Standard squats are a popular choice but their explosive variation can be good too. Find out what benefits jump squats offer.
Before going into the positive points, keep in mind that jump squats can be hard on body parts like your ankle, knees, hips, and back.
Some people may need to start with other strengthening exercises before doing jump squats.
Additionally, make sure you warm up before doing explosive exercises like this.
1. Jump squats can grow and strengthen muscles
Jump squats are a plyometric leg exercise. In simpler words, this means jump squats work your skeletal muscles in an explosive way.
In combination with the right resistance, repetitions, sets, and rest, this can lead to growing and strengthening the muscles you engage.
The main muscles worked with jump squats are your:
- Quadriceps (front thighs)
- Glutes (butt)
- Hamstrings (back thighs)
- To some extent erector spinae (lower back)
How many jump squats you should do depends on what muscle-related benefits you are interested in.
For example, to improve muscle power (mainly in your quadriceps), you generally want to do between 1 to 5 jump squats for 3 to 20 sets in one workout.
If your body can deal with it, you can even consider doing weighted jump squats with 1% to 40% and even up to 70% of your 1RM to see more and faster results.
That being said, many people will also be able to see nice results with the bodyweight version.
It is worth noting that while jump squats can help with this too, it is generally recommended to choose one of its slower alternatives if you want to build muscle.
2. Jump squats can improve your vertical jump height
The way you train can influence what ratios of different types of muscle fibers you have in certain areas (1).
A consequence of this is that your muscles become more specialized in certain movements and activities.
For example, plyometric exercises like jump squats can be very useful for improving muscle power in your quadriceps.
You can describe muscle power as how much force your muscles can generate in a short amount of time.
Having better muscle fiber in your quadriceps by doing jump squats can increase how high you can jump vertically.
This can be helpful for athletes in sports like basketball but it can also just be fun to get better at this skill.
3. Jump squats can benefit weight loss
Jump squats are not necessarily the best exercise for this benefit but it is worth mentioning that they can benefit your weight loss efforts in a few ways.
First of all, during the jumping squats, your body uses more energy because more intense movements require this.
For example, a 155-pound (70 kg) person will burn around 146 calories when doing jump squats for 15 minutes.
This is a rough estimation because the number of calories with jump squats is hard to predict accurately. However, this does offer you an idea of what you can expect.
Next, plyometric workouts do not necessarily only help you build power, they can also help many people build some muscle mass.
This is worth noting because adding muscle mass generally makes you burn more calories while doing the things you do.
That being said, while jump squats can help you lose weight, this will not always be the result of doing this exercise more often.
You still need to make sure your habits in other lifestyle areas are good enough to get to a point where your body uses more energy than is coming in.
4. Jump squats can improve balance and coordination
When first doing jump squats you may regularly get into situations where you fall backward or don’t quite push through your legs with optimal timing.
However, as time goes on, you will get fewer of these cases because you “get more used” to your body and improve your balance.
This is one of the fundamental processes of the human body in action.
By challenging you in areas like balance and coordination to safe extents, jump squats can help you get better in these areas.
Being more skillful in terms of balance and coordination will not only benefits your other jump squat workouts. These skills can also help you avoid accidents in activities like climbing the stairs.
5. Jump squats can improve athletic performance
Many people stick to doing their sports more often if they want to get better. However, sometimes you can get more improvements from doing other workouts.
The better leg muscle power you can get from doing jump squats does not only lead to being able to jump higher. It can also help you improve how fast you run.
In turn, that means jump squats can help you improve your performance in sports where fast running gives you an advantage.
6. Jump squats can improve your bone density
Many people are not aware of this but your bones are not just pieces of static material inside of your body. More specifically, they are living tissues that can adapt to challenges.
This is a benefit since it helps reduce your risk of breaking your bones. Not just today but in the future too.
Many younger individuals will not be worried about this right now but it could actually be important to pay attention to it anyway.
This is because it becomes harder and harder to improve bone density as you get older.
Improving this area of your health when you are younger can help you avoid issues later down the line.
One thing to note is that this challenging aspect of jump squats can also have downsides. Make sure you can do this exercise without injuries.
Additionally, lifting heavy weights can potentially help improve your bone density even more than jump squats.
7. Jump squat workouts are time-efficient
Getting and staying in shape does not necessarily require a lot of time out of your day. Relatively short workouts can already offer powerful benefits. Especially in the category of resistance training.
The main goal is to challenge your muscles enough so that repair, growth, and strengthening processes start.
While this does take some time, jump squats can make these things happen relatively fast.
In turn, this makes it easier to fit your workouts into your busy schedule or frees up time to implement other healthy habits (or do other things).
Something to note is that doing jump squats with weights can speed up your workouts even more. At least if your body is able to deal with these challenging variations.