08 July, 2011
How to Jump Higher Like a Ninja
Ninjutsu is a form of martial arts that involves guerrilla warfare and a set of combat skills that include weapons, the hands and the feet. Ninjas were people well-versed in the ways of ninjutsu, and over the years they have been portrayed as next to indestructible with super-human strength. Jumping ability was one of the signature moves of a ninja.
Wear extra weight during the day. When you get up in the morning, put on a weighted vest and where it all day long. This makes your body feel heavier than it is. When you take the weight off, you will be able to jump higher.
Do squats with dumbbells. Building up your leg muscles helps increase your jumping abilities. Squats are an exercise that targets your quads, hamstrings, hips and glutes. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold dumbbells in your hands with your palms facing the sides of your thighs. Slowly squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor, then stand back up. Perform 10 to 12 repetitions and do three to four sets.
Lunge across the room. Lunges are a multi-joint exercise that is just as intense as squats. Hold dumbbells in your hands and take a long step forward with your right foot. As soon as your foot touches the ground, bend your right knee until it is at a 90-degree angle. While you do this, bend your back knee until it is just above the ground. Stand back up, step forward with the left leg and repeat. Take 10 to 12 steps, rest and repeat three to four times.
Tiptoe across the room. Strong calves are important for giving you the final lift you need when you are jumping, and they are also important when you are landing. To strengthen them, pick up a pair of heavy dumbbells and hold them at your sides. Come up on your tiptoes and take 15 to 20 steps across the floor. Come back to the starting point, rest and repeat three to four times.
Practice box jumps. These are plyometric exercises characterized by fast, explosive movements that simulate a sport-specific action, such as jumping like a ninja. Stand in front of a plyo box, bench or aerobic platform with your feet together. Squat down and jump on top of the box, landing with both feet. Step back down and repeat 12 to 15 times. Do three to four sets.
Perform squat jumps. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Squat down and leap into the air as high as you can. While you do this, reach up like you are signaling a touchdown. Land, squat and repeat 12 to 15 times and do three to four sets.
Hop from side to side with lateral hurdle jumps. Stand laterally on one side of an aerobic platform built up to about 12 inches. Squat down and jump sideways over the platform. Land on the other side and immediately hop back to the first side. Go back and forth 12 to 15 times and do three to four sets.
Do stair hops. Stand at the bottom of a stairway with your feet together. Crouch down like a ninja and hop all the way up the stairs. Walk back down and hop back up again. Go up the steps three to four times, take a rest and repeat three to four times. If you want to increase your intensity, try hopping multiple steps at once.
Plyo boxes are fitness tools that come in various heights. They are designed to jump on and off of for plyometric exercises.
If you use an aerobic platform for box jumps, build it up to about knee level.
If you want to make your plyometric exercises more challenging, wear your weighted vest.
Check with your health-care provider before beginning an exercise program for the first time or if you have been away from fitness programs for a while, or if you have any chronic health issues.
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