These fun moves will also boost stability and bone strength to protect your joints.
Jumping can be scary. Sometimes the landing isn’t pretty, and the “F” word comes to mind (no, not that one): falling. But jumping can also be a terrific way to build stability and bone strength, and protect your joints.
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These jumping exercises will definitely get your heart pumping. Rather than focus on how high you can get off the floor, though, pay attention to the control of your muscles through each movement. Smaller jumps are easier and larger jumps are harder, so listen to your body and do what is most safe and effective for you.
Side to Side
- Stand with your legs hip-width apart and slightly bent.
- Push using your legs and core to jump up and over to one side, as though you are jumping over something.
- Land in starting position, then continue to jump back and forth. Make sure to spring with your legs and roll through your foot to land. Aim for 10 jumps on each side.
Need a modification? Instead of jumping, just step side to side.
Lunge to Lunge
- First find your balance in lunge position, making sure to bend both the front knee and the back knee.
- In one push, lift yourself up and off the ground.
- Land the same way you started. Aim for 10 jumps on each side.
Need a modification? Do a mini jump or skip jumping altogether and just bend and straighten the legs.
Lunge and Switch
- These are similar to jumping jacks, but just in a different plane of movement. Start in your lunge with one leg front, one leg back, and both knees bent (just like the previous exercise).
- Jump up and switch legs, landing with the other leg in front. Melt through the knees and ankles.
- Again try for 10 repetitions on each side, or 20 switches. Remember to land softly and roll through the foot and bend the knees.
Need a modification? Rather than jump, lunge and then lift your back foot up to your front knee height, then repeat on the same side. For a greater challenge, lift the supporting heel and then go back down.
Inner Thigh Tweeze
- Start in a wide squat position.
- Push through both legs to jump into the air, all while holding your core in to protect your back.
- Squeeze your inner thighs together, keeping the legs in parallel, and land back in your starting position. Try for 10 jumps.
Need a modification? Start in your squat and then shift your weight over into one leg and lift the other leg up, squeezing your inner thighs. Alternate to the other side, and try to keep your torso upright as you switch. With this variation, do 5 lifts on each side.
First published: 16 Jan 2018