Happy Leap Day! It dawned on me that the perfect workout to share with all of you today would be one that involved a lot of leaping, naturally.
Exercises that incorporate leaps, jumps and other explosive movements are known as plyometric exercises. Plyometrics are an excellent way to burn fat, build power, endurance and speed, and they also help to improve your coordination. And while they can be modified for varying skill levels, these types of movements are not for the faint of heart – you should already be in good physical condition, free of any injuries (lower body ones, especially) and comfortable with the basic squatting and lunge patterns before attempting an entire workout like this.
Standard disclaimer: As always, please consult with your physician before attempting this, or any other exercise program. Remember to honor your body and any injuries or limitations that you may have, and to go at your own pace.
Leaping Leap Day Workout
*This workout can be performed on its own, or you can incorporate it into your strength training routine if you’re looking to burn more calories. If you’re new to this type of workout, I wouldn’t recommend doing this more than
once every four years 1-2 times per week, and never on consecutive days.
Warm-up: Five to ten minutes of low-to-moderate intensity movements to get your blood flowing; for example marching/jogging in place, high knees, arm circles, jump rope (pretend if you don’t have one), etc. if you’re at home, or you can hop on the cardio machine of your choice if performing this at the gym.
Workout: Perform 2-4 rounds of the following circuit. Rest for 1 minute between each round.
- 10 Jump Squats
- 10 Jumping Jacks
- 10 Split-leg Squat Jumps
- 10 Burpees
- 10 Up-and-overs (you can do this on a mat if you don’t have a bench)
- 10 Speed Skaters
- 10 Leap Frogs (take 2 giant hops forward, like this, and then jog backwards to your starting point)