There are many different ways to improve your current exercise routine. What about doing the bunny hops exercise, what will the effects be?
There are different movements with the name bunny hops. This article considers bunny hops as a type of exercise where you take small jumps on your hands and feet.
If you are interested in the effects of jumping on two legs as far as possible you may be interested in the broad jump exercise.
Bunny hops are an exercise that can be useful as a warmup or to improve coordination. For other fitness goals, there are many better exercise options. You do get some cardiovascular and muscle engagement when doing bunny hops but generally not that much.
Keep in mind that bunny hops can be rough on body parts like your wrists.
Whether you should add the bunny hops exercise or alternatives to your routine depends on things like your personal situation, personal preference, and training goals.
How to do a bunny hop
To do a bunny hop take the following steps:
- Sit on your hands and feet with most of your weight leaning on your legs.
- Move your hands off the ground and forward while leaning forward.
- Land with your two hands on the ground. Jump forward a small amount with your legs.
- Land back into starting postion but in a different place. If you want to do more bunny hops and you are more advanced you can move your hands off the ground right before your feet land. This way you can move forward just a little faster.
Initially, you may have to get used to this movement to be able to do bunny hops at higher speeds.
Bunny hop exercise modifications
You can also make bunny hop modifications to make the exercise harder or focus more on different fitness components.
To ease into the intensity and movements of bunny hops you can do them slowly and without jumping. This will engage similar muscles, help you get used to the bunny hop movement, and get your heart beating at least a little faster.
The second modification is simply doing bunny hops faster. This will allow you to train your cardiovascular system and muscles harder in a shorter amount of time. Do make sure you are familiar and comfortable with the movement before trying this out.
You can also make bunny hops more challenging for your muscles and cardiovascular system by wearing a light weighted vest.
Bunny hops exercise muscles worked
With any exercise you will almost always make a variety of different muscles work, especially with a compound exercise like bunny hops. Even so, there are a few muscles that will have to work the hardest for moving and keeping your body in position.
Bunny hops target a variety of muscles including shoulders, hip flexors, quadriceps, glutes, calves, hamstrings, and upper back.
Exercise beginners may be able to build some muscle with bunny hops. However, this exercise will likely stop being challenging enough soon to see a lot of muscle growth and strength progress.
Any progress is a nice addition but if you are serious about building muscle you likely want to turn to resistance training exercises.
Bunny hops exercise benefits
This exercise may not be the fastest way toward your fitness goals but adding bunny hops to your routine can offer you some helpful benefits. Some of the most important ones include:
- Can help with losing weight: Doing bunny hops likely requires more energy than your regular daily activities. Extra muscle mass also helps with burning more calories. Both of these aspects can help with, but are no guarantee for, weight loss.
- Stronger muscles: While the standard version of bunny hops is mainly a cardiovascular and coordination exercise, they also help you strengthen muscles to a certain extent.
- Improves mood: Exercise like bunny hops promotes the release of substances that help you feel good.
- Balance and coordination: Balance and coordination are fitness skills that can be improved by challenging them. Bunny hops can help you with this.
- No equipment or location required: Since bunny hops are a bodyweight exercise you don’t have to invest in equipment or be in a specific location.
- Improves sleep: Exercise like bunny hops can improve the quality and duration of your sleep which in turn offers many important benefits.
- Slows down aging: Bunny hops won’t influence how many days have passed since you were born. However, exercise can slow down the progress of certain aging markers that are correlated with negative health effects.
- Flexibility and mobility: Bunny hops can push your boundaries when it comes to range of motion of certain body parts. By doing this you can gain some flexibility and mobility.
While inevitably many workouts are better for some of these benefits than bunny hops, it is amazing that you can get so many important benefits from adding one activity to your routine.
The main thing to keep in mind is that bunny hops can be hard on body parts like your wrists, elbows, shoulders, ankles, knees, hips, and lower back, even if you implement the right technique.
If you are sensitive or weak in these body parts you may need to do other strengthening exercises first. Especially if you have any wrist pain, you may want to talk to your primary care provider before implementing bunny hops into your workout routine.
If you feel pain in any body parts it may be a sign you are overdoing it. In that case, you may need some rest, better lifestyle habits, a less intense workout schedule, or it may be a sign that bunny hops are not (yet) for you.
Bunny hop exercise alternatives
While bunny hops can be a good addition to your workout routine, there are also some alternatives available for training similar aspects of your physical health. Some of these bunny hop exercise alternatives include:
- Jumping jacks
- Balance board exercises
- High knees
- Agility ladder drills
- Front raises
- Side shuffles
Which one of these options is the best depends on things like your personal situation, training goals, the equipment you have available, etc.
Many people will benefit from adding bunny hops with the right technique to their routine as a warmup or coordination training exercise. For both cardiovascular and muscular training other exercise options may be better.
Another thing you need to remember is that doing bunny hops can be hard on body parts like your wrists, elbows, shoulders, ankles, knees, hips, and lower back, even if you implement the right technique.
If you are sensitive in these areas you may need to do other strengthening exercises first. Especially if you have any wrist pain, you may want to talk to your primary care provider before doing the bunny hops exercise more.
Also keep in mind that consistency is an important factor for any workout plan. The more you love the exercise you do the easier it becomes to do it consistently. If doing bunny hops is a workout you love, great. If not other exercises can also offer a lot of benefits.
If you do decide to implement more bunny hops make sure you give your body enough nutrients, rest, and sleep to repair and grow your muscles.