How to Power Train
It's best to perform one or two power exercises right after you've warmed up and before strength training and cardio, because power training requires so much concentrated energy. (Feeling sluggish? Try these 5 ways to get an energy boost.)
Start by choosing up to two of the following exercises—listed from least advanced to most advanced—and perform one set of 6 to 10 reps, each. Then rest and repeat one more time before moving on to the rest of your workout.
(a) Grab a medicine ball and hold it above your head. Your arms should be slightly bent. Set your feet shoulder-width apart.
(b) Reach back as far as you can, then slam the ball to the floor in front of you. Throw the ball at the floor forcefully.
Variation: Stand on one leg as you perform the exercise.
More: 6 Exercises to Become a Stronger Runner
Medicine-Ball Side Throw
(a) Grab a medicine ball and stand sideways about 3 feet from a brick or concrete wall, your left side closer to the wall. Hold the ball at chest level with your arms straight, and rotate your torso to your right. Your arms should be straight and parallel to the floor. Brace your core. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Allow your hips to rotate naturally.
(b) Quickly switch directions and throw as hard as you can against the wall to your left. As the ball rebounds off the wall, catch it and repeat the movement. Complete the prescribed number of repetitions, then do the same number with your right side facing the wall, throwing from your left. Pivot so that both feet turn in the direction you're tossing the ball.
More: Strength Training to Improve Running Economy
Body-Weight Jump Squat
(a) Place your fingers on the back of your head and pull your elbows back so that they're in line with your body.
(b) Dip your knees in preparation to leap.
(c) Explosively jump as high as you can. When you land, immediately squat down and jump again. Imagine that you're pushing the floor away from you as you leap.
More: 4 Plyometric Exercises to Speed Up Your Muscles