This is the first installment of a short “Top Exercises” series from strength coach Jordan Tingman, where she will break down some of her favorite exercises from different categories. This is more than just her personal favorites, as she’ll be providing explanations and rationale for the selections and how to best utilize each.
Power exercises are important in any strength and conditioning program, however the Olympic lifts may not always be the correct or most effective exercises for an athlete. Though the Olympic lifts are near and dear to my heart, over the last year I have started to broaden my programming and exercise selection and focused on utilizing other exercises that may better suit the needs of a team or athlete.
Power exercises are defined as exercises where an athlete exerts maximal force in a short amount of time. Exercises that are commonly associated with power include the Olympic lifts, jumping and throwing. I have included in this video some of the exercises that I have been recently utilizing in programming with my athletes at Eastern Washington University.
Trap Bar Jump
The first variation I chose for my top 3 exercises is the trap bar jump. I have loved utilizing the trap bar because it keeps the weight in the center of mass of the athlete, and can be a great tool for overloading a plyometric movement like a vertical jump. The athlete is forced to apply maximal force in order to jump the trap bar off the ground, but also achieves triple extension. The stick at the end of the jump is a great deceleration exercise and can be an excellent reinforcement for landing. Individuals with valgus collapse of the knees can really benefit from this movement if done currently.
The second exercise I chose was the power and split jerk. These are not commonly utilized exercises, however I feel like they challenge athleticism in a great way with power, balance and coordination. Utilizing implements such as the landmine and dumbbells remove a lot of the discomfort and fears associated with barbell split jerks and power jerks. The split position requires both coordination and balance in addition to the power benefits. You can perform this exercise with the dominant leg forward, or you can change it up and have the athlete perform equal reps with each leg forward.
Lateral Medicine Ball Rotational Throw
The third exercise I selected for my Top 3 was the medicine ball lateral rotational power toss. Med balls are such a great explosive throwing implement because they can be utilized by ANYONE! I love this exercise because it’s such a great combination exercise – rotational core and rotational hip power in a 2-for-1 type exercise. As mentioned in the video, when performing these exercises for power, make sure your athletes are performing these exercises at MAX effort every rep in order to reap the benefits of maximal force.
I’ll be bringing you more Top 3 lists soon. In the meantime, give these a try in your programming.
Jordan Tingman – CSCS*, USAW L1, ACE CPT, CFL1 is a graduate of Washington State University with a B.S. in Sports Science with a Minor in Strength and Conditioning. She completed internships with the strength & conditioning programs at both Washington State University and Ohio State University, and is currently a Graduate Assistant S & C Coach at Eastern Washington University.
The IYCA High School Strength & Conditioning Specialist is the only certification created specifically for coaches training high school athletes. The course includes several hours of video instruction (including a complete Olympic lifting instructor course) and two textbooks with contributions from some of the top strength and conditioning coaches in America. Click on the image below to learn more about how to become a certified high school strength & conditioning coach.