Straddle jump ups are a great exercise to do at home because they require only a platform to stand on. You do not even need separate weights to make use of the benefits of this exercise. However, it is still possible to hurt yourself and to injure certain muscle groups as you do straddle jump ups, so it’s crucial that you do the exercise in the appropriate manner.
Straddle jump ups, when done effectively, can help to benefit your leg muscles in a variety of ways. They are oftentimes used by runners and other athletes to improve speed and efficiency of leg movements. They can therefore benefit you in a number of ways as well, regardless of your athletic ability and what you intend to do with that ability.
1. Exercise Basics
The basics of the straddle jump up require that you begin with your feet on either side of a low bench. The bench should not be more than about a foot and a half wide and it should be only a few inches off of the ground. Place both feet facing the same direction and parallel to the bench so that you’re standing over it and straddling it. This is the rest position.
In one single, fluid motion, use your arms to help you jump up onto the bench. Both of your legs should land evenly with each other and your feet should be parallel and even once again. Next, jump down off of the bench to the starting position. This constitutes one repetition of the exercise. Ideally, you should continue to look straight ahead as you do this exercise, although many people find that it’s easier to look down at their feet as they begin the exercise procedure.
2. Exercise Benefits
The straddle jump is good for a number of different muscles. It can build up the muscles of the thighs and the hamstrings as well as those of the lower legs as well. Generally, however, this exercise will not result in building up of muscle tissue. Rather, it helps to develop mobility and speed, which can be very helpful for people who incorporate running into their training or sports.
3. Safety and Injury Prevention
The best way to ensure that you perform this exercise in a safe way is to make sure that the bench you use is appropriate. It shouldn’t be too high and it should not be too wide either. This will make it less likely that you’ll slip off of the bench or that you’ll trip over it as you attempt to jump down. Take the exercise slowly at first to make sure that you have your footing. After you’re more comfortable with the procedure and the motions, you can then change so that you move a bit faster and jump higher.
To augment the benefits of this exercise, consider holding light dumbbells in both hands as you do it.