Jump squats are an excellent exercise for improving overall explosive power, increasing your vertical jump, helping you sprint fast, adding muscle mass to your lower body, and much more!
A lot of people think that jump squats are only a necessary exercise for people who are training for sports. However, that is definitely not true. As a professional basketball player, I certainly have a specific reason for doing jump squats more often than other people, but that doesn’t mean I am the only type of person who they are useful for.
If you want to check out a few of my favorite jump squat variations and learn how to do jump squats, check out this video:
Keep reading below to learn a few specific benefits of jump squats and how to use jump squats in your workout routine the right way!
Benefits of Jump Squats – What Do Jump Squats Do?
Here are a few of the main benefits you can get from doing jump squats regularly:
Increase Explosive Power
For starters, jump squats are one of the best exercises for increasing explosive power. Having powerful legs isn’t just good for professional athletes though, it’s great for anyone working out consistently. Powerful legs help you to back squat or deadlift more weight as well, amongst other things.
If you want to hit new personal records on those major lifts, adding some jump squats to your routine is a great way to give yourself a boost and help you break through any weight lifting plateau!
Builds Lower Body Muscle Mass
Jump squats aren’t generally thought of as a muscle-building exercise because most people don’t usually don’t do “high rep” jump squats, which is when hypertrophy generally occurs. Additionally, jump squats don’t have a specific eccentric phase, which is also where a lot of the muscle-building process occurs.
However, jump squats are great for building muscle in your lower body!
Jump squats can still help you with lower body muscle building because when you forcefully thrust yourself in the air, your leg muscles are forced to work at 100% capacity to jump as high as possible.
Not only that, when you do jump squats, you are less prone to using one leg more than the other. Even if you have muscular imbalances in your lower body, when you do jump squats, research shows that the difference in force between your legs will be negligible.
If you are using jump squats to build muscle mass, you should use some amount of weight because it produces a larger eccentric phase of the movement. As I will talk about below, there is not a need to use big weights when doing jump squats.
However, as stated by a study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research,
“The greater inertia accumulated within the landing phase in weighted jump-squat training (WJST) vs. body mass squat jump training (BMSJT) has increased the eccentric workload, leading to specific eccentric-like adaptations in muscle architecture. The selective improvements in change of direction (COD) in WJST may be related to the increased braking ability generated by the enhanced eccentric workload.”
Helps You Sprint Faster
Sprinting is a sport-specific activity, but if you have a need for sprinting faster, jump squats might be your new best friend! As stated by a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology,
“Concentric force development is critical to sprint start performance and accordingly maximal concentric jump power is related to sprint acceleration.”
Furthermore, according to a study published in Human Movement, the height and power produced during the squat jump is also the best predictor of sprinting speed!
Helps You Jump Higher
As you can imagine, doing jump squats helps you jump higher. If you want to increase your vertical jump, start doing more jump squats!
How to Do Jump Squats – How Much Weight Should You Use?
One of the lesser-known keys to properly doing jump squats is that you want to make sure you are not using too heavy of a weight.
Don’t worry about barbell jump squats or any version of this exercise that includes too much weight- you want to keep them light and fast. In fact, jump squats are one of the best bodyweight exercises.
According to a study on the effects of load during jump squats that was published in Sports Biomechanics,
“System power output and joint power at knee and ankle joints were maximized at 0% 1-RM and followed the linear trends caused by power output decreasing as the load increased.”
In other words, the researchers concluded that power output significantly reduced as the weight was increased.
As the science indicates, you can use very light-weights for your jump squats, but even bodyweight-only jump squats are more effective than heavy jump squats!
Concluding Thoughts – Jump Squats Benefits
As you can see, there are many advantages of adding jump squats to your current workout program.