It is not a must that you overly-complicate every workout. Most people feel that the difficulty in performing an exercise is equal to the overall effe
It is not a must that you overly-complicate every workout. Most people feel that the difficulty in performing an exercise is equal to the overall effectiveness, and that is not the case all the time. This fact is proven to be true, especially with the squat jump, which is an amazingly effective exercise that is used as a building block for practically all the explosive lower-body movements.
The squat jump is a movement that can be performed on its own if you are looking for a high reward, low-resistance leg day workout. They are also vital to moves, such as box jumps. Almost all your lower body and core are recruited when performing this movement. To do this exercise properly, you will recruit your lower back, hamstrings, glutes, and abs.
Benefits of squat jumps
These are the benefits that come with this explosive exercise;
Improve your health
The squat jump, which is a cardio exercise, can help to improve your health and overall wellness in addition to improving your blood circulation. It can also make you less susceptible to suffering from obesity, hypertension, and heart disease. Also, it can help facilitate proper circulation, enhance your circulatory health, remove toxins and waste from your body through sweat, and help with the delivery of nutrients to your body cells.
Work your muscles more
While you are performing the squat jump, you will flex your muscles more as well as consume more energy. For instance, as you push your body off the floor, your calves and quads put in double work, which would strengthen and tone your muscles two times as fast.
Burn more calories
It is without a doubt that squat jumps allow you to blast more calories than the traditional squat. More muscles are involved when you are performing the squat jump as your arms also execute an extra movement, which all promotes the process of burning calories. Research has shown that you can burn up to 100 calories by doing three sets of 10 jump squats and resting for 30 seconds between each set. While you lose around 44 calories when you engage in five minutes of high-intensity classic squats.
Add explosiveness to your workout
The squat jump is an exercise that develops your explosive power, unlike the traditional squat. This is especially useful if you engage in sports like baseball, tennis, football, or soccer, as a lot of sprinting is required. The squat jump plays a crucial role in basketball training. Your speed-power related abilities are improved when you perform squat jumps. Research has also shown that it could promote agility and balance.
Preparing for the jump squat
You will need adequate preparation if you are going to have a safe workout. To perform this exercise, you will first need to prepare the space you will use along with your body. To reduce the stress on your knee, it is recommended that you train on turf or grass. Also, your body needs to prepare your body for the stress it is about to go through by carving out about 10 minutes for a warm-up session.
You could jog for five minutes and then follow it up with some stretching as this would increase the range of motion of your joints, which would make you less likely to sustain injuries in addition to improving your blood circulation. After your workout, it is advisable that you do some stretching. Your post-workout stretches should target the muscles that are worked when you are doing the jump squat, which includes the quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings. In addition to taking the edge off muscle soreness, it would also help you recover faster.
If you are new to the exercise, you should practice classic squats before you move over to other variations, such as the jump squat. If you think it is time to crank up the difficulty level, you can get things moving with a small jump and place more focus on your landing technique.
How to perform the jump squat
It is highly imperative that you execute the jump squat correctly, as performing it wrongly will increase your risks of getting an injury, just as it is with any other exercise. These are the steps to perform the jump squat properly;
- Stand tall and keep your feet apart by a distance that is slightly wider than hip-width. Ensure that your toes are pointing outward a bit.
- Your arms should be bent in front of you and your hands connected.
- Lower into the squat slowly, lower your hips, and hold your elbows at your knee level.
- Your knees should align with your feet.
- Then, leap off the floor as high as you can; ensure you raise your arms above your head.
- As you land, get back into the squat position. You have successfully completed one rep.
Modifying the squat jump
While the squat jump is already a modified variation of the classic squat, you can further modify them to increase their effectiveness and difficulty level. The following are variations of the squat jump that you can try for better muscle building.
Squat tuck jump
Before you think of doing this variation of the squat jump, ensure that you have fully mastered the standard squat jump and gotten comfortable with extra height. If you are looking to burn more calories and crank up your high-intensity workout, you should perform the squat tuck jump. These are the steps to perform the squat tuck jump;
- Mount the starting position, same as with the standard regular squat jump.
- Lower down into a squat, then push yourself off the ground.
- Perform a tuck while your body is still in the air by bending your knees and lifting them to your chest.
- Then, you land carefully and return to a squatting state.
Elevated platform jump squat
If you want to perform this exercise, you will need an elevated platform of which you can use a bench or a box. This is a version of the squat jump that is more focused on how high you can jump. As you go on and get more comfortable, you can increase the platform’s height, which would make the difficulty more. These are the steps to perform the elevated platform jump squat;
- Stand tall and let the stable platform be in front of you.
- Lower into a quarter squat, then push yourself off the floor and land on the platform in a squat position.
- Then, straighten yourself, then move off the platform. Repeat the movement.
Dumbbell jump squat
With the dumbbell jump squat, you are focusing on your jumping technique and not the height of your jump. You will need to have two dumbbells for this exercise. If you do not have access to these, you can utilize medium-sized water bottles. These are the steps to perform the dumbbell jump squat;
- Get into the starting position, same as with the standard regular squat jump. Keep your feet pointing slightly outward and your legs shoulder-width apart.
- Lower into the squat and hold the dumbbells by your sides close to the ground.
- Ensure your arms are fully extended and do not bend your elbows.
- Then, lift off the floor to perform a jump, while keeping your arms straight.
- Then land on the floor and revert to the squat position
Medicine ball jump squat
A medicine ball is required for this exercise. Also, if you do not see anyone, you can utilize a household item. These are the steps to do the medicine ball jump squat;
- Assume the starting position, same as with the standard regular squat jump, but you will be holding the medicine ball at your front.
- Ensure your feet are apart by the distance of hip width, and your toes should be pointing slightly outward.
- Lower into the squat, and then lower your hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Your elbows can be lowered between your knees.
- Holding the medicine ball with your two hands in front of your chest, jump off the floor using your leg force.
- Then, squat down after you land. That is one rep, and you can do as many reps as you wish but don’t forget to go easy on the knees.
Muscles worked when doing squat jumps
It is a well-known fact that all variations of squats are quad-killing leg exercises. There is no leg day that does not include at least a form of squats. The jump squat is the modified variation of the standard squat, which means it engages all the muscles that the standard squat engages. These include your core and entire lower body. Other variations of the jump squat like the barbell or dumbbell jump squat even involve some part of your upper body like your shoulders and arms. The muscles that are primarily targeted as a result of doing jump squats include the glutes, calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps. Also, your shins, abs, obliques, and lower back are engaged. The jump squat is one that works exceptionally as it improves agility and explosiveness, develops strength, and can be incorporated into any type of workout.