everyone needs explosive power, whether you are 8 or 88. Why? You not going to one rep maximum squat out of the way of an oncoming car. No, you are going to explosively lunge and jump out the way. Use the following workouts as bolt-ons to your regular workout, as warm-ups or complete in sequence shown for a full body session.

Agility ladder drills and skills

1. Ali shuffle

Have one foot in the box of the ladder and one foot out. Now you are going to jump straight up in the air switch your feet and move to the next box. Keep doing that up and down the ladder for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

2. Hopscotch

Start with both feet outside the box. Now jump up and forward and bring the feet into the box. Keep doing that all the way down the ladder for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

3. 90-degree jumps

Stand sideways in the ladder with one foot in and one foot out. Jump forward and spin your hips as you move forward and bring your other foot to the next box. Try that for 30 seconds to a minute.

4. One-legged hops

Start with one foot in a box. Jump forward to the next box all the way down the ladder. Then switch feet and repeat on the other side.  Do for 1 minute.


1. Jump squats

Start with your feet outside the Bosu. Spring up and land on the Bosu in a squat. Then immediately jump back down. Do 10 – 20 reps.

2. Parking lot slams

Grab the Bosu with your hands and get in a push-up position. Physically pick the Bosu up from the push-up position and slam it side to side. Do 10 – 20 reps.

3. Lateral hops

Stand 1-2 feet away from the Bosu on the side. Hop on one leg onto the Bosu then immediately jump back to the ground. Do 10 – 20 reps.


1. Ice skaters

Jump laterally from side to side as fast as you can. When you add forward and backward movement to this, it becomes quite the workout. Do 10 – 20 reps.  

2. Foot fire

Stand on one leg and look for an imaginary spot on the floor. Rapidly jump forwards and backwards on one leg. Try 20 jumps left and 20 right.

3. Squat jumps

Squat down then explosively jump up then land in a squat and repeat. Do 10 – 20 reps.

Rubberized medicine ball

1. Chest pass

Stand in front of a wall with the med ball in your hands. Toss it against the wall as fast as you can and catch. The most important point is to extend the arms fully and receive the ball. Go for 30 seconds.

2. Overhead pass

Stand with the ball extended over the head. Now explosively throw the ball against the wall and catch as fast as you can. Go for 30 seconds.

3. Across toss

Stand sideways to a wall. Spin one foot as you throw the ball against the wall. Catch the ball as fast as you can and then switch sides. Try 30 seconds a side.

Mini Trampoline

1. Box jumps

Stand in front of the trampoline and then jump as high as you can onto the trampoline.  Not only will your knees love you but so won’t your back. Try 10 to 20 reps

2. Clap push-ups

Place both hands on the trampoline. Now explode up and clap your hands together. Repeat as fast as you can. Do 10-20 reps.

3. Foot fire

Stand on the trampoline on one foot. Now bounce on one foot for 20 reps and then the other foot for 20 reps.


This article originally featured in TRAIN issue 88. You can get a free subsciption by clicking here.