When rivers turn bright green, we think it's good time to play with your plyometrics and think outside the box. Put your standard box jumps aside and celebrate St. Patrick's Day with the jaunty jumping heel click. We associate this move with the feisty leprechauns that run amok on the Emerald Isle, so why not give it try before plating up with corned beef, colcannon, and a cold pint of Guinness?
First, do a few basic jump squats with heel clicks to warm up — jump straight up and bring your heels together right under you. Then do five to 10 single-leg hops on each foot to prepare for jumping off one foot.
- Step One: The Basic Pattern
Keeping your knees bent, cross your left leg in front of your right; jump off your left foot while kicking your right leg out to the side, keeping the knee bent. Allow your upper body to lean to the left. Do this five times, then try on the other side. It's completely normal if the movment feels easier and more natural on one side over the other.
- Step Two: Add Some Air
Now we are aiming to get the heels to connect and make that satisfying click. Cross your left leg in front of your right. Kick your right leg out to the side and bring the left heel toward the right and then quickly back to the ground. The higher you jump, the more time you will be in the air, making it easier to get your heels together. Do this five times on each side.
- Step Three: Make It Bigger
Once you are comfortable with the basic movement pattern and you are landing with ease, make the motion bigger. Tossing your hands toward the sky as you jump will also help you jump higher.
Before you dismiss this move as a silly holiday party trick, it's useful for training. It's great for strengthening the feet and ankles and challenges the coordination. This simple heel click is an exercise where your entire body should working to make the motion smooth and controlled. Try it! And may you feel the luck of the Irish in your endeavors.