Do Squat Jumps for an Explosive Workout

Squat jumps, as the name suggests, combine a squat with a jump. It specifically targets your leg muscles and helps you get toned. Like any plyometric exercise, it’s ideal for building strength and speed.

If you do it at a higher intensity, it also builds cardiovascular endurance. That’s why it’s often part of HIIT (the cardio block of your FizzUp workout). Follow the guide to learn everything you need to know about how to do this out­-of­-the-­ordinary exercise correctly.

How to do perfect squat jumps step-by-step

There are many perks to squat jumps. When you get them right, squat jumps make it easy to make some serious changes in your body. Here’s a short description on how to do them:
squat jumps 01Starting position: ​To start your repetitions right, stand with your feet shoulder-­width apart.

The movement: ​For the squat, inhale as you point your tailbone outward and bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Next, exhale as you jump up as high as you can.

Landing: ​Soften your landing as much as possible by first coming down onto the balls of your feet, then your heels. To do this, bend your knees and point your tailbone outward. That makes one repetition. Repeat to continue the set.

FizzUp trainer’s tips

“Focus on the landing”: ​After each jump, it’s important to absorb shock by first landing on the balls of your feet before gradually putting the rest of your foot on the floor. To do this, try doing the exercise as quietly as possible. This makes it easier to master this technique.

“Stay balanced by using your arms”: ​To keep yourself from falling backward when you do a squat, hold your arms out in front of you. Then, bring them to the sides of your body when you jump. This will help you keep your balance.

“Keep your back straight and look straight ahead”: T​hese two points are really important in order to do this exercise perfectly. Keep your core engaged as you look straight ahead during the entire exercise. This will help keep your body aligned and prevent any possible back pain.

Which muscles are worked?

The squat jump is a strength training exercise that specifically targets your lower body while working your abs.

squat jumps 02
Quads:  ​Located in the front of your thighs, this muscle is one of the largest in your body and also supports the majority of your body weight.

Glutes:  ​Your glutes are made up of three muscles: the gluteus minimus, gluteus medius and gluteus maximus. By working these muscles, you’ll get firm and round buttocks.

Hamstrings: Located in the back of the thigh, this muscle group is frequently injured during sports activity. That’s why it’s important to strengthen this muscle in order to protect yourself
as much as possible.

Calves: ​For a evenly-built muscles, you should also work your calves because they play a very important role when you move and when you land after jumping.

Abs: ​These muscles help you keep your core engaged and your body aligned as you do your repetitions, especially when you jump.

Variations and alternatives to this strength training exercise

Many exercises develop roughly the same muscles and physical fitness abilities. That’s why these variations are ideal if you want to change the level of difficulty or work a specific muscle. Here are two variations of squat jumps and another alternative exercise that you’ll find with FizzUp. All three are ideal for working all the muscles in your legs:

 Squats: ​The movement is the same as the squat jump but without the jump. This is an easier strength training variation and the best exercise for building muscle in your legs.
squat jumps 03
Rotating squat jumps​This variation of the squat jump uses the same concept except that you turn 180° as you jump. This advanced variation demands more balance, proprioception (position sense) and mobility.

squat jumps 04
Bear squats: ​This is a full­-body strength training exercise. Start on your hands and knees with your back straight. The idea is to form a triangle with your body and the floor. To do this, lift your buttocks and put your head between your shoulders so that you can see your feet. Once you’ve reached this position, return to the starting position and avoid putting your knees back on the floor. This is a good alternative for people who can’t include jumps in their workouts.

squat jumps 05

Squat jump benefits

The squat jump is one of the main plyometric exercises in the FizzUp program, which are great for improving your strength, speed, agility and how high you can jump. P​ut another way, with squat jumps, you can jump faster, higher, farther and longer. It improves strength and speed, which significantly increases power in the muscles it targets, making it ideal for toning your legs and getting rounded glutes. Y​ou’ll feel the difference as you go up the stairs with more and more ease.

If you increase the intensity of the exercise, this explosive variation of the squat really works your cardiovascular system​ and triggers an increased metabolic response for several hours after exercising. This is what’s called EPOC (excess post­-exercise oxygen consumption), which results in an intense fat-­burning effect.

In fact, jumping and landing requires a heightened sense of position (proprioception), making squat jumps an ideal exercise for improving your balance and mobility.​

Further reading

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