Squat Jumps

Squat Jumps (How To, Muscles Worked, Benefits)

Squat Jumps are a simple plyometric exercise that can help develop power as part of a complete strength and conditioning program.

In this guide, I’m going to teach you how to properly perform Squat Jumps along with some coaching points to emphasize.

How To Do Squat Jumps

Equipment Needed

  • None

Muscles Worked

  • Quads
  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes
  • Calves

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • First, make sure you have enough clearance to safely do Squat Jumps (no low ceilings!)
  • Start in a shoulder-width with toes either straight ahead or turned slightly out.
  • Squat down, exactly how you would with a normal Bodyweight Squat.
  • As you squat down, cock your arms back so that they are down and slightly behind the hips.
  • When you get to the bottom of the squat, explosively drive yourself up – hips and arms – into the air as high as possible.
  • Land softly by bending the hips and knees to absorb force when contacting the ground.
  • Repeat for the designated number of reps.

Coaching Points

Go for MAXIMUM height for each jump. Reset and reload each repetition – don’t rush through.

Don’t forget to use your arms! Your arms can help you generate power on your jumps – utilize them!

Benefits of Squat Jumps

Some potential benefits of incorporating Squat Jumps into your training program include:

  1. Increased power and explosiveness: Plyometric exercises like Squat Jumps can improve your ability to generate force quickly, which can be helpful for activities that require quick bursts of energy, such as sprinting or jumping.
  2. Enhanced coordination and balance: Squat Jumps require coordination and balance, as you need to land in a stable position after each jump. This can help improve your overall coordination and balance.
  3. Cardiovascular benefits: Squat Jumps are a high-intensity exercise that can elevate your heart rate and provide a cardiovascular challenge, especially if done at high volume and/or as part of a circuit.

Squat Jumps Alternatives

There are quite a few plyometric alternatives to Squat Jumps that only require a few slight variations. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Tuck Jumps

A Tuck Jumps is a vertical jump where the athlete jumps as high as possible. Then, at the height of the jump, they tuck their knees up into their chests.

The reason I like tuck jumps is that it really forces the jumper to achieve maximum height on the jump so they have the time mid-air to perform a proper tuck.

Just like with Squat Jumps, remember to land soft and reset for each rep.

Box Jumps

Weighted Box Jump

Box Jumps are perhaps the most popular and well-known plyometric movement.

The reason I like Box Jumps is because it takes some of the stress caused by landing off the body. This is simply because falling back to the Earth builds momentum and the jumper has to absorb that force each time they land.

A Box Jump can dramatically reduce how much the athlete has to ‘fall’ before landing.

Just make sure to jump onto a box that is safe, sturdy and not too high that it could result in an injury. If you have a chance to jump on Soft Foam Boxes vs Wood Boxes – do so!

More Links and Info

Looking for more Plyometric exercises? Make sure to check out the Plyo Section of our Exercise Library.

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