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Bodyweight exercises may seem boring and repetitive, but we know that they work. For affirmation, you need to look no further than skipper Virat Kohli’s social media accounts.

As Kohli turns a very fit 32 today, we take a look at a leg workout that he’s demoed in videos in the past: jump squats.

  1. Benefits of a jump squat
  2. How to do a jump squat

A compound movement that involves the legs, hips, core and arms, a jump squat is a cardio exercise and strength training move rolled into one. It is also an integral part of a classic burpee, and therefore excellent practice if you are trying to build up to one (or 20 burpees).

In addition to the quadriceps in the front thigh, hamstrings at the back of the thigh, glutes in the hips and lower back, jump squats work the calves, ankles and core. Done right, they improve the balance, give a nice workout to the heart and lungs and help to lose weight by engaging some of the biggest muscles in the body.

What’s more, they don’t require equipment or much space. So if you’re working from home and looking for a way to shed the extra kilos, then this is one exercise you should definitely consider.

Before you begin the jump squat, it’s important to master the simple squat (also a compound movement but less challenging). Here’s what you need to do:

Warm-up the legs properly. You could try the following to achieve this:

  • Flex and point each foot for 30 seconds
  • Make a big circle with each foot, clockwise and anticlockwise: 10 times on each foot
  • Jog on the spot for 30-60 seconds
  • Half squats (squat halfway): 10
  • Jumping jacks: 25
  • Hamstring curls: 15
  • Knee-ups: 20-25 on each side
  • Rest for 15-30 seconds and repeat once more

For the jump squats:

  • Stand straight with your feet apart, a little bit wider than your shoulder-width. Your toes should be slightly turned out (not pointing straight ahead).
  • Push your hips back as you bend your knees till your thighs come parallel to the floor. Bring your arms up to chest height as you do this. Make sure your chest is up, your heels are firmly on the floor and your knees don’t go beyond your toes.
  • Now tighten your core, squeeze your buttocks and use the strength from your legs to jump up. Push your arms back to gain more height.
  • Land softly into the squat, with knees bent, hips back, chest up and arms in front of you.
  • This is one rep. Start with five repetitions and build up to more as you gain more muscle mass and stamina.

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