Other Fun Exercises - Hopping, jumping, and stepping



Various hopping, jumping, and stepping activities can add spice and enjoyment to the fitness program and can prepare the individual for sports and games involving similar movements. All three exercises should be approached with the same respect that is paid to other parts of the fitness program. That means heart rates should be monitored as necessary, the exercises should become regular features of the fitness program, and, if possible, records of performance should be kept.

Jumping

In the jump, or side-to-side jump, the legs remain relatively straight and are flexed only slightly while the body is in the air.

A small object may be placed on the floor to serve as a guide in side-to-side jumping. A stripe on the floor or carpeting will accomplish the same purpose. Make sure that you clear the stripe or object in a lateral direction. In jumping again, clear it in the other direction. You should maintain a continuous side-to-side motion, with both feet leaving the floor and touching down again at the same time. Jumping, like hopping, should be continued for a minute or more.

Hopping

If done properly, the kangaroo hop, or plain hop, can build agility as well as circulorespiratory capacity. To hop, place both feet together, bend over with hands reaching backward, crouch slightly, and jump upward. Your knees should be brought up toward your chest while your body is in the air.

Hopping should be continued for one minute or more. Persons in good physical condition, can, of course, continue the exercise for longer periods. It then becomes a genuine aerobic activity.

Stepping

An exercise routine including hopping and jumping may also include the step exercise. The step involves stepping up onto a bench or other raised, firm object in repetitive movements that are continued for a minute or more.

The jump, hop, and step have been combined in a training circuit that was specifically designed as preparation for participating in high-movement sports. The circuit includes six stations or stages covering up to six minutes each:

1. Side-to-side jumping

2. Quad sitting, in which the seated exerciser tightens his quadriceps or front thigh muscles for 40 to 50 seconds

3. The kangaroo hop

4. Heel and toe raises, in which the exerciser stands with feet apart, rises on his toes, returns to the floor, turns his toes outward, straight ahead, and inward, then rolls back on his heels

5. The bench step

6. Half squats



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