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How to Add Jumping to Your Fitness Routine

Why You Need to Add Jumping to Your Cardio Routine

We are pumped to share one of our fave stories from Self here on FitSugar!

Back in the day, when we played double-dutch on the playground (or some simpler incarnation of that), we hardly cared about the value of the workout.  All we cared about was having fun. It turns out that jumping offers a lot more than a good time: in fact, depending on the type of jumping exercise you choose, you can get a cardio and strength building workout simultaneously.

From jump roping to squat jumps to trampoline classes, for regular gym rats and even Hollywood A-listers, jumping is the new black.

I. Jump Roping

Celebrity trainer Marco Reed — who authored upcoming book The Get Beyond Fit 3+1 Diet based on his lauded nutrition programs — integrates jumping into the majority of his personal training and popular outdoor workout classes.

In fact, jumping rope is one of his favorite exercises to incorporate.  "It's been around for a long time with athletes, but I think it's become more popular with everyone else lately.  I even see jump roping classes popping up."  Reed is right, if celebrity fans like Katy Perry are any indicator and classes like Aerojump at NYC's Aerospace. Read on to find out why Reed thinks you should be jumping.

Here are the top four benefits of jump roping, according to Marco Reed:

  1. Portability: Jump roping is a cardio exercise that you can do almost anywhere.  If you're traveling, you can throw the rope in your suitcase.
  2. Agility: When you jump rope, you can integrate and learn a bunch of different patterns: figure 8's (diagonally crossing the body), on one foot, alternating feet, box jumps (hitting four corners — like drawing a box with your feet), high knees (like running in place) or side-to-side.  That gives you a bunch of different agility drills that can translate into improved performance in almost any sport.
  3. Heart Rate: If you create a really fast rope, where you're jumping every few seconds, you're going to boost your heart rate really high.  With a double jump, you can slow it down, which gets the heart rate up, but not as high, so in an ideal fat burning zone.
  4. Upper & Lower Body: Jump roping works the upper and lower body, because you're turning the rope with your arms. You''ll get a lot of shoulder work done and a bit of forearms and wrists strengtheners, too.  Then, the lower body is working during the jumps themselves.  Your abs have to fire and be part of the movement as well.

Reed's Tip: Start by doing one minute of jumping and one minute off and alternate that way for 20 minutes total.  That way, it becomes like interval training.  Get to where you're doing two minutes on and one off and so on, until you can do 20 minutes straight.

II. Squat Jumps

So, what is a jump squat?  Well, it's a plyometric exercise (aka. strength and agility building) that involves jumping up either in the air or onto a bench or platform and then jumping back down into a squat position. Your body must rely on itself to create all the torque and power.

These days, personal trainers often integrate such sequences into their workouts, especially for athletes.  Marco Reed is no exception.  Here are his top three reasons for doing squat jumps:

  1. Burn Notice: Squat jumps are all about power and strength.  Explosive movements really get your heart rate up, so you burn a massive amount of calories and it gets you into great anaerobic shape.
  2. Deceleration: The squat jump is deceleration training.  When you land back into the squat, it causes the muscles to strengthen in a different way, reducing your risk of injury during sports/workouts.
  3. Strength: These types of exercises build amazing muscles in your core and lower body.

Reed's Tip:  Mix this move into a larger workout. Do one push-up type exercise sequence, one pull exercise like a row, one abs exercise like a crunch and then one Plyomteric like a squat jump onto a bench. Cycle through those 3-4 times.

III. Trampoline Jumping

When Jeff Platt and his father Rick first developed the concept for SkyZone Indoor Trampoline Park, where many trampolines are connected to create a large buoyant surface, the idea was to start a new professional team sport played on "a hyper high intensity resilient court."  Instead, they ended up creating a place — well 7 places with 14 in development this year — that is both party destination (like a bowling alley), activity center and workout spot.

According to Jeff Platt, trampoline fitness is at least 70-years-old.  But it's recently re-surged as a widespread trend, attracting the likes of Rihanna and Brooke Burke.  As he explains, "People get tremendous fitness benefits from playing.  We have another 20 locations set to open next year because trampoline fitness is growing in popularity.  We're taking it to the next level."

Here are Jeff Platt's top three benefits of trampoline fitness:

  1. Fun Exercise: People are fooled into getting a great workout at SkyZone, whether playing dodge ball or taking a Skyrobics class that burns up to 1,000 calories.  After 30-minutes on a trampoline, many people are dripping sweat. That can also happen on a home trampoline!
  2. Total Body: The basic movements on a trampoline (especially this size) include running in place, "brouncing" (jumping and bouncing), jumping up and down, working with medicine balls and just touching your toes.  It's a tremendous leg and core workout.  You're on an uneven surface, so you're using stabilizing muscles in your lower back and core.  Your legs propel you up and down, but you can also incorporate total body moves.
  3. Low Impact: This is a low-impact exercise, which is great for a runner with bum knees, who needs a break from slamming on concrete.  You're not going to feel that jarring sensation in your joints.

    Platt shares a calorie-busting move that can be done both at home on a regular trampoline and at SkyZone. The move is fairly simple: on a smaller trampoline at home, you would march in place, while at SkyZone you'd actually make your way across the trampoline court.  Just walk with knees raised high towards the chest during every step.  This burns calories and also builds core and lower leg muscles.

Time to jump for joy!

More about Marco Reed's Get Beyond Fit and Jeff Platt's Skyzone Indoor Trampoline Park.

Related Links:

How Fit Are You? Take Our Test and Learn How to Slim Down Faster!
The Easiest Way to Keep Your Diet on Track
Lose 8 Pounds with SELF's Free Meals and Moves Plan!

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