Today’s trainers are more accessible than ever. You can work with a fitness coach at a gym, or a private studio, or even have a mobile personal trainer come right to your door. With the flood of new blood into the industry, sadly we at Riddlock PT have noticed a decline in the quality of information being shared as a whole. The reason I’m writing this article is that I got asked by a new client, shouldn’t we be doing more jumping in our personal training sessions? As their old trainer had them jumping … a lot, unsurprisingly they have a few lower body niggles.
Should You Be Jumping In Your Personal Training Sessions?
Well … maybe. Before we dive into the pros and cons of including jumping in your training sessions, we have to look at the bigger picture of your health and fitness goals. Are you trying to lose weight? Are you trying to build lean muscle? Are you an athlete trying to increase your overall athletic performance? These are all great goals you can set for yourself, but if we don’t identify your starting point, we can’t properly set realistic goals for you to reach.
9 times out of 10 times when a client asks a question my first response is “it depends”, annoying I know but let me explain. Jumping or plyometrics is, in some form for everyone with some exceptions, I wouldn’t prescribe any form of jumping in a training session with the following populations if you’re obese, have a current lower body joint injury, or are a pre/postnatal mum, however, all of these conditions are temporary and once you’re able I believe everyone should work on landing first then jumping once landing is mastered.
We all bring different levels of fitness/robustness to the table, in turn, a star jump for one person might represent something as difficult as a 1-meter box jump for another. Once we take the above into account we can then understand that plyometrics in some form is for everyone, we just need to get the intensity right.
Learn to land before you jump.
This is of the utmost importance and sadly something I rarely see people working on. With the rise of “insta-famous fitness personalities” touting their new jumpy booty-building programs online, I regularly see people smashing themselves with box jumps and jumping lunges and in a lot of cases, they have no business doing either.
Just as not being able to run before you walk the same can be said for not jumping before learning to land, most jumping-related injuries happen when landing and I rarely see people working on landing techniques, watch the video below to learn some basics of landing mechanics:
Is jumping bad for your joints?
The truth of the matter is that jumping is a high-impact exercise, which naturally makes some people think that it’s bad for your joints. The good news is that there’s a difference between “jumping in sport” and “jumping in a fitness setting”. If you have an athletic background and you’re jumping as part of an organised sport like basketball or volleyball, then, yes, your joints will take a beating over the span of your career this of course can still be managed, however, if you’re doing jumping exercises in a personal training setting, you’ll be fine as long as the trainer has the intensity, technique, programming right and uses jumping in the correct setting.
Does jumping help you lose weight and build muscle?
I get this question a lot from clients who want to know if they should be focusing on building muscle and losing fat at the same time. The short answer is yes. You want a certain amount of lean muscle mass to lose fat. Why? Because lean muscle is metabolically active tissue, meaning it takes up more energy and burns more calories each day than fat does.
Plyometrics when done correctly come with a host of benefits, not limited to – being suitable for any fitness level, Improving coordination, building strength, speed, bone density, athletic performance and muscle, and of course burning calories which will help you lose weight, but only if you’re in a calorie deficit of course.
What Are The Benefits Of Including Jumping In Your Training Sessions?
Jumping can be a great way to warm up your muscles before hitting the weights, as not only does it help warm things up but will fire up your nervous system to be ready for lifting. Jumping will improve your ability to generate power and explosiveness, and can be used to improve your proprioception, which is your body’s ability to sense itself in space, plus all of the above-mentioned benefits.
Jumping in some form is for pretty much everybody it does, however, needs to deliver the right way and for the right reasons
If you want some help or advice around how and when to add some jumping to your training routine, please do get in touch and one of our personal trainers will be happy to help, we specialise in mobile fitness coaching for over 40’s and would love to help where we can.
We “FIT” around you.