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Leg Workouts and Exercises to Build Strength and Conditioning

Improving your leg power and hip drive will have huge impacts on everything from wall balls to snatches, so here are 5 exercises, and how to have fun with them in WODs.

Leg workouts – Developing explosive leg power will have huge benefits on your athletic performance. It will improve your strength numbers, sprinting, rowing, assault bike work, movements like muscle ups and Olympic lifts, so it’s clear to see why this element of your fitness should never be underestimated.

The following 5 exercises are all good for increasing your leg drive and power.

  • Dead stop squats
  • Weighted Sled Pushes
  • Bulgarian Split Squat
  • Weighted box jumps
  • Weighted pistols


Single leg work is often overlooked, but it plays an important role in adding structural balance and identifying asymmetries and weaknesses in an athlete’s movements. Bulgarian split squats are an effective way to develop power, coordination and resolve the above problems.


Both the front and back versions of this exercise are excellent ways to develop explosive leg power. All the force is generated without momentum, so there is no way to make things any easier. They will also increase mental toughness.

More dead stop exercises to develop power and strength


Simple and deadly, this exercise will augment your explosive leg power in a raw and highly functional way. To build power, try to move the sled as fast as possible, as this will work on power development.

Percent Body Weight: 75-100

On days you are feeling good, use 90 to 100 percent of your body weight. On days where you feel like you’re dragging a little, drop the weight down to 75 to 85 percent.

Distance: 10-25 yards

Just like with speed, the shorter distance is good for developing short explosive power. As you increase the distance, you will work on increasing power-endurance.

Sets: 4-6

Rest: 60-90 seconds between sets


Just strap on a weighted vest and you’re good to go. Alternatively, a kettlebell or bumper plate can be used instead.


Grip a kettlebell with both hands and then perform the pistol. If you are still having trouble, check out this video for helpful transitions.

Here are 5 leg workouts to help you build this explosive power:

Workout 1

For Time

  • 5 Rounds
  • 10 Power Cleans
  • 10 Box Jumps
explosive leg power crossfit amrap workouts box jumps
A fun mix that will have those quads burning by the end!

Workout 2

For Time




male athlete exercising in Crossfit competition
Those thrusters will set your legs on fire

Workout 3

12min AMRAP

30 Double Unders

15 GHD Sit-ups

10 Burpees over the Box

Double Under Crossfit MemeSource: someecards
Double under time!

Workout 4

10min EMOM

Bulgarian Split Squats, alternating per minute

You can do these with an empty barbell, dumbbells, kettlebells or add weight to suit.

Workout 5 – Leg Workouts

For Time

  • 30 Hang Power Clean
  • 25 Box Jumps High
  • 20 Deadlift
  • 15 Squat Clean
  • 10 Pull Ups
  • 5 Front Squat
crossfit athlete male barbell cleanSource: RX'd Photography
Develop your power, strength and athleticism

Image Sources

  • Double Under Crossfit Meme: someecards
  • clean-crossfit-athlete: RX'd Photography

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