If you haven’t already noticed, we jump a lot during the 12 minute workouts. Like, a lot.
Burpees, squat jumps and tuck jumps show up in almost every workout we do here on the site.
And yes, these exercises are tough. They’ll make you breathe heavy and pour sweat, and might make you hate me just a little bit (or maybe a lot) after each workout.
But I don’t include so much jumping in the workouts because I want to torture you.
We jump so much because jumping isreally, really good for you.
In fact, it’s one of the best things you can do to get in awesome shape and keep yourself healthy for life.
And the best thing about it? Anyone can do it.
Yes, that means you.
Why you should love to jump
It doesn’t matter if you’re young, or old, overweight or in awesome shape, a seasoned athlete or a complete newbie exerciser—jumping is one of the best exercises out there.
Here’s why you should embrace jumping as part of your regular workout routine:
1. Strength. Jumping increases your strength and muscle tone, and builds both upper body and lower body strength like crazy.
2. Burns mega calories. When you jump, your body burns 800 to 1,000 calories an hour. Compare that to 200 to 300 calories burned per hour while walking.
3. Increases bone density. Have a family history of osteoporosis or bone fractures? Jumping will help prevent both, and is recognized as one of the best exercises for healthy bones. In studies in Japan, having mice jump up and land 40 times during a week increased their bone density significantly after 24 weeks, a gain they maintained by hopping up and down only about 20 or 30 times each week after that.
4. Portable. You can jump anywhere, whether you’re traveling, in front of the TV, or playing around at your local park.
5. Playful. Play keeps you young, and makes exercise feel a little less like exercise.
6. Revs up your metabolism. Jumping (especially high intensity jumping) makes your body a calorie-burning machine. That means that when you add jumping into your workout routine, you’ll be burning more calories not just during your workout, but throughout the entire day.
7. Requires no equipment. Zero. Zilch. Nada. And yes, you can add a jump rope or a box for an added challenge, but you’ll get an awesome workout even if you have no equipment whatsoever.
8. Improves your posture. Having better posture will give you more confidence and keep you feeling young.
9. Burns fat. High intensity jumping stimulates changes in mitochondria (where fuel is converted into energy)—meaning your body will burn fat before carbohydrates. This is good news for anyone trying to lose weight.
10. Good for your heart. Jumping on a regular basis improves your cardiovascular fitness, the ability of the heart and lungs to supply oxygen to working muscles. In fact, jumping is one of the very best exercises to keep your heart healthy.
11. Aids in balance. While balance may help you rock a yoga class now, it’s important to maintain throughout your life as well. According to Dr. Daniel W. Barry, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Colorado, jumping may be as important as bone strength at avoiding fractures. Says Dr. Barry in an article in the New York Times: “fragile bones don’t matter, from a clinical standpoint, if you don’t fall down.”
12. Helps you lose weight fast. Make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight this year? Then make it a goal to jump more.
13. Helps you relax. When you jump, your body releases endorphins, which act as pain relievers and give you a sense of well-being and relaxation. In addition, the deep breathing you do while exercising vigorously clears your mind, sharpens your focus and energizes you for the day ahead.
14. Helps you overcome plateaus. This keeps you from feeling bored with your workouts and losing motivation to exercise altogether.
15. It improves your coordination. Increased coordination will not only help you excel in any new sport you try, it’ll keep you healthier and less accident prone later on in life.
Various jumping exercises you can do at home
Ready to get jumping?
Nearly every single one of the 12 Minute Athlete workouts involves some form of jumping, but you can also try these exercises on your own:
- Jump roping
- Squat jumps
- High knees w/ jump rope
- Plank pike jumps
- Plank jumps (side to side)
- Jump lunges
- Snowboarder jumps
- Box jumps (video coming soon)
- Tuck jumps
- Burpee pull ups
Now go jump!