at shaping legs and firming the glutes
than the jump squat.
Plyometrics is a type of exercise training designed to produce fast, powerful movements. Basically, it’s just a fancy way of saying, “jump!”
Jump Your Way to a Trim Physique
Even though jumping is about the most intense exercise there is (it really makes your heart pump!), it’s also the most effective for strengthening and improving the shape of the body — especially your legs.
The great thing about plyometrics is that, in addition to helping you feel fit and look strong, they also can dramatically help your sports performace.
Any safe and regular workout regimen that includes plyometrics is almost certain to make you jump higher, run faster, throw farther, or hit harder.
One of my favorites among the plyometric exercises is the jump squat (also called the prayer squat-jump). That’s me in the photo to the left, doing a jump.
As always, It’s important to be well-rested and free of injury in any of the limbs to be exercised, before you start seriously jumping around. In fact, when I do my “leg day” at the gym, I kind of see the plyometrics exercises as the most important, most eventful part of the workout — and everything I do before that is in preparation.
How to Jump Squat
I start off with 6 minutes of on the ellyptical machine — to slowly raise my body temperature, and get the oxygen and blood flowing.
Next, I proceed with a few of the easier leg exercises first, to gently lubricate the joints and to get ready for those jump squats!
First you squat low, with your feet flat on the floor and your hips lowering a bit below knee-level (if you’re flexible enough for that) and your hands in a prayer position (if you have tender knees, then stop right at knee level — no lower).
Next, jump as high as you can, as you raise your arms over your head! Here’s a pic of my workout buddy, Ron, demonstrating a prayer squat-jump with his usual good form.
When you land, try to land softly, and return the hands to prayer position (but you can leave them out if you need them for balance).
Rinse and repeat!
See if you can do 6 to 12 repetitions (depending on your current level of conditioning), for 3 sets (with a two-minute rest between sets).
During Leg Workouts, Safety First
The Longevity e-Newsletter provides you with latest info, motivation and accountability you need to get in the best shape of your life! Get inspired! Subscribe below and receive a new strategy every 2 weeks. It’s free!
The highly focused, intense movements used in jumping do help the joints and tendons — but also can compromise them if you overdo it. So remember, though plyometrics are not inherently dangerous, you need to proceed carefully (and consult your health professionals if you’re unsure if plyometrics might be an effective addition to your workout routine).
Meanwhile, what’s your favorite jumping exercise? Let me know in the comments section below.