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December 07, 2022 7 min read

Jumping lunges are a great way to build strength and agility in the lower body. Not only do they help build strength and stability in the legs, but they also offer a great cardio workout. To get the most out of this exercise, it's important to know how to do it properly.

In this article, we'll explain how to do jumping lunges correctly, so you can get the most out of this exercise and maximize the benefits.

The goal of many athletes and gym-goers is lean legs. While traditional exercises such as squats and deadlifts make an appearance in many lower-body workouts, there are other leg exercises that target the leg muscles that you can add to your workout toolbox.

Jumping lunges are an advanced plyometric exercise that combines a jump and a lunge.

They are plyometric exercises because they require explosive power to drive your body upward off the ground. They involve you jumping up after lunging forward, switching your legs mid-air, before landing in a lunge with the opposite leg forward.

Lean Bodies - Image from Shutterstock

They involve a powerful stretch-shortening cycle that engages the tendons and muscles to quickly and powerfully move the body. This quick and powerful movement strengthens the ligaments, muscles, and tendons, and improves the body's power-producing ability. This is a lower-body exercise that also works the core and increases power, agility, and overall body strength.

Warm-up Stretches are Essential

Because the jump lunge is an advanced plyometric movement, it should not be performed until you've done a thorough warm-up with some basic movements to get your heart rate up. Even after a good warm up, jumping lunges require a slower progression for mild jumps to higher jumps. Take it slow for the first few transitions.

How to Do Jumping Lunges

Starting position:

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and a slight bend in your knees.

Your shoulders should be directly over your hips with a neutral head and neck position.

Your chin should remain tucked throughout the movement to help keep your neck neutral.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Step forward with your right foot, planting it firmly on the ground.

  2. Inhale, and lower your body so that your left knee is bent at a 90-degree angle and your right knee is just above the ground.

  3. Push off your right foot and exhale as you jump up, switching legs in midair.

  4. Land with your left foot forward and sink down into the lunge position.

  5. Repeat the movement, alternating legs each time.

  6. Based on your capability, continue jumping. Beginners can aim for 5 to 10 reps on both legs, and experienced fitness enthusiasts can do more.

What is the Proper Form for Jumping Lunges?

To ensure your hard work is worthwhile it’s important to use the proper form and technique. If you don’t, you might not work the targeted muscles, and also increase injury risks. Follow the guidelines below to be safe.

At the start:

  • Ensure your weight is evenly distributed, then grip the floor with your feet to create a stable position

  • Your arms should remain long by your sides with a slight bend in your elbows.

  • Pre-tension your shoulders and hips with a good inhale and exhale, and engage your core. Your ribs should be down, and your pelvis should be slightly tucked.

During the lunge:

  • Maintain a neutral spine and an upright chest position throughout.

  • Your front foot should be neutral, and your front knee should be directly over your big toe.

  • Your hip should be over your rear knee, and you should be on the ball of your back foot with your heel off of the ground.

  • Your chest should be slightly ahead of your hips.

During the jump:

  • Swing your arms forward to begin your jump, and land gently.

  • Your landing posture should be the same as your jumping posture. Your front foot should be neutral with your weight evenly distributed.

  • Your chest should be slightly ahead of your hips.

  • Stabilize your body to prepare to jump again.

Which Muscles Work When Performing Jumping Lunges?

Lower Body Muscles - Image from Shutterstock

Jumping lunges involve the quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves, to allow the following motions:

  • The quadriceps are located at the front of the thigh and are responsible for extending the knee.

  • The glutes are located at the buttocks and are responsible for hip extension, abduction, and external rotation.

  • The hamstrings are located at the back of the thigh and are responsible for knee flexion and hip extension.

  • The calves are located at the back of the lower leg and are responsible for plantar flexion of the ankle.

When jumping lunges are done correctly, you will also engage muscles that stabilize the hips and core muscles, those that are used for rotational movements, and even improve ankle stability.

How To Make Jumping Lunges More Challenging?

One way to make jumping lunges more challenging is to add resistance by using resistance bands or weights, such as dumbbells or kettlebells. You could also add additional reps, or hold the lunge position for a longer period of time. You could also increase the distance you jump. Finally, you could add an upper body movement, such as a shoulder press or bicep curl, during the lunge.

Tips to Improve Your Jumping Lunges

It’s only natural to want to get the most out of any workout routine. Here are some tips to ensure you optimize the benefits of jumping lunges.

  • Always do warm-up exercises that include quick core workouts to avoid injury.

  • Start off slowly, then gradually increase the speed.

  • Rest in between the jumps or between rep sets.

  • Do not stretch the forward knee beyond your foot as it could cause knee pain. 

  • Do not lock your knees as it may create problems while landing.

  • Always make sure that you have proper footing on the ground because landing up on your toes could cause an injury.

  • Always begin with small jumps and build up as you go.

  • Stretch your muscles and relax at the end of the exercise.

What are the Benefits of Jumping Lunges?

These exercises improve your entire lower body and help in coordination, dynamic stability, and balance. Energy is produced on your hips, knees, and ankles as you leap up, exerting pressure on the foot.

Ab Muscles - Image from Shutterstock

Thejumping lunge exercise is an excellent cardiovascular exercise that targets the muscles of the glutes, hip flexors, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves. If you have good hip movement and control, this exercise will be easier to perform.

They offer multiple benefits, including those listed below.

  1. Convenient home workout: As a bodyweight exercise, jumping lunges do not require you to have any special exercise equipment, making them easy to practice at home.

  2. Improved Leg Strength: Jumping lunges are a great way to strengthen your legs, as they involve a full range of motion and require the use of your entire lower body.

  3. Improved Cardiovascular Endurance: Jumping lunges are an effective and challenging cardio exercise, as they require rapid and repeated movement of your legs.

  4. Improved Balance and Stability: The explosive nature of the jumping lunge requires you to maintain balance and stability throughout the entire exercise.

  5. Improved Agility: By constantly changing directions, jumping lunges can help to improve your agility and athleticism.

  6. Improved Coordination: Jumping lunges require balance, coordination, and timing, which can help to improve your overall coordination.

  7. Calorie Burning: Jumping lunges can be an effective exercise for weight loss. They are intense, full-body exercises that can help you burn calories and build muscle. They also challenge your coordination and balance, making them a great way to get a full-body workout.

Common Mistakes When Doing Jumping Lunges?

If you make any of these mistakes while doing jumping lunges you might be wasting your time and energy.

  • Not keeping your chest up and your back straight.

  • Not dropping your back knee low enough toward the floor.

  • Not maintaining proper form throughout the exercise.

  • Not making an explosive jump when switching legs.

  • Not maintaining correct posture while jumping.

  • Not landing with soft knees.

  • Not controlling the movement of your arms when switching legs.

  • Not using your arms for balance.

  • Not bringing your front knee over your toes when you land.

  • Not pushing off with your back foot when you jump.

  • Not using the same amount of force and maintaining the same tempo on both sides when alternating legs.

Variations of the Jumping Lunge?

It is always a good idea to keep your workout routines interesting by doing different versions and targeting muscles from various angles. Here are some suggestions.

  1. Alternating Jumping Lunge: Begin in a standing position. Jump up and switch legs mid-air, so that your left leg is now in the front and your right leg is in the back. As you land, lower your body into a lunge position to complete one repetition.

  2. Stationary Jumping Lunge: Begin in a standing position. Jump up and switch legs mid-air, so that your left leg is now in the front and your right leg is in the back. As you land, lower your body into a lunge position without moving forward or backward.

  3. Curtsy Jumping Lunge: Begin in a standing position. Step your right leg back and across the left leg, as if you were curtsying. Then, as you jump up, switch legs mid-air. As you land, lower your body into a lunge position to complete one repetition.

  4. Lateral Jumping Lunge: Begin in a standing position. Step your right leg to the right side and then jump up, switching legs mid-air. As you land, lower your body into a lunge position with your left leg in the front.

  5. Jumping Reverse Lunge: Begin in a standing position. Step back with one leg, bending both knees to lower into a lunge. Jump up and switch leg positions, quickly landing with the opposite leg back. Lower into a lunge on the opposite side, keeping both knees bent.

And never forget about the regular lunges such as forward lunges, walking lunges, and side lunges.

This video shows 10 lunge versions and their proper forms.

 

Safety Precautions

Avoid the jump lunge if you have any injury to your back, knees, hips, or ankles. It is a high-impact exercise, and you should not do it if they could exacerbate any condition you have. Discuss your plans with your doctor or physical therapist. Do not do this exercise if you are pregnant. Stop if you feel any sharp pain. Never disregard the importance of your overall wellness.

Furthermore, as important as warming up before working out is, recovery time is crucial.

Always prepare your muscles with warm-up stretches, and do post-workout stretches to allow your muscles to recover and remain flexible. Done correctly, lunges in their various forms can significantly benefit your overall power, strength, and performance.

In a Nutshell

Jumping lunges are an excellent way to increase strength and burn fat. With the proper form and technique, you can get an effective workout in a very short amount of time. This exercise is great for any fitness level and can be easily modified to fit your needs, and as a bonus, you need no equipment. Give them a try, and you'll soon be reaping the benefits of jumping lunges.