Jump Training: What, Why, How and When

Jump Training is a part of Plyometrics – a form of exercise that increases the elasticity of muscles, helps to build lean muscle mass while also torching away calories.
Jump Training is a part of Plyometrics – a form of exercise that increases the elasticity of muscles, helps to build lean muscle mass while also torching away calories.

For those who want a sexy, svelte body, all it could take is just a jump, hop and skip!

Yes, we are talking about Jump Training, the raving hot fitness routine that not only helps lose weight and improve athletic performance, but can also improve agility and coordination skills.

As muscles get bigger and more elastic, they are better able to handle strenuous workouts more efficiently, which means they are more challenged and hence stronger.

Jump Training involves a variety of jumping exercises which are basically just short explosive movements involving leg muscles as well as the upper body.
Jump Training involves a variety of jumping exercises which are basically just short explosive movements involving leg muscles as well as the upper body.

Benefits of Jump Training

These can rapidly burn calories while at the same time offer muscle conditioning and toning.

Since they increase quickness and coordination, these are often practiced by athletes, especially those engaging in sports where performance is determined by parameters like strength and power.

Recently, research has proven that Jump Training also helps with injury prevention and can especially benefit endurance athletes as well. These explosive workouts can improve running economy, helping you maintain a steady pace for a longer duration of time, or even run faster than customary competitive speeds without tiring out easily.

Some experts also believe that Jump Training also promotes bone health. To maintain healthy density, our bones constantly go through a rebuilding process.

Important Tip: Bone density ideally peaks in men and women between the ages 25 and 30, and after that it only decreases by 1-2% every year. So starting with Jump Training today could be the key to stronger, healthier bones in old age; you build up the density before it starts to thin down and as a result lower risk factor of osteoporosis later on in life.

Jump Training may enhance Proprioceptive Awareness, which is the ability of one’s brain to perceive the position of body parts, and thus improve coordination and focus, while also playing an important role in injury prevention.

Image via http://www.bodybuilding.com
Jumping rope is one way to kick start your jump training routine.
Image via http://www.bodybuilding.com

Creating a Jump Training routine

If you are looking for the perfect Jump Training routine, you can add the most explosive exercises you like to the workout. As the name suggests, Jump Training will include a variety of jumps, for example:

Spot Jumping – Explode upwards until failure, with both arms reaching upwards. Time spent on ground should be minimal.

Forward Jumping – As you explode upwards, also move forward. With each jump, you can land one step further, keeping time on the ground minimal.

Backward Jumping – As you explode upwards, also move backwards. With each jump, you can land one step back (opposite of above), keeping time on the ground minimal.

Sideways Jumping – As you explode upwards, you move sideways. With each jump, you land one step to the left, keeping time on the ground minimal. Repeat the second step by landing one step to the right, until you reach back to the original point.

Box Jumping – Using a step, you explode upwards and then land on the ground. With the next jump, you have to land back on to the step. The height can be adjusted and increased as your fitness levels grow.

Other exercises to add to Jump Training are:

  • Squat jumps,
  • Broad jumps,
  • One-legged jumps,
  • Jumping jacks, and
  • Jump ropes

Start with 10-12 reps of each exercise and build a circuit with 4 to 5 exercises, 1 set per exercise. You can add more circuits to your routine as you get fitter.

Since Jump training involves the most explosive of all exercises; it makes for a great training program for athletes, especially Basketball and football players.
Since Jump training involves the most explosive of all exercises; it makes for a great training program for athletes, especially Basketball and football players.

Tailoring your own Jump Training Routine

However, by simply tailoring the program to suit one’s specific needs, Jump training can be used by just about anyone.

The Goal: Toning muscles and Strengthening Cardiovascular System

Perform a heart pumping circuit of basic Jump Training exercises 3 days a week, but make sure that these are non-consecutive days to prevent over-training. Complete a circuit (a customized collection of 4-5 jump training exercises) with no rest in between, much like HIIT training.

Then rest for about 2 minutes, and perform another circuit. If you are a beginner, perform just 1 circuit per day. As your strength and endurance grows, you can do as many as 3 circuits on training days.

The Goal: Improving Athletic Performance

Concentrate on the more explosive exercises and create your own circuit. Jumping jacks could be too easy for you, so better exercises would be squat jumps, one legged jumps and box jumps which allow you to train harder.

Perform an exercise for as many repetitions as you can, jumping as high into the air as you can before landing safely. It’s important to get adequate rest after each set, until your heart beat returns to normal. This is because as opposed to jumping to burn calories, your main goal is to add as much explosiveness to each jump as possible, to challenge your muscles for short bursts of time to improve your performance.

You can also add weights to your training – hold dumbbells in your hands, wear ankle weights or a weighted vest to maximize the effects even if you decrease the number of reps performed.

The Goal: Losing Weight

Here the aim is to lose as many calories as possible, so combine explosive basic jumps (like forward, backward, sideway, and one legged jumping) with cardiovascular-oriented exercises (like spot or rope jumping).

Aim for minimal rest period between sets to keep your heart rate as high as possible. Rest only once a circuit has been completed, ensuring you only pause to catch your breath and no more. Then begin with the next circuit and continue till your stamina lasts.

Jumping Training is definitely a great workout to burn calories and increase muscle mass and endurance – an all-in-one workout more or less. But since it’s so explosive in nature, it can easily become unsafe if you over-train.
Jumping Training is definitely a great workout to burn calories and increase muscle mass and endurance – an all-in-one workout more or less. But since it’s so explosive in nature, it can easily become unsafe if you over-train.

Making Sure Your Jump Training Session is Safe

To avoid injuries caused by over-stressing your muscles, keep these 4 tips in mind.

1.       Weight Training before Jump Training

Don’t jump right in to Jump Training without building a steady foundation. This explosive Plyometrics workout can be very stressful, especially on the leg muscles. Therefore, practice weight training before you try Jump Training. You aren’t ready for extensive workouts until you can squat about 1.5 to 2 times your own bodyweight.

2.       Follow a Routine

Jump Training should be done only 3 days a week on alternate days. The 3 days in between should be dedicated to weight training/cardio with one day kept aside for complete rest. Every 8 weeks (or once in 2 months) take 2 days off and perform Jump Training only twice that week. This is important to avoid over-training and crucial for injury prevention.

3.       Rest More if Needed

Now while experts think that resting between sets isn’t recommended to achieve goals and rests should ideally be taken only once a complete circuit is over, it’s best to listen to your own body. If you are exhausted and cannot breathe, take a few minutes to catch your breath and then continue. The aforementioned guidelines are just suggestions, not a strict rule.

4.       Perform Stretches

Like with all workouts, a stretching routine before and after your Jump Training workout is a must. If you want to get your muscles acting quickly and strongly, you definitely need a warm up as well as a warm down.

Also Read: Is This the Worlds Toughest Plyometric Exercise?

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