Hop to It!
Hopping and jumping is not only fun, but it can also be a great way to exercise and keep you in shape for games or sports that require you to make similar movements. Here are some hopping and jumping exercises to try:
The Bunny Hop: Place both feet together and slightly bend your body over and forward, with your hands at your side or in back of you. Crouch your body a bit and then jump forward, with your knees pulled up towards your chest when your body is in the air hopping. Continue hopping for at least a minute.
Single-Leg Hops: Stand on one leg, and then push off with the standing leg, jumping forward and landing on that same leg, while using the other leg to keep your balance and to gain forward motion. Each time you jump, try to jump a little higher. Jump 10 times, then switch legs and hop again for 10 times. Repeat.
Side-to-Side Jumps: Place an object on the floor or create a stripe on the floor out of tape so that you can see where to land in your side jumping. Jump to one side, using both legs and making sure that you clear the object or stripe on the floor. Then jump to the other side, again making sure you get past the object or stripe. Keep your legs relatively straight, flexing them only while your body is in the air. Continue jumping from side to side for about a minute.
Low Hurdle Jumping: Get some low hurdles or other objects suitable for jumping over, and set them up in a row—adequately spaced apart for this exercise. Stand on both of your feet and then jump forward with both knees together, clearing the first hurdle, immediately followed by jumping over the next and following hurdles or objects. Use both of your arms for balance and to increase your vertical leap. Repeat.
Tuck Jumps: While standing straight, jump up and grab both of your knees to your chest before your feet hit the ground again, making sure you land on the balls of your feet when your feet land again. Then quickly jump back up in a quick upward motion, grabbing your knees to your chest. Repeat until you’ve jumped 10 times, trying to go higher each time.
So, what are you waiting for? Hop to it!
In order to avoid risk of injury, please seek advice directly from your physician, especially if you have existing medical issues, before beginning any exercise or nutritional program. Also, be sure to stretch after exercise to avoid muscle and joint tightness.