The Jump Squat is a high-intensity plyometric exercise. It is excellent for developing explosive strength, conditioning leg muscles and joints, and increasing vertical jump height. As movement is difficult, you can only do it when you have experience - to avoid injuries and problems. Before starting, familiarize yourself with the starting and ending positions and master the technique and mechanics of jumping to create and absorb strength.
Part 1 of 3: Doing the Jump Squat
Step 1. Adopt correct posture
Stand with your body facing forward and your feet parallel, in line with your shoulders. Then spread them a few inches apart and turn your fingers outward slightly. You will now have a solid base to jump and land on. Also, your knees will naturally line up with your toes in the squat part - which relieves pressure on the area.
- If you plan to squat a lot, align your knees directly with your ankles or feet so you don't twist any joints or even tear a ligament.
- Because each body is a little different, the ideal position for jumping squats varies in some details.
- If you feel uncomfortable during the movement, adjust the technique to your body.
Step 2. Lower the body
To start, bend your knees and lower your hips. Keep your torso upright, with your chin up and your head neutral. Lower as far as you can without sacrificing technique. In the meantime, leave your arms at your sides or extend them in front of you so you don't lose your balance. Take a deep breath to get down.
- Use a smooth, controlled movement to lower your body, then "explode" - that is, come up hard to make the jump.
- Don't move your knees from your toes, or you'll throw all your weight into the joints in the area.
Step 3. Start the jump
After lowering the body as far as you can, do a reverse movement (quick and explosive). Push with your legs and raise your arms to torso level, without moving your head. Breathe out hard and lift.
Divide the exercise into two separate movements: the squat and the jump. You have to bend down fluidly and then go straight to the jump (without staggering)
Step 4. Take the biggest jump you can
At the top of the movement, continue forcing your body to take the jump. Leave only your forefeet in contact with the floor and use the power of your calves to generate an extra boost. Wrap your arms over your head and use momentum to extend your body and reach a greater height.
- Don't forget to inhale when descending and exhale when jumping. Be careful not to instinctively hold your breath as you'll get tired in a lot less time.
- Extend your legs when taking the jump to land correctly.
Part 2 of 3: Landing Correctly and Safely
Step 1. Control the descent
Start preparing for landing as soon as you reach the top of the jump. Contract your abdomen so that you don't rotate your body and end up coming off the axis in the air. Lower your arms to guide your trajectory and look down at the ground. Finally, extend your legs as you touch the ground.
Land with your body upright so you don't lose your balance
Step 2. Land with forefoot
Point your toes down and touch the floor with your forefeet (the balls of your feet). Use your calves to control limb extension and flexion - this is the first muscle group used when landing. Also, place your feet in the same position as they were at the time of the jump, just beyond your shoulders and with your toes facing outward.
- Remember to jump and land from the forefoot.
- If you land with your entire foot at once, you will transfer the shock to your heel bones, ankles, and knees. Over time, this causes chronic pain, tendonitis, and even fractures.
Step 3. Bend your knees to absorb the impact
Continue lowering your body weight after making contact with your forefeet. Bend your knees and brace yourself with your legs to gradually dissipate the force of the landing. Try to be gentle as this part is critical.
Condition your legs to absorb the impact and thus strengthen the connection between muscles and tendons
Step 4. Adopt the ideal posture for the next rep
If you're only doing one rep of the jump squat (or it's the last in the series), stand up straight after absorbing the impact of the landing. If you are going to do several continuous reps, use your bent knee to begin the next step. Keep moving your arms to stabilize and increase the height of each jump.
- Because the jump squat takes a lot of energy, it's best not to do more than 15 reps of the exercise per set.
- You'll end up sacrificing technique when you get tired, and thus you may have accidents - from limiting the effect of exercise a bit to, at worst, suffering a serious injury.
Part 3 of 3: Intensifying the Movement
Step 1. Increase exercise speed
Speed up your sets to achieve a more metabolic effect. This makes the exercise much more difficult; so don't get too heavy. Do 10 to 15 squats, stop for a moment and repeat. If you prefer, do another exercise that alternates with the squat, without stopping, such as push-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, or dips.
- Don't neglect the technique when increasing the speed of the jump squat.
- Be quick and minimize the time you are in contact with the ground. This type of training is more explosive and reactive.
Step 2. Bring your knees closer to your chest
You can adopt this different posture to increase the intensity of the squat. Instead of jumping with your legs extended, try bending and bringing your knees closer to your chest in the jump. Movement is tiring and therefore has more visible effects.
- Try bringing your knees together until your chest touches your thighs.
- This variation in exercise alters the pace of movement. So always prepare for landing.
Step 3. Start the exercise with a little load
Hold a light dumbbell in each hand to increase squat resistance. Use loads that aren't too heavy and don't get in the way of your landing. The advantage of this alternative to the normal jump squat is that it also works on your aerobic conditioning.
- Resistance has to be low. Don't use heavy loads too heavy, as you can hurt your joints and have other problems.
- You must master the normal jump squat technique before adding weights to the exercises. Only try when you have more experience.
Step 4. Use a crate
The crate also transforms the exercise a little bit. Climb onto it or a raised platform of adequate height (depending on your fitness) that is 12 inches in front of you. Calculate the jump part to land well on the crate, instead of just touching it with your toes. Also, remember to bend your knees and land on your forefoot.
The crate helps to train the body's sense of space, as you will have to train the trajectory of the jump and landing
Step 5. Do the frog jump squat
Instead of doing the jump squat in the same place, do the exercise while walking forward - called the frog jump. Do not lower your body so much and, when jumping, increase the distance (instead of just jumping up). The frog jump improves the dynamic strength of the squat and works the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. Plus, exercise is also more fun to do!
- Make moves similar to the jump squat for frog jump: straighten your body, touch the ground with your forefeet, and shift your weight onto your knees to absorb the impact.
- Decrease the time or increase the distance to make the exercise more intense.
Step 6. Squat with jumping jacks
The Jumper Squat is a mixed exercise that combines the intensity of the jumping squat and the coordination of normal jumping jacks. To do the movement, lower your body and place your hands behind your head or cross them in front of your body. When it's time to jump, spread your legs and bring them together for the next repetition. Lower yourself well throughout the exercise and try not to lift your body. Train until you feel the burning sensation in your legs!
- Do as many reps as you can at the end of the workout to optimize effects. These moves are low-impact and therefore not that difficult.
- Try not to bring your knees together when landing. Keep your fingers outward at all times.
- Master the jump squat technique before attempting reps.
- Lower your body as far as you can to reap more of the benefits.
- Incorporate the Jump Squat into everyday training.
- Do a few reps of the Jump Squat to warm up your muscles and prepare your nervous system for what's next (weight squat).
- Don't do the heel squat if you have knee or ankle problems.
- Take good care of the jump squat technique, or you could get injured.