With My New Favorite Cardio Move, I’m Having Too Much Fun to Feel My Muscles Burning

Fitness

When ski jumpers were programmed in the workout at my gym, I had no idea what the heck they were. After my coach demonstrated them, I couldn’t wait to hop on a bench and give them a try. Also called bench jumps or side-to-side bench jumps, this exercise is challenging but also playful, and makes me feel like a kid.

As a yogi who loves kicking up into handstands, this feels like a fun practice exercise to build your upper body and core strength. But since you’re jumping, it also gets the heart rate up (like jumping rope), and works the calves, hamstrings, and quads. Since my gym was closed because of the pandemic, and I don’t own a weight bench, I just modified this exercise using my (sturdy) coffee table. If you don’t have either, see the modifications below.

How to Do Side-to-Side Bench Jump Overs

  • Stand to the side of the middle of a sturdy bench or coffee table. Place both hands on the outside edges.
  • Keeping your feet together and your arms straight, jump over the bench or table to the other side.
  • This counts as one rep. Complete the same number of reps on each side.

No narrow bench or table? You can place your hands on any sturdy surface like a chair or park bench and instead of jumping over the object, just jump from side to side. If you don’t have any sturdy elevated object to rest your hands on, place your hands on the floor in plank position and do side-to-side jumps — it’s just as intense! You can even place a yoga block, dumbbell, or water bottle underneath your legs as something physical to jump over.

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