Tip: Jump for Gains

Denser muscle. Better squats and deadlifts. Sound good? Then you need to work jumps into your workouts. Here's how.

Whether you're an athlete or just training for your own personal goals, performing explosive movements should be part of your plan. The following movements allow your body to create the muscular and neurological adaptations needed to fire quickly.

While these require little to no external weight, they can have a big carryover to your squat and deadlift. This is due largely to the enhancement of muscle tissue quality and creating the ability to exert force rapidly.

A few examples of what you can do:

Box Jump (Single Leg Jump, Double-Leg Land)

Bulgarian Split Squat Jump

Kneeling Jump (Single-Leg Land)

If you're already extremely explosive, try these movements loaded with a dumbbell, medicine ball, or weight plates. If you've never trained explosively just use your bodyweight.

When to Do Them

There's no need to do these every workout. This type of activity typically works best on lower body days after a thorough warm-up and prior to any lifting.

How Much to Do

More is hardly ever better. Measure plyo work in ground contacts (feet hitting the floor), not reps. For one workout it's safe to say that anywhere from 25-50 ground contacts is more than enough.

Bodyweight Considerations

The range you do should depend on bodyweight and experience. Those who are heavier should perform fewer ground contacts per set since it can be detrimental for joint longevity.

Rest Time

Program your rest. Jumps rely heavily on ATP provided by the body since they're done quickly and over a short period of time. Once you've completed the exercise, take note of how long it took you to do it, then rest at least 3-5 times that amount. So if it took you 30 seconds to complete, rest 90-150 seconds.