For years, the gold standard for developing power in the weight room has been Olympic lifts—the Clean, the Snatch and their variations. Both clinical and anecdotal evidence confirm that these lifts are effective. But they're also very technical. If you don't have the time or the skill to perfect them, here are some less complex, yet still powerful, alternatives.
A recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning demonstrated that Kettlebell Swings with a 32-kg kettlebell generate power outputs similar to Jump Squats without the continuous impact of landing. They're a reasonable alternative to Olympic lifts in terms of power development and training for hip-dominant explosiveness, but they're also far easier to teach and to perform correctly.
Rear Foot-Elevated Jump Squats
This is a great alternative to Olympic lifts for developing lower-body power. It doesn't require a huge load to be effective, and you cannot complete it without a full triple-extension of the hips, knees and ankles.
Med Ball Rotary Throws
I've included this exercise to address the single plane nature of Olympic lifts. Adding Med Ball Rotary Throws for power development will deliver a huge benefit if you play a sport—like tennis, hockey or baseball—that has an explosive rotary component.
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