Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Have you jumped lately?

Speaking of cheesy 80's music...

When was the last time you jumped?  And I'm talking about two feet together...with an arm swing...JUMP!  
Elizabeth is in a jumping stage and Rachel is in a wanna-be jumping stage.  She bounces her butt and swings her arm, but the feet never leave the ground.  Elizabeth is gaining some real distance and cleared a man hole (covered of course...ha!) the other day on our walk.  Of course, then she had to jump over them every time we saw one.

When Mom was visiting last time, we were lifting together and she wanted to do some exercises in between lifts to keep her heart rate up.  We were close to a step (used for aerobics) so I suggested that she jump up with both feet and land on the step.

She just looked at me.  "Really?"  she said, doubting her oldest daughter.

But up she jumped and landed on the step.  "Now step back down," I said.  She did.  

"Now do it again...10 times."

By number 10, she was out of breath and said, "I can't believe how hard it is to just jump with two feet!"  

But unfortunately, we aren't called to jump that often...unless we're athletes...or run across a man hole on the street.  Therefore we can use it as a tool to get our heart rate up quick...and burn calories even quicker.

It's no wonder that it works...think about it.  Your body has to go into action to leave the ground, all pistons firing to take off and then appropriately land and balance yourself, sending a surge in your heart rate. If you have very little time to devote to your workout, then my friend, this is your ticket.

For instance, today, I was racing the clock.  I told the girls that we'd go swimming, but they were moving like pokey little puppies to get out of the house and we had to be back on the road by a certain time to make lunch and get down for naps.  So...after a 20 minute interval run on the treadmill, I had 20 minutes to lift.  Here was my workout:

3 x 10 box jumps alternated with 3 x 12 Dumbbell bicep curls (15 lbs)
3 x 10 jump lunges alternated with 3 x 12 cable hammer curls with the rope (45 lbs)
3 x max reps hanging leg raises (jump up and hold onto a bar with your hands and hold) - 10, 8, 5

Because I was short on time, to do something while standing still during my break from jumping helped me recover but still work a body part - in this instance, biceps.  Those hanging leg raises were so hard for me because I had to hold onto the bar and maintain my grip and control my body while lifting my legs straight out in front...making it a lot harder than if you did the same exercise on a Roman chair or supporting your arms in straps.  You could do this workout at home, jumping up on a front stoop or step and doing the leg raises off a monkey bar on a playground.

Although you don't have to limit it with this...we do bunny hops on our walks to try to suffice my child's obsession.  Or bunny butt bounces, as Rachel prefers.  I like it because it can give me a little extra workout during my children's treks through the neighborhood...which normally run at a snail's pace. 

Of course, anytime you jump, you want to always make sure that your knees stay soft (not locked out) and that you jump off the balls of your feet, landing with your entire foot on the surface.  I prefer to always step back down instead of jumping down because it lands better on my knees...although Scott always jumps down.  

And for goodness sakes, pay attention.  It just takes your mind a second to shift focus to, say, a little blog post on jumping to make your left foot go lazy and miss the box all together so that you trip and fall on your face in the gym, banging your shin in the process...  I mean, not that I would know...  ha!


1 comment:

  1. I might start taking my kids for walks... good idea :)And we can jump over puddles and potholes, lol!