MountainStar Health - February 22, 2019

If you enjoyed jumping rope, jumping fences or playing hopscotch as a child, you might enjoy exercises that keep you hopping.

Plyometrics, or jump training, uses explosive moves that exert maximum force in a short amount of time. This training strengthens muscles and bones and improves your stability and speed, which can help you break a fall or play catch with the kids. Practice these jumps twice a week, adding more intensity and reps as you master them.

Jumping jacks

Stand straight with feet together and arms at your sides. Bend your knees slightly and jump into the air, spreading your feet past your hips and arms high above your head. Jump back to starting position. Do 10 reps.

Difficulty: Easy

Lateral jumps

Stand with feet close together with arms by your side. Bend your knees and lower your hips, keeping your back straight. Jump to the side, landing softly by bending your knees. Then jump back. Swing your arms like a skater. Continue jumping from side to side for 5-10 reps.

Difficulty: Easy

Squat jumps

Stand with feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees, pushing your hips back and swinging your arms behind you with palms facing up. Jump off the ground, lifting your arms in the air. Land softly with knees bent, returning to a squat. Do 10 reps. For a bigger challenge, jump on and off a low exercise platform.

Difficulty: Moderate to Hard

Butt kickers

Stand with legs shoulder-width apart and arms at your sides. Bend your right knee and kick your heel up until it almost touches your butt. Switch sides, increasing your speed as you go and pumping your fists like you are running in place. Do 10 reps.

Difficulty: Moderate to Hard

Want to find a doctor to help you step up your fitness regimine? Find help at St. Marks.