7 Jumping Exercises That Might Actually Be Fun

Photographed by Stella Berkofsky.
Imagine, for a second, a workout that's actually fun. Jumping exercises, or plyometrics, can be a blast — or, at least, feel less like torture — because you're literally just jumping up and down like a kid.
The term "plyometric" sounds like a geometry theorem, but it basically refers to exercises involving rapid stretching and contracting of your muscles, like jumping. And plyometric exercises, or "plyos," are really good for you: A 2000 study found that doing plyometric exercises improved bone density in young women, and a 2004 study found that plyometrics helped build muscle and improve stability. "These movements help train muscles to react quickly and at their strongest," says Ashley Wilking, a NASM-certified personal trainer at Barry's Bootcamp. Beyond these body benefits, jumping up and down for exercise can be way more interesting than just plodding along on the treadmill (though there are ways to make that more fun, too). And some of them even feel like crazy-athletic dance moves you'd want to try IRL anyway.
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Here, we've rounded up seven plyos for you to try. These exercises are chosen by Wilking and Sadie Kurzban, founder of 305 Fitness, a dance cardio class that involves tons of plyometric exercises and fast-paced choreography. Kurzban suggests curating a playlist so you can time your exercises to the beat of the music. "When we move to music, it's so much more fun," she says. Oh, and if you're doing these plyos and start to get tired, you can always take the jump out and perform the exercise without it.
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Squat Jump

How to: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and bend your knees into a squat with your hands in front of your chest. Jump up as high as you can, pushing your hands out by your sides. Land in a squat. Take your time and do as many as you can for 30 seconds.
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Scissor Jump Lunge

How to: Stagger your feet, one foot in front of the other. Bend your knees and lower into a lunge, so both of your legs form 90-degree angles. Keep your chest upright as you jump. Switch your legs in the air and land in a lunge with the opposite foot in front. Do as many as you can (switching legs) for 30 seconds.
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Long Jump With Shuffle

How to: With feet hips-width apart, drop into a squat. Jump forward as far as you can, swinging your arms in front of you for momentum. Land in a squat, then shuffle backwards to the starting position. That's one rep; do five reps. If you have extra space, you can take a few consecutive jumps forward, then shuffle back to start.
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Lateral Jump

How to: Start standing with your feet together, arms by your sides or on your hips. Jump with both feet to your right, as if you're hopping over an object (you can actually put a small cone or kettlebell there if it helps you figure out the movement). Then, do the same thing to the left, and jump from side to side for 30 seconds.
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Jumping Jacks

How to: Stand with your feet together, arms down by your sides. In one motion, jump and land with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, sweeping your arms up above your head. Jump back to the starting position, bringing your arms down by your sides again. That's one rep; do 15 reps.
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Tuck Jump

How to: Begin with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart. Bend your knees, then jump up, bringing your knees to your chest as high as they'll go. Make sure your knees are soft when you land. Do five reps.
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180-Degree Squat Jumps

How to: Stand with your feet a little wider than hips-width apart, then bend your knees to do a squat. Jump up, and turn your body 180 degrees in the air, so that you land facing the opposite side as you started. Land with your knees bent, and repeat in the other direction. That's one rep; do 10 reps.
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