08 Jan 2014

It is cold outside…no it is REALLY cold outside, well for everyone besides our readers in the Southwestern part of the U.S. It is not very healthy to run outside in sub-zero weather even with warm gear as you still have to breathe that freezing cold air. If you do not have access to cardio machines, there are still plenty of exercises out there that provide cardiovascular benefits. The following exercise, Squat Jumps, are very popular in many plyometrics workouts. Not only are they great for your core, quads, hamstrings, and glutes, but they will give you a tough cardio workout as well. Here is how to do a Squat Jump.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and your knees pointing straight ahead. Pull your shoulder blades down, then engage your abdominal and core muscles to brace your spine.
Next, you want to begin your eccentric downward descent towards the ground. Shift your hips back and down.  Lower yourself until you feel your heels about to lift off the floor. Keep your head directly facing forward and position your arms where they offer the greatest degree of balance support.  Keep your back flat as well.  Maintain proper posture.

Do not pause for long as you finish your downward movement. Explosively jump in the air, using your lower body, and fully extend your hips, knees and ankles.
Your landing is very important.   You could injure your knees or your lower back if your landing is improper.  Try to land softly and quietly on the mid to upper part of your foot, rolling into the heels. Always push your hips back and down to absorb the impact of landing. Do not lock out your knees while you land.  Do not land on the heels of your feet.  You should also face forward with proper posture as you land.


Keep your core muscles engaged throughout your sets of squat jumps to help protect your back.  If you struggle with the proper technique of the squat jump, then work on your landing from just jumping alone or work on your squat technique by itself.


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