It’s time to turn up the heat on your legs, with the elegant and deceptively tough skater jump. The elegance comes from the impeccable balance you’ll undoubtedly demonstrate doing the exercise, which mimics a skater gracefully speeding across the ice. The difficulty comes from the challenge provided to your body by the explosive lateral jumps. It all adds up to a plyometric exercise that will provide a stern test of strength, balance, fitness and co-ordination – fun, right?
The main muscles worked by the skater jump are found in your legs and rump. Your quads receive the bulk of the punishment, but your hamstrings, glutes and calves will also be nicely toned by the movement. Extra benefits come in the form of balance and co-ordination improvements, unless you keep falling over of course, and a full minute will really get your heart pumping, for those keen on including it in a HIIT circuit.
How To Do The Skater Jump
From standing, push off your left foot to leap to the right. Land on your right foot, bringing your left foot behind your right leg. Aim to land softly with a slight bend in your right knee and keep your left foot off the floor, though if you are struggling with your balance you can touch your toes to the floor. Pause for a beat, then leap in the other direction.
How far you jump determines the difficulty of the move, so if you are finding it hard to keep your balance without touching the floor with your back foot then shorten the distance you jump.
Skater Jump Variations
Make it easier: Skater steps
If you’re new to this exercise or returning to exercise after a break, it’s best not to jump straight in. This easier version of the move will help you to maintain your balance during the exercise, while still working the same muscles. Simply step, rather than jump, from side to side, and let your trailing leg make contact with the floor.
Make it harder: Skater jump squats
If leaping is not enough of a challenge for you, add a one-legged squat while holding your skater pose each time you land. This substantially increases the difficulty of the move, because your lower body and core muscles must work harder to maintain your balance as you squat, leap, and squat again.