Exercise: Bench Jumps

Bench Jump Overs are a great exercise to develop conditioning, power, speed and coordination. It also builds your legs, calves and core muscles with secondary emphasis on the shoulders which stabilizes the upper body as you jump.

I love them as they:

  • Elevate my heart rate which also burns calories.
  • Put less pressure on your joints which need protection.
  • Don’t have to stop despite my heart rate elevated because I can just jump higher which slows me down & utilizes my core more!

Using a time under tension approach such as doing as many Bench Jumps in 30 seconds or one minute will get the most benefit from the exercise.

How To Do Bench Jumps

  1. Straddle a regular flat bench between your legs; grip the side of the bench with your hands, your upper body weight will be supported by your shoulders. Make sure your shoulders are directly over your hands.
  2. Tighten your core and jump up as high as you can, clicking the back of your heels together. I suggest starting with 10 reps and repeating it for 5 sets. Time how long it takes you and try to beat your time from the time before.
  3. Maintain the position of your upper body and keep your core tight. When you are doing the jumps, your shoulders are pressing through the bench. This helps stabilize your upper body.
  4. Repeat the exercise until you have completed the targeted number of repetitions.

Form and Technique

Bench Jumps are a versatile exercise that can be used to develop conditioning and explosive power. Maintaining a constant pace for a specified period of time or targeting a higher number of reps will be great for building your level of conditioning and endurance.

For power, you can perform Bench Jumps as a plyometric exercise. This means a lower number of reps done more explosively.

Rest periods for plyometrics should not exceed 2 minutes between intervals.Remember to jump off using the balls of your feet, land softly by absorbing the impact and push your shoulders through the bench for stability.

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