Exercising to get fit can be a rewarding process, but it is not something most people would enjoy in a fun sense of the word. HIIT classes and weightlifting can make us feel powerful and appreciate our bodies, but they are relatively serious activities that require us to focus our attention on the task at hand.
It is no wonder then that we need to bring other sources of entertainment into our session, like a good podcast or a motivational playlist
In this post, we are going to explain why jumping can provide you with an effective calorie-burning session that is actually fun to do.
Is jumping good exercise?
Jumping is a vigorous form of cardio that will help you to burn calories and lose weight. We all know that the best workout is the one you do regularly, which is why something as free-spirited and enjoyable as jumping makes for a successful weight loss journey.
Children naturally maintain a healthy weight without ever going to the gym, how do they manage this? If you have children or if you think back to when you were younger, you will know that child’s play is often very active. They enjoy energetically bouncing around the place.
They do not realise it, but active play burns calories. Well, what is good enough for them is good enough for us – this is the theory behind jumping exercises.
Does jumping burn calories?
Types of jumping exercises anyone can do at home
There are a few ways that you can incorporate it into your exercise routine.
#1 – Star jumps
The first is a call back to PE classes, the humble jumping jack (sometimes called a star jump) is a great way to get your entire body moving and elevate your heart rate. Rather than setting a target number and counting down each one, put on an energetic song and jump in time to the beat. Jumping jacks engage your glutes, quads and hip flexors.
#2 – Squat jumps
#3 – Step jumps
Another way of introducing jumping is by doing step jumps. Choose a solid surface, like your doorstep or a sturdy (relatively low) bench. Put your right leg up on the step, then propel yourself upwards and quickly switch the legs, so the left one is now on the step and your right leg lands on the ground.
Again, instead of counting down the numbers of jumps, perform this move in time to a song. Step jumps engage your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves.
You can also get an assortment of wooden or ‘plyo’ boxes to use in your jump routined, along with some pretty cheap adjustable platforms you can jump on to. See our Best Plyo Boxes guide for more.
#4 – Skipping – is it the same as jumping?
Most of us will have played with a skipping rope as a child and saw it as nothing more than a toy. However, a skipping rope can offer a full body workout if us adults are clever about how we use it.
First things first, you need a weighted rope – something along the lines of 1-2lbs – because this will engage your upper body as you control the swing. Your forearms and deltoids (shoulder muscles) will benefit from this.
Second, pay attention to your jumping form and keep your core tight while you rhythmically jump. This will train your core, abs, glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves.
Third, as long as you keep your posture, any form of skipping is beneficial so feel free to belt out some schoolyard skipping chants. However, if you want to challenge yourself and get the most out of your rope, work on double-unders.
This move involves passing the rope under your feet twice and is notoriously tricky to do. On the other hand, the frustration of persistently trying to do a new thing certainly makes us feel like children again!
#5 – Frog jumps
#6 – Using a rebounder for fitness
If you want an entirely jump-based workout you can opt for rebounding. This involves using a mini trampoline to perform cardio and strength exercises. The unstable base of the trampoline disrupts your stability and forces your legs and core to quickly adapt to maintain your balance.
While this is a very active and challenging process, it is something that your body will naturally do without you having to think too much about it.
Rebounding offers a comprehensive workout that is also low impact. The springy base of the trampoline disperses some of the pressure that would otherwise be forced down on your joints if you were performing the moves on solid ground.
For this reason, it is a great workout option for older people, anyone who suffers from joint pain, people recovering from injury, and overweight people. It is also very easy to get started with rebounding because there are so many free guided classes available online.
Mini trampolines are a relatively inexpensive piece of kit that can be stored easily, making them one of the more convenient pieces of home fitness equipment.
Tips on adding more jumps into your training
Add some jumps into your HIIT routines
I’m a massive fan of HIIT workouts. They’ve helped me get in shape, recover from injury and are a great alternative to going outside and running when the weather’s awful. I normally add in the ‘frog jumps’ from above, but I know jumping jacks are also really popular in HIIT classes and are often one of the hardest parts of the workout. You’ll love and hate them.
Work them into leg day
You know that feeling where you can’t make it up the stairs and your butt hurts and your thighs hurt the next day, after one of those leg training sessions? If you want to feel those more often, add some proper jump sets into your leg training days. There’s a load of different jumps you can try and they complement weight training perfectly. Just don’t hate me when you get that feeling the next day.
Break up your workday
Studies have shown that it’s not good to sit down all day at a desk. Jumping is one of the better ways to break up time at a desk job. Take any one of the jumping exercises and set a number that will just get you out of breath.
Have fun jumping!
If you want your exercise routine to be more fun while also still being effective, play around with some of the jumping exercises we have mentioned in this post.
It is a matter of finding the moves that suit your body and that you enjoy doing, be sure to let us know how you get on or if you have any jumping exercises that we have not covered here.
References & Further Reading
- Find out more about how rebounders are used in physical therapy on the Rebound Therapy website.
- Read more about the NASA rebounder research and study on the rebounder Wiki page
- Find out how to do a basic bounce on a Maximus Pro here
- Full details on NASA’s study into rebounding exercise can be found here
- Does Cardio or Weight Training Burn More Fat?