Skater jumps, also known as single-leg skater jumps, side skaters, and skater steps, are like side lunges on steroids, making them a staple move in many high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts (like Openfit’s Rough Around The Edges). As a plyometrics (also called “jump training”) exercise, skater jumps are a great cardio- and strength-building move. Perform just a few reps and you’ll experience a quick boost in heart rate and feel your muscles working hard.
Here’s how to do skater jumps the right way.
How to Do Single-Leg Skater Jumps
- While standing, shift your weight onto one leg.
- Bend your standing knee to lower your hips a few inches. Then, push explosively off your standing foot to jump to the side.
- Land softly on your opposite foot and reach across your body to tap the floor near your landing foot with your opposite hand. Launch immediately into your next rep.
Modification: Small Skater Jump
Make single-leg skater jumps easier by shortening your jump distance, slowing your tempo, and/or not touching the floor between reps. Or, take out the jump and simply perform lateral lunges until you feel comfortable taking things up a notch.
Progression: Large Skater Jump
On the other hand, if you want to make single-leg skater jumps more challenging, simply jump farther and/or quicken your pace. You can also hold a light dumbbell in each hand and tap the floor with the weight between reps.
It’s important to maintain proper form with the skater jump — the side-to-side (frontal) plane is often neglected in standard strength-training moves. Learning to land, stabilize, and accelerate out of the frontal plane is key for preventing injury with this movement.
What Muscles Do Single-Leg Skater Jumps Work?
Single-leg skater jumps target the muscles in your lower body: glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves. Skater jumps offer the added benefit of strengthening each side of your body separately, helping you build balance between your dominant and non-dominant side. And thanks to the single-leg component, you’ll also develop greater coordination.
Like skater jumps? Check out Openfit’s 600 Secs for more plyometrics exercises. Each 600 Secs workout is only 10 minutes long, but you can expect to work hard each and every second.