Squat jumps, also known as jump squats, are basic exercises that help improve your power, agility, and vertical jump performance. It is a beginner-level workout that targets the legs, thighs, butt, and hip muscles. Squat jumps are mainly used as one of the initial movements to build strength for different jump forms, such as long jump, high jump, vertical jump, and box jump.
It can also be done as an individual exercise or a combination workout by including other exercises after or before the jump. The key is to perform the exercise correctly so that the right muscles get targeted and strengthened.
How to do squat jumps? Correct form and technique
Follow the given instructions to perform this dynamic power workout correctly.
- Start by standing straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
- As you bend your knees, lower down and take a full squat position.
- Engage your glutes, hamstrings, and quads and explosively propel your body up off the ground. Extend your legs as you do so.
- Now, with your legs fully extended, your feet should be a few inches or even more off the ground.
- Slowly and at a controlled pace, land on the floor through your foot and retake the squat position for another rep.
- Upon landing on the floor, immediately start the next jump.
Here's a video for your reference:
The number of squat jumps you perform will solely depend on your fitness level and goals. However, if you are trying to build your strength and vertical jump power, aim for more explosive jumps. If you want to condition your body, then aim for more jumps with average power, but perform them as fast as you can.
Benefits of squat jumps
Squat jumps offer several benefits. Whether you want to give your body an energy boost, improve your health, or aim to become an advanced runner, squat jumps might be the best exercise for you. Aside from providing strength and power, jump squats also offer numerous aerobic advantages, including:
- Developing muscles
- Improving strength and cardiovascular fitness
- Enhancing aerobic fitness
- Improving balance, stability, and mobility
- Burning fat and calories
- Toning your abs, legs, and butt
- Improving overall sports performance
- Strengthening muscles and bones
Common mistakes to avoid when practicing squat jumps
Make sure to avoid these mistakes to make the most out of this exercise.
1) Performing jumps on a hard surface
You must always avoid doing jumping exercises such as jump squats on concrete or hard surfaces. Do this exercise on a flat and soft surface so that you don't hurt yourself while landing.
2) Not investing your time in warm-ups
You should never do this exercise with cold muscles. Instead, perform a few warm-up exercises such as jogging, jump roping, or brisk walking to activate your muscles.
3) Not landing properly
To prevent strain on your muscles, always land softly on the floor. If you land hard, your muscles might hurt, causing joint and muscle pain the next day.
4) Overdoing the exercise
Never perform advanced dynamic power moves such as jump squats more than once or twice per week. Overdoing it might have an excessive impact on your muscles.
5) Not positioning your knee correctly
When doing jump squats, your knees should not move in front of your toes while squatting down. Also, keep in mind that if you are bending too far forward, there is a possibility you could injure your spine and knees.
6) Not squatting from your hip
Don't use your knees to propel up your body, which can strain your joints and injure your knees. Instead, propel the move with your glutes and hamstrings.
Squat jumps are one of the most effective ways to work your hips, glutes, hamstrings, and quads. Since this exercise offers both cardiovascular and strength training advantages, it can be considered a great part of a well-rounded workout routine. However, you need to make sure you perform it with the correct form.
If you have ankle, hip, or knee issues, it is best to avoid doing squat jumps as it can elevate the pain and make the condition severe. You may also consult a doctor or a certified fitness trainer to ensure that this move is safe for you.