How to Jump Squat

Jump Squats
Jump Squats

Jump squats are great.

This is an excellent sport specific exercise that can be used alongside plyometrics to help you increase your vertical jump.

Jump squats will also help you power through a plateau in your regular squat development by conditioning your quads and hips to power through the lockout at the top of the movement.

Jump squats are an excellent sport specific exercise that can be used to increase power for:

  • Olympic weight lifters
  • Olympic athletes that either throw (javelin, shot put) or jump (long jump, pole vault)
  • Basketball players who need to jump high
  • Football players who block or tackle

Add jump squats to your regular workout, your HIIT routine, your HIRT routine, or your sport specific training.

How to Jump Squat for Reps

In my opinion, light squat jumps should be done without a pause between reps. When I say “light” I mean any weight less than or equal to 65% of your max squat. I am out of shape today, but I could still walk into the gym and do jump squats without a pause using 185 or even 225 lbs.

You can use barbells, dumbbells, or odd objects to jump squat for reps.

Consider the following options to add weight to your jump squats:

Woman Jump Squats
Woman Jump Squats
  • barbell jump back squats
  • barbell jump front squats
  • barbell jump overhead squats
  • kettlebell jump squats
  • sandbag jump squats
  • bodyweight jump squats
  • jump up onto a box jump squats
  • jumping over an object jump squats
  • jump squats with a weighted vest
  • jump squats holding dumbbells overhead
  • jump squats holding dumbbells down to the side

How to Jump Squat for Weight

On the other hand, sometime you can use heavy jump squats to really shock your hips and quads with explosive movement at the top of the squat. In this case we sometimes need to reset between reps in order to keep perfect form, or just to avoid falling over.

How Low to Squat

In all cases, there is no need to descend to full parallel depth with jump squats. It won’t really hurt, but descending to parallel does not really add to the effectiveness of the exercise. Descending from 1/2 to 2/3 depth should suffice, and with super heavy jump squats you may only descend from 1/4 to 1/3 depth.

Where the Power Comes From

The power and drive looks like it should come from the quads, but the legs only provide a small portion of the energy necessary to execute a jump squat. Actually, the majority of power should be generated by the hips and glutes, while the calves are responsible for driving the body off the ground.

Example Jump Squat Videos

The correct way to do jump squats, although this guy isn’t using much weight at all.

How to waste your time doing jump squats incorrectly with light weight.

An example of doing super heavy partial jump squats.

Adding jump squats to your routine can help you break through a plateau, increase your conditioning, hit your muscle fibers in a new way, train specifically for a sport, or just break up the monotony of a boring routine.

Give jump squats a try and you won’t be sorry.

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9 Responses to “How to Jump Squat”

  1. Hi Steve, currently doing the 3×5 workout. Was just wondering how advantageous an exercise such as squat jumps would be for a sport which requires jumping such as volleyball? thanks

  2. i got a question with the jump squats isnt it bad for your back though one you start putting on weight though

    • Not in my opinion. Weighted jump squats are great for developing power in the legs. I don’t tend to recommend going over 50-60% of your 1 rep max though.

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