Fresh Start to Fitness: Explosive Jumping Exercises

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Don't just watch fireworks tonight as we celebrate the Fourth of July, become one, recommends Jeffrey Beck, exercise specialist with the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute.

Beck recommends that you complete the following explosive workout twice a week to help improve your athleticism, rev up your heart rate and tone up your body.

1) Lunge Leap: Get into lunge position with right foot forward and left leg behind you. Driving through your right foot, jump up into the air as high as you can bringing your left knee up. Land softly and repeat. Do 3 sets of 5 reps per leg.

2) Plate Jump: Stand upright with a 5 to 10 pound plate in each hand. Swing the plates backward as you let your body bend downward in a countermovement. Next, swing the plates forcefully forward and upward as you begin the jump. It's important to swing the plates all the way up to head level or higher. You can think of throwing the plates in front of you and letting the weight carry you. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

3) Weighted Squat Jump: Stand upright while holding one end of a dumbbell with both hands. The dumbbell will hang with the free end facing downward. On the descent let your arms relax and hang down. Squat back slowly, don't allow your knees to travel forward, keep your lower back flat. The dumbbell will eventually touch the ground in between your feet, not in front of them. The touching of the dumbbell to the ground should be thought of as a trigger, once you feel this, jump straight up as fast and as hard as possible. Do not bend your arms during the jump. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

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