The frog jump exercise, also known as the frog hop or the jumping frog exercise, is a plyometric exercise that activates various muscles groups across your body using your bodyweight.
Here’s to do it:
- Stand straight with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. They should be pointed out at a 45-degree angle.
- Position your shoulders directly over your hips and your neck in a neutral position.
- Tuck your chin (and keep it in that position throughout the exercise).
- Distribute your bodyweight evenly and grip the floor using your feet to create a more stable position for you.
- Hang your arms in front of your legs, maintaining a slight bend at your elbows.
- Inhale and exhale deeply to pre-tension your hips and shoulders before you begin.
- Tighten your core.
- Maintaining a neutral spine, begin to bend your knees and hips while your shins stay vertical.
- Keeping an upright chest, lower your body until your upper legs are parallel with the floor.
- Begin your upward motion by pushing through the ground with your feet explosively to jump into the air above you.
- As your legs straighten, make sure your arms stay in front of your body.
- Land on the floor from your jump with the balls of your feet. When landing, you should distribute your bodyweight evenly between your feet.
- Allow your knees and hips to bend so that they absorb the landing force.
- Land softly and with control as your core stays engaged throughout your landing.
- Do 2-3 sets of 12-20 reps each.
WHAT MUSCLES DOES THE FROG JUMP EXERCISE WORK?
The hamstrings, quads and glutes are the primary movers in the frog jump exercise.
They quads and hamstrings work together to extend your legs during the jump and flex your hips and knees as you descend, while your glutes extend your hips at the top position to help you jump as high as possible.
Your calves also play a role during this exercise; they control the extension and flexion of your ankle joints during the squat and the jump.
The erector spinae muscles in your lower back also help in supporting your core during this movement while your abdominal muscles stay engaged to help keep you steady and upright.
FROG JUMP EXERCISE BENEFITS
When you are lunging into the air from the squat position, you drive your feet into the ground to help you push your body upwards explosively with increasing speed.
This helps improve your explosive power, which will come in handy when you are performing other plyometric exercises.
If you think hopping like a frog will not do much for your body, think again!
The frog jump exercise not only recruits multiple muscles in your body but also strengthens a couple of joints, such as your ankle, hip and knee joints.
EASY TO MODIFY
There are various ways in which you can tweak this exercise to suit your preferences or your fitness level.
One way to do this is by placing your hands behind your head instead of having them in front of your body.
You can also modify the jump by jumping forward and then backward which will give you a bit more movement than just doing it in the same position.
ALTERNATIVES TO THE FROG JUMP EXERCISE
The burpee is another compound exercise that will work most of the major muscle groups in your entire body.
It is a two-part exercise that involves a push up and then an explosive leap into the air.
How to do it:
- Get into a squat position with your feet at shoulder-width apart, back straight and knees bent.
- Lower both hands into the floor and inside your feet.
- Balancing your weight on your hands, kick both feet back so that you are in a push up position.
- Do one push up with your body straight from head to heels.
- Jumping your feet back to get into the starting position then stand and extend your arms overhead.
- Jump explosively into the air before landing back to where you started.
- As soon as you are on the ground, get into the squat position once again and begin another rep.
This is another equally effective plyometric exercise that increases your explosive power as it works multiple muscles on your body.
How to do it:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
- Grip the floor with your feet and evenly distribute your bodyweight between them.
- Maintaining a neutral spine, lower your body into a quarter-squat position.
- Allow your hands to travel behind your body during this lowering phase.
- Begin moving upwards by pushing your feet into the ground and leaping into the air.
- Land on the balls of your feet with the knees and hips bent to help absorb the landing force.
- Start another rep immediately.
- You can begin by performing 2-3 sets of 1-5 reps each.
FROG JUMP EXERCISE MISTAKES TO AVOID
LANDING ON YOUR HEELS
When you are landing on the ground after your jump, make sure you do so with the balls of your feet rather than your heels, as this could hurt your feet.
NOT BRACING YOUR CORE
If you don’t tighten your core during this exercise, you might not gain enough stability to take your body through the explosive motions.
Tightening your core will activate the muscles in your midsection to help stabilize your spine and lower back.
MOVING YOUR NECK
Always keep your neck in a neutral position to avoid hurting your neck muscles as you are lowering your body and getting into the jump.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t really have to include complex workouts in your routine to stay healthy and fit; sometimes simple movements like the frog jump exercise can suffice.
This plyometric exercise increases your heart rate as it works your calves, quadriceps and hip flexors.
It also increases your explosive power, making it easier to perform other plyometric movements like sprinting.
However, the frog jump exercise might not be ideal for you if you suffer from joint pain, since it puts a considerable amount of pressure on your joints.
For otherwise healthy people, this exercise could be just what you are looking for to help strengthen your lower body.
Add it to your lower body routine today and get to strengthening those lower body muscles!