Find out how to do the power skip exercise, what the benefits are, and better alternatives to put together a more effective workout program.
Power skips are an exercise where you take jumps with one leg at a time while coordinating your other leg and arms.
This will mostly be useful as a warmup movement or as a cardiovascular exercise that engages your balance and coordination to a nice extent too.
In theory, you could gain some muscle mass and power by doing power skips the right way and/or with enough weight.
That being said, for these goals there are definitely better exercises.
Even for training cardiovascular health, you can likely find safer alternatives to power skips.
How to do a power skip exercise
Once you have enough room (both in height and length), you can do the power skip exercise by following this step by step walkthrough:
- Stand upright with your feet at about shoulder width.
- Raise one thigh forward and up as far as comfortable while folding this leg at the knee. At the same time, push yourself off the ground with your other leg. Additionally, move the arm opposite of the raised thigh forward and up.
- Land first with your foot closest to the ground. Make sure your leg is slightly less than stretched at the knee so it can fold a bit on impact. You can land with the front parts of your feet first too.
- Lower your raised thigh and straighten the leg (again not completely) so you land and stand with two feet on the ground.
- Repeat starting at step 2 but with your other leg first. You can keep going through the motion to do multiple power skips.
Power skips can feel somewhat awkward at first but once you get used to the motion you should be able to do them at higher speeds.
How high you want to jump and whether you want to do something like a power skip plus reach or not depends on your capabilities and training goals.
Keep in mind that it is generally smart to keep your knees slightly folded and land with the front of your feet first.
This will be the more comfortable way to absorb the shock of landing.
Power skip exercise modifications
While these are not the biggest differences either, there are multiple power skip exercise modifications you can consider.
First of all, you can start by doing power skips slowly and without jumping.
This will mostly help you get used to the exercise technique but will also engage similar muscles and prepare them for more to some extent.
After you have the technique down and find a place with enough space, you can do power skips at a faster pace.
This will work your cardiovascular system (and to some extent muscle endurance) to a larger extent.
Another option is doing power skips where you jump higher.
As long as you don’t overdo it, this can help you improve muscle power aka how much force you can generate in a short amount of time.
You could even consider adding a weighted vest to this modification for even more results (again as long as you don’t overdo it).
In short, power skips are reasonably versatile in the sense that they can help you improve a few different fitness components.
Power skip exercise muscles worked
The main muscles worked during the power skip exercise are your hip flexors, quadriceps (front thighs), calves, and to some extent deltoids (shoulders).
You can also say power skips work your hip abductors (outer thighs), hip adductors (inner thighs), glutes (butt), hamstrings (back thighs), and core muscles to a small extent.
If you really jump high and explosively enough, power skips could potentially help you grow the main muscles involved a small amount.
Adding weights to the movement can increase your results in this area.
That being said, it is fair to say that power skips are not the best exercise for building a lot of muscle.
Especially in muscles like your glutes and hamstrings which power skips don’t work that much at all.
Power skip exercise benefits
Even if power skips are not the number one muscle-building exercise, they still offer some of the following benefits:
- Better muscle power: If you do them explosively enough, power skips can help you improve muscle power in certain areas.
- Balance and coordination: Learning and doing power skips will require a decent amount of balance and coordination. This can help you improve your skills in these areas.
- Better bone density: The jumps in power skips involve a certain injury risk too. However, if you don’t overdo it, this exercise is relatively good for improving bone density.
- No equipment required: You do need enough space but the power skip exercise does not require investing in any fitness equipment.
- Better cardiovascular health: Engaging your heart, lungs, and blood vessels with the power skips can make them stronger. In turn, this offers a variety of benefits.
- Can help you lose weight: Power skips likely require more energy from your body than your typical activities. In combination with other lifestyle habits that are good enough, this can help you lose weight.
Power skips are not the only exercise that offers these benefits but can be a great choice for certain goals and preferences.
Is the power skip exercise good for weight loss?
As mentioned in the benefits section, the power skip exercise is good for weight loss in the sense that it burns a nice amount of energy.
How this exercise compares to other options will depend a lot on how intensely you do each option.
Additionally, it is important to note that your other lifestyle habits still influence your weight loss results (or lack of) from doing power skips a lot.
In simpler words, it is possible to not lose any weight while doing more power skips if your other habits are not good enough.
Another important thing to note is that the jumps involved in power skips involve a certain injury risk.
Especially if you are not used to working out and focus on jumping really high.
Even if you are more advanced when it comes to exercise, you can get many of the benefits of power skips in a safer way.
At the same time, these extra shocks from the jumps can also lead to better bone density if you don’t overdo it.
Power skip exercise alternatives
If you are not the biggest fan of power skips for whatever reason, you can consider these alternatives too:
- High knees
- Weighted calf raises
- Balance board exercises
- Agility ladder drills
- Butt kicks
To choose between these power skip exercise alternatives you want to think about details like your training goals and what your body can handle.
Is the power skip a good exercise?
The power skip can be a good exercise for improving cardiovascular health, balance, and coordination at the same time.
You can do the less intense version as a warmup too.
On the other hand, you do want to keep the injury risk involved in mind.
You should be able to get many of the benefits of power skips in safer ways.
Additionally, while they can help, power skips are not ideal for building muscle and improving muscle power.
If these are your main training goals, you likely want to consider other plyometric leg exercises or other movements.
That being said, it is worth noting that personal preference matters in a workout program too.
If you really like doing power skips and your body can handle them, you can consider doing this exercise more often.
What are power skips?
Power skips are an exercise where you raise one leg and jump off the ground with the other leg.
After that, you jump with the other leg first and keep alternating between these two steps.