If your workouts are feeling a little lifeless these days, it's time to leave the ground. I am talking about jumping. Adding a little levity to your workout brings tons of benefits as you fight gravity for your liftoff. As long as your joints are sound, here are reasons for adding some jumps and hops to your fitness life.
- Tone your legs in record time. Jumping recruits all the major muscles of the lower body. We're talking calves to glutes, and everything in between. Not only does jumping strengthen your muscles, it is great for your bones too. Landing quietly, makes the return to ground a workout too so channel your inner ballerina on the rebound.
- Jumping burns crazy mad calories. Think about jumping rope and you know lifting your body off the ground is a workout. Ten minutes of jumping rope burns almost 100 calories.
- Get your heart pumping: Exercises used in elementary school, like jumping jacks and skipping, are great for getting your heart rate up. Jumping really challenges the cardiovascular system and is a great way to get the blood flowing before a workout.
- It's a balancing act: Leaving the ground on your own volition and returning with grace ultimately improves your balance and agility. Staying upright in one-legged hops works your legs and core, but this simple yet challenging workout trains your body to recover when you trip or lose your footing. Jumping can help improve your reflexes and reaction time.
Get creative with your jumping and add skipping to your treadmill workout like Madonna, or get back to the basics and throw in some jump squats to your training circuit. Jessica Biel's trainer Jason Walsh thinks jumping stairs is the perfect plyometric move for toning the legs and booty. Ask your Pilates instructor to teach you jumping on the Reformer — it is so much fun.
Do you jump regularly?