5 Things You Need to Know About Jump Lunges
Jump lunges are an explosive exercise that make your legs more powerful. Before you decide to add it into your program, take a few minutes to learn how to do it properly. From there, you just have to decide where it fits into your workouts.
Jump Lunge Technique
To do a jump lunge, find a clear space where you're not in danger of kicking or stepping on anything. Stand tall and step one leg forward, dropping your back knee down into a lunge position. Both of your knees should be at roughly 90-degree angles.
Drive up with both legs, jump into the air as high as you can and switch your legs while you're in the air. Land on the ground in a lunge position with the opposite leg forward. Sink down and jump again, once again switching in mid-air.
The basic jump lunge form will get you started, but it's important to learn things to watch out for during the exercise and how to add it into your workouts.
1. They're a plyometric exercise.
Plyometric training helps you run faster, jump higher and burn more calories. Because plyometric exercises move quickly, they double as a form of interval training. Your focus during jump lunges should be on the speed and height of your jump.
Lunge jumps are a plyometric exercise, which means that you're training your muscles to be explosive. To do that you have to make an effort to jump into the air quickly and with as much power as possible.
When you do your jump lunges, explode from the bottom position and imagine that you're trying to touch your head to the ceiling, jumping as high as possible. After you switch legs in the air and land on the ground, dip down into a lunge and immediately jump back up into the air.
Spending as little time as possible on the ground is key to maximizing a plyometric exercise, since you're using all of the energy that you absorb in your landing to jump again.
Read more: Plyometric Speed Workout
2. Think straight up and down.
When you do a jumping lunge, there's a natural tendency to jump or lean forward. In a regular lunge, you drive off of the front foot and step forward, which causes some confusion in the jump lunge.
Keep in mind that this isn't a forward-bounding exercise. You're trying to push off of the front and back legs equally to jump straight up into the air. Moving forward or backward when you jump changes the dynamic of the exercise and makes you favor one leg over another.
3. Posture is important.
To keep the focus of the exercise on going completely vertical, keep your posture tall. Your torso should straight up and down without any forward or backward lean.
Leaning in one direction will make you favor one leg. It's more common to lean forward, especially when you're tired, but that changes the focus of the exercise. An easy way to keep your posture throughout the movement is to put your hands behind your head as you jump.
4. A suspension device can help.
Not everyone will be ready to start with a regular jumping lunge. It can be a lot to handle because it combines leg strength, power, and balance. If landing in a lunge position feels wobbly or you have a hard time slowing yourself down, use a TRX for assistance.
To use the TRX for a jump lunge, grab the handles and walk back until the straps are taut. Get into the bottom of a lunge and then jump up. At the same time, pull yourself toward the TRX with your arms. Pulling yourself forward slightly will help launch you out of the bottom position. As you land, lean back against the TRX slightly to help ease back down into the lunge position.
Read more: Static Lunge
5. It's easy to fit in.
After you learn how to do jump lunges you have to find a place for them in your workout. Add them to a high-intensity interval circuit to get your heart rate up.
If you're trying to work on your jumping ability or running speed, use the jump lunge by itself instead of pairing it with other exercises. That way, you can give it all of your energy.
Add jump lunges to your leg routine to grow your leg muscles. Do a weighted leg exercise and then pair it with a set of jump lunges to add a little extra work to your leg sets.
Henry is a Philadelphia-based personal trainer and writer. He has trained a wide range of clients, from professional athletes to working professionals. Feel free to contact Henry with any questions regarding an article that he's written.