Squat Jumps: How to Build Power with the Jumping Squat

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Squats are a fail-safe way to strengthen your legs and glutes, but add in a leap and they become an intensive full-body workout that engages your core too. Throwing in a jump is the perfect way to ensure squats don’t get dull, but you’ll also build explosive reactions that are essential for sports and develop an unusually impressive ability to bound over obstacles.

RECOMMENDED: Do the 30-Day Squat Challenge

Like a regular squat, a jumping squat is an excellent way to condition the muscles and joints of the lower body, but the addition of a jump makes it a full-body workout. Your core strength will be put to the test, and the jump also adds in a cardio element, making it an excellent choice for HIIT.

How To Do It

Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, toes pointing slightly outwards. Inhale as you lower your hips back and down gently into your standard squat, aiming to keep your thighs slightly higher than your knees. Then, exhale and explode into the air with as much power as you can, driving hard with your legs and pushing yourself further upwards with the balls of your feet. Your body should be poker-straight while you’re in the air, and your hands should be above your head – keep your core engaged to prevent your body from rotating. Land with your legs slightly bent before controlling your gentle descent back down into the squat position.

Variations

Once you’ve mastered the jump squat you can take it up a level  (literally) by jumping onto a platform like a box or bench. Once you’ve leapt onto your platform pause, take a step down and repeat the exercise.

RECOMMENDED: How To Do Box Jumps

You can also try the jump squat while holding light weights to further up the ante. If you’re struggling to remain in control, practise rocking onto the balls of your feet as you come out of the squat rather than doing a full-on jump. This should help you get used to the movement and ensure you maintain your form.