lol I just answered this same question on another board.
My favorite exercise for develping power (assuming we are talking lower body) is whatever triple extension exercise that fits the needs analysis of my client. No two exercises give the same benefits or have the same carry over to function.
I am a USAW Coach so I tend to lean towards the Olympic Lifts, but I also like to do accomidated resistance training speed work as well (westside method).
Plyometrics are good as well but most people aren’t strong enough to get the full benefits from the myotatic reflex associated with it. It doesn’t do somebody any good to train the nervous system to react then not have the strength to follow through..this is detrimental to speed strength/power. A good rule of thumb here is if you can squat 2 times your body weight then you can the best benefit from intermediate and advanced plyo work.
It is important to remember that power has a time component and you want to be able to move the resistance fast but still get enough of a load to train the fast twitch fibers. This is normally done around 40-50% 1RM and as explosive as possible.
Agree is Joann, she answered this question very nicely! I am going to input a a different style to this answer. It is most important to understand the goal to structure the exercise relative to the goal. This is just an input not based on scientific evidence but it backed by a theory. I do not believe in exercise training for explosive power. Obviously athletes and many sports require power as large component of their of play. I believe that that to fulfill the need of explosive power practice should incorporate and reinforce the explosiveness. When people bring explosive combined with using forces of resistance such as free weights, kettlebells, body weight suspension systems – injuries are at large. Therefore, I think lifts should be done in a more controlled manor to develop the musculoskeletal structure and neural pathways. Then once your body is developed explosive sport specific training should be applied (this is what I consider functional).
Again this is my theory/opinion and this not backed by literature but I think it is pretty safe to say that this way would significantly reduce injury in the fitness field.
Fuel the Movement
It’s important to remember that power is comprised of two basic components speed and strength. As such an explosive power movement is performed at high speeds and a lot of force.
My favorite explosive exercise when I was much younger and performing Olympic style lifts was the split jerk. Love, love, love, that lift. Obviously, that is not for everyone.
We all know that exercise programming must be specific to the individual’s need and that the person performing explosive power movements must have really good base conditioning.
Thank you for your question.