Granted, I took this move straight from Shape Magazine, but it's going to become a regular in my repertoire of jumping exercises. The one-legged plyometric squat requires engagement of your entire body, while challenging the strength, power and stability of the major muscles in your legs. Keep in mind: this is not a beginner move! If you're new to jump training, start with basic hops and jumps before progressing to squat jumps or jumping lunges. Because this particular move places a lot of stress on the leading leg, you must have strong quads and hamstrings to help maintain the stability of your knee in order to prevent injury. A couple other things to keep in mind:
- Anytime you jump, make sure you jump with soft knees.
- Perform this move while looking in a mirror - watch your leading knee to make sure it's not folding inward or buckling outward (a little shakiness on landing or pushing off is normal, but if you must move your knee inward or outward to perform the exercise, you're not quite ready for it yet). If you see this type of lateral knee movement, put the exercise on the back burner and concentrate on traditional squats, lunges and deadlifts to strengthen your quads and hamstrings before trying the exercise again.
- Do what you can. If you can't perform a full set of eight to 12 repetitions, don't sweat it! It's better to stop when you're exhausted in order to help prevent injury than to continue forcing yourself to finish a set.
Remember: Always consult your doctor before starting an exercise program and be sure to listen to your body while performing any exercise. A little discomfort from physical exertion is okay, but actual pain is not okay.
The material appearing on Girls Gone Sporty, LLC is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.