Squat Jumps - 7 Minute Plyometric Workout
Having a hard time getting into the gym?
Can't afford a membership?
Are you on vacation?
Well, you can get a good leg workout without having to go to the gym and all you need are.... working legs! I set up a short workout using a plyometric movement called the squat jump so that you can workout whenever and wherever you are.
If you look at the picture on the right, down below you can see the basic movement you'll be doing. I like to do them with your arms in that "prisoner" position to take the "arm swing" out of your jump, and really focus all the work on your legs.
In theory, this workout will help you with your endurance strength, give you gains in explosive power, spark new muscle growth and help you lose weight.
Help you lose weight?
Yes, I set it up in a way so that it will be a short interval workout. This isn't a common form of "cardio", but this interval workout will definitely help you burn fat.
You Don't Need to Do The "Butt Kickers" In This Vid
The Basic Movement
Let's practice the basic movement a couple times; it's pretty simple.
- Put your hands behind your head like you're being arrested, as shown in the picture. Don't worry, working out isn't a crime.
- Now squat down until the top of your thighs are parallel to the floor, or until you feel the bottom of your thighs touch your calves.
- As soon as you squat down, you'll want to jump up in an explosive movement so that your legs straighten and your feet leave the floor a little bit. Make sure you keep your hands behind your head the whole time and that, as you squat down, you're keeping your back pretty straight up and down.
- As soon as you land you'll want to go straight back down into the squat position and jump again.
Practice that a couple times so that you can complete it quickly.
You'll need to do these fast, but with good form, to track your progress with this workout. They have to be done quickly so that you can take advantage of the "spring effect" you'll get, by quickly stretching your muscle.
When you drop down low into the squat you stretch your muscle, which stores elastic energy, and then you quickly jump back up, which allows you to jump even higher because of a spring-like effect of your stretched muscle.
Alright, got the movement down?
Let's move on.
Care to Compete?
As I said before, I've done this workout; I don't make up workouts and then never try them myself. This one really fires up your legs! So let's have a friendly competition. Once you've tried this workout, post your results in a comment. Don't be shy, for all I know, you're better than me at them! Here's what you need to post:
- The DATE you did the workout
- Your AGE and GENDER
- Your HEIGHT and WEIGHT
- # of squat jumps completed each set
- Total # of squat jumps completed in the 4 minutes of intervals you did (add the totals from each set together)
- Did you like the workout?
- Will you do it again?
Here are my results after doing this workout the first time:
July 2nd, 2007 - I'm a 25 year old Male, I'm almost 6'3" and was around 243lbs when I did this workout. I did 33 squat jumps in the first set, 27 in the 2nd, 24 in the 3rd and 23 in the 4th. So that's 107 squat jumps for the whole workout. I did like this workout, even though my legs hurt for the next couple days, but just means I worked my muscles in a way they're not use to. I will be doing this workout again soon.
July 30th, 2007:
- I was around 228lbs
- I did 42 squat jumps in the first set, 33 in the 2nd, 31 in the 3rd and 29 in the last set.
- So that's 135 squat jumps total (I beat my last record by 28 reps overall).
- My legs didn't hurt as bad this time after I did them, so that's a relief.
What you're going to want to do is get a watch with a countdown timer on it, or you can even use an egg timer or your microwave. You just want something that you can set up to count down a minute (60 seconds), and then set off an alarm so that you know when to stop.
You'll want a piece of paper and pen near you as well, and probably a drink.
You're going to do 4 sets of squat jumps. Your sets will be a minute long and you'll have a minute of rest in between each set.
So you'll start the timer and immediately start doing squat jumps when the timer starts.
You want to do them fast but make sure that you're doing the full movement.
AND MAKE SURE THAT YOU COUNT OUT YOUR REPS; this is how you're going to track your progress.
Do a minute straight of squat jumps, counting out your reps. When the alarm goes off, stop jumping and start the timer again.
Now, you've got a minute to write down the number of squat jumps you did and to get a drink, if you need one.
Once the alarm sounds again, your "break" is over. You'll have to set the timer again and start doing squat jumps. Count them out and feel the burn! Do them as fast as you can, but if you need a SHORT breather during your set, then take one.
You'll want to do that four times and that's it. That took seven measly minutes and I'm willing to bet that your legs are cooked. The first time I did this workout, my legs ached for a few days.
Pain is progress folks. Well, at least this kind of pain.
This is an intense workout, so try it once and then decide if you need to make any changes (like maybe dropping a set) to better suit you.
You don't need to do a workout like this everyday; add some variety in your workouts. Do this once every other week if you can handle it, or even once a month like I'm going to do. Just add this to your arsenal of workouts.
I do my squat jumps out in my garage and I put a foam pad down to help absorb some shock, to save my knees.
I usually do some pushups and pull-ups after I do squat jumps, so I can have more of a full body workout, but that's up to you.
You CAN get a good workout using just your body weight and it doesn't have to be overly long.
Now try this out and tell me how much you hate me in a comment below, because your legs hurt so much.
© 2007 Ben Guinter
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