How To Do The Ski Jumps Exercise Properly

The ski jumps exercise is a lateral jumping exercise that works your lower body by mimicking skiing.

It can either be a plyometric movement or a cardio exercise, depending on how you do it.

On the face of it, this exercise looks like a leg workout but in actual sense it is a dynamic movement that impacts your whole body, with specific focus on your quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, core and calf muscles.

Did you know that skiing is, according to research, a killer workout that is comparable to rowing exercises and cycling?

Hard to believe, considering how much fun it is. But you can’t argue with science now, can you?

In case you were wondering before, that might actually be the reason why most skiers have banging bodies.

But this is no way means the ski jumps exercise is exclusive to people who ski; you can also use it to get that toned summer bod that seems out of reach to you right now.

Let’s start by learning how to do it correctly first.

Steps:

  • Stand upright on a flat surface with your feet pressed together and your arms beside your body.
  • Brace your core, squeeze your glutes and hinge your hips backwards as if you were preparing for a squat. How far you should lower your hips depends on how high you wish to jump.
  • Bend your elbows and point the upper arms backwards.
  • With your feet still pressed together, jump laterally from side to side to mimic the skiing motion.
  • Land on the ground with your feet just slightly apart and your legs slightly bent so you can absorb the landing force better. Make sure you use the balls of your feet to land instead of your heels.
  • Perform as many reps as you wish.

WHAT MUSCLES DOES THE SKI JUMPS EXERCISE WORK?

The ski jumps exercise works the same muscles every other jump works; the core, quads, glutes, calves and hamstrings.

BENEFITS OF THE SKI JUMPS EXERCISE

CAN BE MODIFIED

For most people, the landing mechanics and lower body strength they gain through the standard ski jumps exercise suffices.

But if you find it too simple for you and you’d like to get more from it, you can progress it by using a box or a bench.

The same steps will apply, but you will be doing it up and over the surface while laterally moving the squat.

REQUIRES NO EQUIPMENT

Since it is a bodyweight movement, this exercise does not require any equipment to perform at the standard level, but as mentioned above you make it more challenging with a box or a bench

CAN HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT

This movement requires more energy to perform than most of your daily activities. The extra muscle mass you gain from doing it also helps burn more calories.

STRONGER LOWER BODY

While the conventional ski jumps exercise is essentially a cardiovascular exercise, it also helps strengthen multiple muscles in your lower body which are responsible for your lower body strength.

ALTERNATIVES OF THE SKI JUMPS EXERCISE

HIGH KNEES

High knees, just like the ski jumps exercise, is a dynamic cardio exercise that gets your heart rate up, activates your core and recruits your lower body muscles.

Here’s how to do it properly:

  • Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Place your arms by your sides.
  • Open up your chest, tighten your core and look straight forward.
  • Bring your right knee up, toward your chest, just above your waist. At the same time, move the left hand up to mimic a pumping motion.
  • Lower the left hand and right leg quickly and repeat the steps with your right hand and left leg.

Before doing high knees, make sure the shoes you’re wearing are comfortable and supportive.

JUMP SQUAT

The jump squat uses your bodyweight to work the same muscles as the ski jumps exercise, with a slightly similar movement pattern.

Here’s how to do it properly:

  • Stand straight with your knees slightly bent and your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Hinge your hips to get into a full squat.
  • Tighten your core, and engage your glutes, quads and hamstrings to push your body upward and off the ground.
  • At the top position, your legs should be fully extended.
  • Begin you descent and land on the ground using the balls of your feet. When landing, keep your legs slightly apart to help you absorb the force better.
  • Repeat for the desired number of reps.

The number of your reps per set depends on the goals you aim to achieve with this exercise.

If you are trying to develop power or improve your vertical jump, go for higher and more explosive squat jumps, with about three sets of five reps each.

But if you are going for general conditioning, you would need to do more jumps at a faster pace.

 

SKI JUMPS EXERCISE MISTAKES TO AVOID

NOT BENDING YOUR LEGS DURING THE LAND

As you land, fold your legs slightly so that your knees do not absorb all the landing force, which could injure the knee joint.

LANDING ON YOUR HEEELS

Take care not to land on your heels during this exercise; this could make you lose your balance and fall on the ground behind you.

Instead, land on the balls of your feet because they are able to absorb the landing force much better than your heels.

NOT TIGHTENING YOUR CORE

Keeping your core tight during this exercise recruits your abdominal muscles which helps keep your body stable as you move it laterally during this exercise.

CONCLUSION

While the ski jumps exercise is a fantastic cardio exercise that can help improve your heart health and shed a few calories, it is important that you know that it can be particularly hard on your ankles, hips, knees, lower back and shoulders even if you are using the correct form.

So, if you are sensitive in any of these areas, you may have to do other strengthening movements, such as the alternatives provided in here, first.

Also, be sure to have a word with your doctor first before you include it in your workout routine.