Workout Tips

Power Surge for Bigger Lifts

Master these two moves to unlock lower-body muscle gains.

Power Surge for Bigger Lifts

If you’ve hit a plateau on your squat or deadlift, it may be time to relearn how to do them. Seriously. Most guys don’t bend their hips back far enough (called a “hip hinge,”) which is necessary to properly recruit your glutes and hamstrings. Practicing the box jump and the kettlebell swing will teach you to put your hips into your lifts. Once you master the hip hinge, the only thing left to do is watch your numbers go through the roof.


Perform this routine before a lower-body workout. Superset the box jump and kettlebell swing, and then rest three minutes. Perform three supersets, then begin your workout.

box jump

A. Box Jump

Sets: 3 reps: 5 rest: 0 sec.

Set up a box at a challenging height and stand about a foot away from it. Sit back with your hips and swing your arms behind you to gather momentum, then jump and land on the box softly. Step down from the box and then begin the next rep.

–Superset with–

kettlebell swing

B. Kettlebell Swing

Sets: 3 reps: 12–15 rest: 180 sec.

Grasp a kettlebell that you think would be too heavy to swing with both hands and let it hang between your legs. Push your hips back with your knees soft (unlocked) until the handle is just below your groin. Forcefully swing the kettlebell back between your legs (don’t worry, you won’t hurt the boys), and let it smack your butt —this means your hips are in position. As it swings back forward, forcefully stand up by thrusting your hips as fast as possible and extend your legs.

Note: It does not matter how high the kettlebell goes. The exercise is for hip power, so don’t make it a front raise.

Hip Helper

Hinging at the hips means initiating movement with them by bending your hips back before your knees bend. this puts a stretch on your glutes and hamstrings, loading them for a forceful hip extension—the most powerful move the body can make. here are three ways to learn this motion better and strengthen your hips even further.

  1. Have a partner stand behind you, touch your hip bones, and gently pull your hips back.
  2. Incorporate glute bridges and other direct glute exercises. These help you finish the lockout on squats and deadlifts.
  3. Keep your heels on the ground during any hip hinge exercise. It’ll keep the work on your glutes and hamstrings and off of your quads.