Table of Contents
Squat jumps are a powerful, plyometric exercise that can strengthen the entire lower body. Also known as a jump squat, it’s a cardio exercise that can increase your heart rate significantly, making it an effective way to burn calories at a fast pace. This workout not only targets your quads, hamstrings, and glutes but also tones your ab and back muscles. Truly, a squat jump is a great exercise that can instantly activate numerous muscles in the body.
This workout may sound intimidating, especially if you’re an exercise beginner, but trust us that including this in your routine can give you a ton of benefits. In this article, learn the benefits of jump squats, how to do them, and what variations you can do for the ultimate office exercise routine.
What Are Squat Jumps Good For?
Squat jumps are one of the most popular workouts for several reasons. As a start, jump squats activate multiple muscle groups, such as your butt, legs, and core, at the same time. They work both your upper body and lower body, making it a full-body workout that burns calories and builds strength. Doing squats can also improve your speed and aerobic fitness.
The dynamic movement involved in jump squats increases your explosive power, activating your muscles to their full potential in a shorter period of time. Squats are also highly versatile, making them an exercise that can be easily practiced outside of a gym setting without any additional equipment needed.
High-intensity intervals are all the rage these days too, and if you’re one of those who engage in HIIT workouts, squats are also ideal to include in your fitness routine. You’ll certainly reach an anaerobic state in a quick manner, giving you an awesome workout in just a couple of minutes. Moreover, if you’re an athlete, this exercise can help improve your vertical jump. Some coaches even use this as a drill to help improve an athlete’s technique.
How Many Jump Squats Should I Do a Day?
If you’re new to jump squats, it’s best to start with a low set number and gradually work your way up once you get more used to it. Start with 2 to 3 sets of 3-5 reps and keep increasing your set and reps over time until you’re able to do 12 to 15 sets. Additionally, just like any other exercise out there, you should incorporate rest days to allow your muscles to recover before training them again.
How Long Should You Do Squat Jumps?
If you’re doing squats for general conditioning and as a part of a more extensive fitness routine, aim to do 15 to 30 or even 45 seconds of squat jumps. Pair your jumps with other bodyweight, cardio, or strength-based movements. Remember to not overdo yourself when doing exercises. Ample rest and recovery are vital.
How To Do a Jump Squat
Including jump squats in your office and home workouts can help you become healthy and fit in the long run. The best thing about the basic squat jump is that you can do them outside of the gym and you don’t even need any equipment to accomplish them.
The most important thing that you should remember before doing squat jumps is that you need to warm up. A squat jump is an exercise that is an advanced dynamic power move and not warming up your muscles before doing so can lead to injuries.
With that said, here’s how to do a jump squat:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.
- Bend your knees, press your hips back, and fully descend into a squat position.
- Engage through your quads, glutes, and hamstrings as you jump straight up and off the floor, extending through the legs. With your legs fully extended, your feet will be a few inches or more off the ground.
- Descend and make sure that you land with your entire foot. Descend into a squat again for another explosive jump. If you are struggling to remain in control, you can practice by rocking on the balls of your feet as you come out of the squat instead of leaving the ground.
- Upon landing, immediately repeat the next jump.
Keep in mind to focus on doing the proper form of a jump squat and keep your breathing pattern smooth and steady. Maintain your back aligned by keeping your chest up and your hips back. Don’t let your knees extend beyond your toes, and put the pressure on the heels of the feet. To absorb the impact, land on your toes and with bent knees. Keep your core engaged as well.
Squat Jump Variations
If you’re getting bored of regular squat jumps and want something more challenging to tone your legs and core further, here are some variations that you can do:
Weighted Jump Squat
The most natural transition from bodyweight squat jumps is to move to jump squats with weights. Adding weights will increase resistance, improving muscle building while you work on your cardio. It’s best to use a light weight for this as a heavy one can throw you off balance or even harm your joints. To do weighted jump squats, begin by holding a dumbbell in each hand and position them by your side. You can also hold a single dumbbell with both hands in front of your chest.
Next, lower yourself into a squat, keeping the dumbbells as stable as possible. Pause for a moment, and then push yourself out of the squat and into a jump. Land softly by bending at the knees and lowering yourself into a squat again, repeating the movement.
Once you’ve mastered jump squats, you can take them to the next level with this exercise. You’ll need a solid platform to jump on. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, facing the platform. Lower yourself into a squat position, bringing your arms behind you. Then, leap up and land softly on the platform on both feet, allowing your arms to swing in front of you. Pause for a second, and then step back down. Repeat.
Squat jumps can help you stay fit and healthy with their ability to burn calories and strengthen the muscles. Including squat jumps in your routine can help you with weight loss, build explosive power, and condition your joints, among other things. When doing squat jumps, remember to stick to the proper form to avoid any injuries. If you feel any discomfort during your workout, immediately stop and seek the advice of a physical therapist.