What is jump squats?
Before we talk about how to do jump squats, it is important to know what this exercise is.
Also known as squat jumps, jump squats are a jump-training (plyometric) exercise. As the name suggests, a squat jump exercise involves a jumping movement while doing the traditional squat.
How to do jump squats?
Now that you know what is jump squats, it is essential to know the correct form of the exercise. Since squat jump exercise involves vertical jumping, you need to be careful about its technique and your form.
Here is how to master jump squats:
- To start the exercise, stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Your knees must be slightly bent and your head and neck must be in a neutral position.
- Keep your arms by your sides and tuck in your chin throughout the movement.
- Distribute your weight between both feet and create a stable standing position.
- Pre-tension your hips and shoulders and engage your core.
- Keeping your spine neutral, start bending your hips and knees.
- Lower your body until your legs are slightly above parallel to the ground. Remember to bend down only to a level that allows you to maintain your chest in an upright position.
- Start your upward movement by pushing through the ground to jump into the air.
- At the top of your jump movement, your arms must be above your head and in line with your ears.
- Land softly on the balls of your feet while keeping your core engaged. Remember to evenly distribute your weight along each foot while your hips and knees absorb the force.
Reps and sets of jump squat: You can start by doing 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps. Gradually build your practice.
What are some jump squat variations?
Once you have mastered the traditional jump squats, it’s time to move on to more challenging exercises. Here are some of the most effective variations of this exercise, divided into weighted jump squats and bodyweight jump squats:
- Barbell jump squats: This is an excellent exercise to build your lower body strength and muscle power. As the name suggests, barbell jump squats are done using a barbell. To do this exercise, you need to place a bar on the back of your shoulders. The remaining steps remain the same as in the traditional form of this exercise.
- Dumbbell jump squats: This form of weighted jump squats is a great way to power your workout routine. Remember to use optimal weights that not just allow you to work against the load, but are also light enough to allow you the optimum velocity of movement. To do dumbbell jump squats, you need to hold a weight in each hand and follow the usual jump squats movements.
- Squat box jump: This is a form of bodyweight jump squats that helps you develop explosive leg and hip extension along with an improved speed. To do this exercise, stand in front of a box with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and using momentum, jump onto the box. Land with your knees bent a little and step back to repeat the squat box jump.
- Alternating jump squats: This is a great exercise to target your quadriceps, abs, calves, glutes, and hip flexors. To do the alternating jump squats, take one step forward and drop into a split squat. Push your body up and jump as high as you can. Switch legs midair and land on the opposite stance. Repeat on the other side.
- Suspension squat jumps: This is an amazing cardio workout that targets your legs, arms, and back. To do suspension jump squats, stand facing the suspension machine holding the handles near your waist. Squat down and jump up while pushing the handles down. Come back down on your toes while bending your elbows.
- Sumo jump squats: Considered to be one of the best leg exercises, sumo jump squats work on your quads and glutes to make them more flexible and stronger. To do this jump squat workout, you need to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and turned out in 45-degrees. The remaining steps of the traditional jump squats are the same.
What are the benefits of jump squats?
Regularly practising bodyweight and weighted jump squats have tremendous benefits for your health. Here are some of them:
- One of the most important jump squats benefits is that they tone your legs and hips muscles, much more than the traditional squats.
- This is an excellent weight loss exercise that helps you burn more calories and fat. Losing excess body weight prevents serious health concerns like diabetes and cardiac problems.
- There are great benefits of jump squats for periods, especially when they are irregular. Jump squats for periods are great because they put additional pressure on your abdomen and help regulate their timing.
- One of the best jump squat benefits is that there are many variations of this exercise that you can try according to your fitness objectives and conditioning. There are also some jump squats alternatives that help you achieve your goals.
- This exercise doesn’t require an elaborate setup and can be easily included in your workouts at home.
How to do jump squats safely?
Whether you are doing jump squats alternatives or the traditional exercise, here are some things to keep in mind to do the exercise safely:
- Always start with a warm-up and end with a cool-down session to prevent muscle strain.
- Whether you are doing jump squats with resistance bands or with weights, start with low resistance.
- It is always better to learn the technique from an experienced trainer. This is especially important while doing exercise for beginners.
- Never do this exercise or jump squats alternatives in case you have knee, back, or leg pain.
Jump squats are effective, modifiable, and a lot of fun! Just remember to be consistent with your routine and keep yourself motivated by trying out jump squats workout alternatives and variations.
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