Alternative Power Exercises

Alternative Power Exercises

In our last post I touched on how we use the Olympic lifts with our athletes at @bodybyboyle. However, not every athlete can or should Olympic lift. Back, shoulder and wrist pain can often be limiting factors when programming the clean or the snatch. With our older athletes who have more training milage or a complicated injury history we’ll often look to alternative power choices that are less stressful on the body. Whenever picking exercises we always weigh risk vs. reward and make our choice based on that balance rather than what exercise we personally enjoy.

The following exercises are the ones I most often use as alternatives to Olympic Lifting.

Explosive Step Ups:
I really like programming these for my general population athletes. It demands vertical force production and coordination in a relatively safe environment. Be sure to use a soft plyo box rather than a wood or metal one to avoid shin smashing.

Vertimax Jump Squats:
I absolutely love the Vertimax for all my athletes not just those who can’t Olympic lift. The band resistance provided can serve as a great progression from regular jumps.

Rear Foot Elevated Split Jumps:
We use these frequently during our contrast phase immediately following split squats but I also like to utilize them as a stand alone power drill for some of my runners and cyclists.

Dumbbell Snatch:
The DB Snatch is a great option if you don’t have access to barbells and if you have to manage a high number of athletes. We use them frequently with youth groups and teams since they are easy to teach and I personally use them a lot when I’m traveling and stuck training in a hotel gym.

Kettlebell Swing:
The KB Swing is my go-to power option for general population clients. It’s safe, easy to teach and extremely versatile. I’ve programmed the Swing for everyone from 12 years olds to 75 year olds with success. This is often my choice power exercise for baseball athletes as I don’t like the potential risk for wrist and shoulder injuries when having them Olympic lift.