If you are looking for an exercise that will give you a challenging strength and cardio workout, look no further than Squat Jumps! This is a very common exercise in Plyometrics, HIIT classes, and Boot Camps just to name a few. We incorporate the Squat Jumps in many of the classes we teach as well. We have a video below in addition to the following instructions:
Stand with your feet at shoulder 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.
Press down with your heels, inhale, squat down with your back straight and chest up until your upper thighs are at least parallel to the floor. You can go below parallel for a more advanced move.
Next, press down primarily on the balls of your feet, jump straight up in the air as high as you possibly can and exhale.
When you touch the floor, be sure to land on your softly on your toes 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. These tips very important to help prevent injuries to your back.
Repeat as soon as you touch the ground for the allotted amount of reps or time. To make it more a challenge, add dumbbells to your Squat Jumps.
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.