Tip: Squat Jumps for More Muscle Recruitment

Recruit more muscle, wake up your nervous system, and get more athletic. Squat jumps bridge the gap between jumping in sport and squatting in the gym.

There are three phases: loading, exploding, and landing:

  1. Loading: Set up with feet about shoulder-width apart in an athletic stance with arms up at chest height. The loading phase utilizes a simultaneous downward arm swing with flexing at the hips and knees, thus loading up the legs.
  2. Exploding: Rapidly swing the arms up while driving your feet into the ground and extending the hips and knees, and then taking off on the balls of the feet. Fully extend the arms overhead and aim to fully extend the body with the ankle, knee, hip, trunk, shoulder, and ear all being aligned.
  3. Landing: Bend your knees into a squat position and absorb force evenly through the foot, not just through the toes. Keep your chest and head up, looking directly ahead. Your shins should be vertical and knees straight to avoid valgus and various positions, which put more stress on the knees.

Try three sets of 4 to 6 reps with 60-90 seconds between sets before you do your regular workout. Perform on a lower-body training day, before or in place of a squat.

Eric Bach is a highly sought-after strength and conditioning coach, located in Colorado. Eric specializes in helping athletes and online clients achieve optimal performance in the gym and on the playing field. Follow Eric Bach on Facebook