Increase Your Power With This Explosive Bodyweight Workout

Weight Exercise
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When you’re training without weights, one of the best ways to increase the difficulty of your workouts is to use explosive plyometric exercises. Adding a jump to common exercises like the squat or lunge will help to increase your power as well as ramping up the cardio and calorie-burning benefits of the workout.

The bodyweight workout below has been put together by Team GB sprinter Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, who is a trainer on audio-led fitness app WithU, which offers a wide range of guided workouts from strength and HIIT to running and yoga.

“This workout is all about explosive movements, executed with control and balance,” says Aikines-Aryeetey. “While focusing on power and strength, it’s also great for helping to burn calories, conditioning large muscle groups and improving your mobility.”

Watch Aikines-Aryeetey performing the moves in the workout in the video below, and read on for his guides to proper form and instructions on sets and reps for each exercise.

Bodyweight Workout To Build Power

Aikines-Aryeetey recommends repeating the sequence below three to four times with 10-20 seconds’ rest between each exercise, depending on your fitness.

Jump squat

Sets 1 Reps 10-15 Rest 20sec

“Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointing slightly outwards,” says Aikines-Aryeetey. “Bend your knees and press your hips back, as if you were going to sit back on a chair. Pushing through your heels, jump straight up. Land with your knees slightly bent and go back into a squat.”

Jump lunge

Sets 1 Time 20sec Rest 20sec

“This develops co-ordination, and driving through on your front leg works your quads and glutes,” says Aikines-Aryeetey. “Aim to jump through the ceiling!

“Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Jump your left leg forwards and your right leg back, landing in a lunge, with both knees bent at 90°. Jump straight up and switch your legs in midair so that you land in a lunge with your right leg in front. Continue jumping back and forth, pausing as little as possible.”

3 Hamstring bridge

Sets 1 Reps 10 Rest 20sec

“Lie on your back with your hands by your sides and your knees bent,” says Aikines-Aryeetey. “Your feet can be flat on the floor or on a raised bench. Tighten your abdominal and buttock muscles by pushing your lower back into the ground before you push up. Raise your hips to create a straight line from your knees to shoulders. Squeeze your core and pull your bellybutton back toward your spine. Hold for two to three seconds, then return to your starting position.”

Mountain climber

Sets 3 Time 30sec Rest 20sec

“This move should be all about holding a steady position, focusing on your core and working your hip flexors,” says Aikines-Aryeetey. “Start in a high plank position. Starting with a solid plank is the key to proper form and good results with the mountain climber.

“Pull your right knee in to your chest. Quickly switch and pull the left knee in. Continue to switch knees.”

Jump squat from floor

Sets 1 Reps 10 Rest 20sec

“Drop down onto your knees, and rise back up one knee at a time before pushing through your heels and jumping straight up,” says Aikines-Aryeetey. “Land with your knees slightly bent and go back down onto your knees, one at a time.”


Sets 1 Reps 10-15 Rest 20sec

“This is a great finisher to the workout,” says Aikines-Aryeetey. “Use your core by squeezing the abs to roll your shoulders up – your hips should not move.

“Lie on your back with knees bent and feet raised off the ground, with your hands held up towards the ceiling. Contract your abs to raise your upper torso and roll your shoulders up off the ground. Lower slowly.”

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.