Affiliate Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I make a small commission off purchases, at no extra cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.
Health & Safety Disclaimer: This post may contain workout and health advice and information, designed for entertainment and/or educational purposes. Without delay, always consult your doctor before trying out a new fitness regimen. Bodyweight MAX should not be used as a substitute for professional medical services.
Jump Squats Benefits
Squats are the most fundamental and popular lower-body calisthenic exercise out there, and that probably also holds true for weighted and resistance exercise. No matter how you look at it, your entire leg will get an amazing workout from such a simple maneuver. There’s no reason even the strongest person will ever stop doing squats. While there are several variations for the squat, they all essentially accomplish the same goal in benefiting your lower body. But, the one variation I do on a consistent basis is the jump squat. There are some important jump squats benefits that you will only achieve with this explosive movement, so if you want to switch up your squats, try adding some jumping with each rep.
Jump Squats Benefits – Target Different Muscles
Unlike regular squats, jump squats are not done with smooth, methodical motions. These squats are high-intensity, short-burst, and launch you into the air. The only smooth and methodical part of the jump squat is how you land back on your feet, which is an important aspect to the whole move. Thus, jump squats strengthen you in ways that cannot be done with regular squats, because doing jump squats benefits your explosive strength.
I find it very important to train my explosive strength, which increases my Type II muscle strength, also know as fast-twitch. You won’t improve explosive strength without explosive exercises like jump squats. I wrote an entire article on the importance of explosive strength, which I suggest you check out as well.
The Type II muscles that are hit with jump squats include: glutes, thighs, hamstrings, calves, and core. Doing jump squats benefits your overall balance, joint strength, and hip flexor strength as well.
Jump Squats Benefits – Getting Started
Depending on your lower-body workout experience level, your first tries with jump squats will vary. If you are newer to calisthenics and/or fitness in general, you will do fewer reps. If you’ve been working out for a while but haven’t done much explosive exercise, then jump squats will still present some new challenges because you are working out the Type II muscles that have been ignored all this time.
One of the most important things to keep in mind with jump squats is what you are standing on. To protect your joints, I strongly recommend doing jump squats on a yoga mat or other soft surface. I like to do mine on a mat in a room with carpeting to ensure my landing is very soft.
Step 1: Explosive Squats
For true beginners, start your jump squat training without leaving the floor. Instead of a slower squat movement when coming back up, explode up. You will hit those Type II muscles for the first time with these squats, and can then gauge how much work there is to be done with jump squats overall.
Once you can get 30 explosive squats in a row, you can move on to the next step. However, once you hit 30, I also think it is a good practice to keep going beyond 30 until failure. It’s a good way to keep improving yourself.
Step 2: Jump Squats
I like to do my jump squats with my arms forward, but many people do them with their hands on their hips. Arm position isn’t really important, as long as you get the full range of motion with your squat, jump into the air, and then land safely back on the floor.
Again, you may want to go beyond 30 to see how many you can do in a row without stopping.
Jump Squats Benefits: Advanced Variations
While jump squats on their own are just fine, I suggest checking out the many awesome jump squat variations below, as well!
Variation A: Weighted Jump Squats
In my opinion, just doing bodyweight jump squats over and over again will eventually cause you to plateau. And truth be told, when it comes to lower-body workouts, calisthenics can’t reach the levels of progress as weight. Yeah, I just said that. 🙁
That said, if you do any variation of the bodyweight jump squat, the only one you’ll need is the weighted version. You can use a weighted vest, free weights, a kettle bell, or really any heavy object. As you get better and better at weighted jump squats, simply add more weight to keep improving. I am currently both wearing a vest and holding a free weight when I do jump squats now.
Variation B: High Knee Jump Squats
If you want to improve both your explosive strength and flexibility, consider this variation, which benefits your hip flexor strength. When you jump up, bring your knees up as high as you can. This move requires you to jump high enough to allow yourself enough time for your knees to come all the way up, before falling back down safely for your landing. It’s not as easy as it looks. You can also combine this with variation A as you get better at it.
Variation C: Jumps to a Higher Platform
I love this exercise a lot more than I ever expected to. Since the whole point of the jump squat is to increase explosive strength in your lower body, why not get an additional measure of progress by seeing how high you can jump? These get me winded like no other exercise! And again, once you get stronger, combine variation C with variation A and add weights to these jumps. Furthermore, make more progress by jumping to even higher platforms when the one you’re currently jumping to starts to feel to low. Just be safe!
Jump Squats Benefits: Conclusion
Make sure to include jump squats as part of your lower-body routine to continue to improve your explosive strength. You never know when you might need to jump out of a dangerous situation, after all, so getting lots of practice in now may just save your life! 😉
Doing jump squats benefits your improvements to other lower body exercises as well. Once you get tired of jump squats, you can try jump lunges, for example. And for more full-body implementation, give burpees a shot. And no matter what type of explosive lower-body workout you’re doing, remember to stretch!
How is your jump squat progress coming along? Let me know in the comments below!