The jump squat is a plyometric exercise (jump training exercise) that adds a jumping motion to a traditional squat. Jump squats are bodyweight exercises characterized by a straight upward jump at the top of the movement. With proper form, jump squats can be a great way to burn calories and improve upper and lower body strength.
3 benefits of jump squats.
Jump squats can be a useful part of your exercise program for several reasons:
Jump squats work multiple muscle groups.
The jump squat works the leg muscles, such as the quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings, as well as the core and lower back muscles.
Jump squats develop explosive strength.
Jump squats use explosive movement, which means they activate your muscles to their maximum potential in a shorter amount of time. By increasing your explosive power, jump squats can be a useful cardio exercise for sprinters and runners.
Jump squats are versatile.
Jump squats are an easy exercise to do outside of the gym, without additional equipment. Additionally, there are several jump squat variations you can try, including the box jump squat, the jumping lunge, and the weighted jump squat, which uses free weight like a barbell or kettlebell.
How to do a Squat Jump?
Stand with your feet slightly shoulder-width apart, toes pointing slightly outward. Squat down with your weight in your heels, chest proud, knees over your toes, and a neutral spine. When you reach the bottom of your squat, squeeze your butt and give a strong push to your legs and heels to rise, pelvis forward, pushing off your toes at the last moment of contact with the floor. Land softly, then use the momentum of your landing to launch into your next squat. Repeat the same movements.
If you’re training for speed and power, keep the reps and sets low (three to four sets of five reps or less, aiming for maximum height with each jump). For general conditioning as part of a larger workout, aim for time (15, 30, or even 45 seconds of squat jumps) paired with other bodyweight, cardio, or strength movements.
A factor in the number of reps you should aim for:
Your last jump squat should be as tight as the first. If your form starts to falter, it’s a good sign that you’ve hit your peak and it’s time to move on to another exercise.
Change the challenge:
The key factor in making jump squats easier or harder is changing the depth of your squat. Deeper squats recruit more muscle, but a shallow squat or quarter squat allows for more athletic explosiveness and more efficient jumping. For low reps, go deep, but if you’re aiming for as many reps as possible in 30 seconds, stick to shallower squats for a better takeoff.
Incorporate bungee jumping into your training.
Since this is a plyometric movement and it puts a strain on your system, limit yourself to doing sets of squats once or twice a week.
It is very easy to incorporate this move into any HIIT routine for strength and conditioning work. Try it alongside other bodyweight exercises like hill sprints, jumping jacks, and push-ups for a complete workout at home. You can also try doing squats in between sets of heavy lower body weight movements, such as sumo squats.
What are the contraindications to mention before practicing the jump squat?
There are a few contraindications to consider before adding them to your training regimen. First, if you suffer from lower body injuries or joint pain, jump squats can make these issues worse. Second, if you’re new to squats, it’s important to perfect your technique with regular bodyweight squats or goblets before moving on to jump squats. Finally, if you have heart problems or high blood pressure, it’s best to consult your doctor before performing any type of plyometric exercise like jump squats. That said, jump squats can be a great addition to any workout for healthy people looking to build strength and power. Just be sure to start slowly and progress carefully to avoid injury.