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Explosive Step Ups. By Penina Adongo and Shirley Chung. Definition. A resistance exercise that trains the legs and hips for explosive step up patterns. Muscles Involved . Hamstrings, quadriceps, and gluteal. Hamstrings. Quadriceps. Technique.

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explosive step ups

Explosive Step Ups

By PeninaAdongo and Shirley Chung

  • A resistance exercise that trains the legs and hips for explosive step up patterns.
muscles involved
Muscles Involved
  • Hamstrings, quadriceps, and gluteal.



  • Keep back straight and ensure foot is entirely on the step.
  • Use a box/step with a maximum height of 18”.
  • Step with one leg onto the box and explode vertically using the leg you stepped up with.
  • Jump as high as possible off of this one leg by aggressively extending the hip knee and ankle while swinging arms upward.
  • Slowly lower yourself from the box and repeat using the same leg until the designated number of repetitions have been completed.
  • Then switch and perform the same number of reps using the opposite leg.
variations barbell step ups
Variations: Barbell Step Ups
  • Position bar on back of shoulders and grasp barbell to sides
  • Place foot of first leg on bench.
  • Stand on bench by extending hip and knee of first leg and place foot of second leg on bench.
  • Step down with second leg by flexing hip and knee of first leg.
  • Return to original standing position by placing foot of first leg to floor.
  • Repeat first step with opposite leg alternating first steps between legs
variations light weights
Variations: Light Weights
  • This can also be performed by holding light weights to the sides of the body.
variations special
Variations: Special
  • Personal additions and changes can be made as desired.
beneficial for
Beneficial For:
  • Bicyclists
  • Triathlon Participants
  • Football Players
  • Bodybuilders
  • Swimmers
  • Knee Rehab (No Weight)
  • Sprinters (Light Weights)
should not be used by
Should Not Be Used by:
  • People over the age of 55
  • Those with previous ACL injuries
  • Ankle injuries (Barbell Variation)
  • Endurance Runners (Barbell Variation)