move of the week: isometric squat jump

move of the week: isometric squat jump

This week’s move was a hit last night in bootcamp. Now when I say something related to exercise is a “hit”, that usually translates to some groans…but that means it’s working! By the end of the circuit they were tired but a good tired.

You may have gathered by now that I am a fan of the basic squat. I love incorporating different types of squats in my clients’ workouts because it challenges the entire body, helps with functional movements, and can be done anywhere. This move of the week is a bit of a twist on the standard squat (FYI I didn’t have my regular photographer with me, so I will be using photos from the archives so you understand what I’m talking about):

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With hands behind your head/parallel to ground/above your head (pick your favorite position), lower your body into a squat. Hold the squat for 1 second.

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After 1 second passes, jump explosively into the air. Immediately lower your body and return back to the starting position (the squat). Now hold for 2 seconds. After 2 seconds pass, jump explosively.

The overall pattern of this exercise? Hold for 1 second, jump, hold for 2 seconds, jump, hold for 3 seconds, jump…all they way up to holding for 10 seconds and finishing up with a jump. If this is too difficult for your fitness level, cut out the jump and just keep it to standing up straight from the squat. See below.

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Got it? Once you finish that set, shake out the legs, take a little water break, and then repeat from 10 seconds down to 1 second.

You can do this isometric pattern for basically any exercise. I had the class hold the top of a high plank for the isometric parts and lower down into a tricep pushup on every “jump” part of the set. I also did this with lunges–lower into the lunge for the isometric and jump or stand up on each “jump” part. The possibilities are endless.

Try it out! Challenging the muscles in an isometric fashion is probably outside of your normal workouts, so I predict you’ll feel a little sore the next day! It’s worth a shot!