If your workout regime is tailored to helping you improve in a particular sport, adding in some plyometric exercises is a must. Short explosive movements – such as hops, skips and jumps – increase your power, balance and speed in a way that will translate into improvements in whatever your sport is.
The standard lunge is a great way to strengthen your entire lower body, with the quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves all engaged. Adding in the explosive jump helps strengthen those muscles, and also increases the cardiovascular challenge of the exercise. Furthermore, having to keep yourself stable when landing will improve your core strength and balance.
The legs generally take most of the punishment from plyometric moves, and that’s certainly true with the alternating jump lunge. So brace your bottom half, and get ready to leap.
How To Do The Jump Lunge
Start by standing tall, with your feet slightly apart. Step into a normal forward lunge, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Keep your upper body as straight as possible.
From there you have to push explosively into the air, switching the positions of your legs so that you land and can immediately drop into another lunge but with the opposite leg forward. Try to land softly. Repeat for as many reps as possible in a given time period if doing your lunges as part of a circuit, or shoot for three sets of 10 on each leg.
If keeping your balance and form on point during the jump lunge is tricky, make it a bit easier by holding onto a sturdy chair and shortening the length of your lunges.
Once you’ve progressed past the assisted and standard jump lunge, you can ramp up the difficulty by adding in weights. Hold a dumbbell in each hand as you leap, and you’ll be working at maximum effort again soon enough. Scale the weights up slowly, though, as the consequences of overbalancing while wielding chunky dumbbells are likely to be more dire than with the bodyweight-only move.