How To Do Split Jumps

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Chris Freytag demonstrating Split Jumps

Split jumps are a plyometric exercise that strengthen the glutes and leg muscles as well as provide cardiovascular benefits. A plyometric exercise uses explosive movements to build strength and to condition the muscles and heart. The exercises themselves are forms of jumping. You perform an explosive movement and each time you land, your muscles get a stretch allowing you to jump with a little more power the next time. If you learn how to do split jumps you will have a basic plyometric move in your routine that only requires a few repetitions to be effective for great cardio benefits and a high calorie burn!

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Plyometrics used to be used mostly by athletes to improve performance. Fitness professionals everywhere started to see the benefits for everyone and, consequently, you will now find them in many different types of workouts. Split jumps will help you strengthen the muscles of your legs and your glutes. As you explode into the jump you engage the leg muscles to lift you, but more importantly the legs and glutes are going to help you land properly so that you don’t put too much pressure on your knees or joints. To top it off, by engaging your core body, you will also help lessen the impact of the jump, providing you with one powerhouse move!

Split jumps, like all plyometrics, are the perfect balance between strength and cardio. It is the type of move that will give you the “two for one” deal on fitness! Try it out in our 10-Minute Fat Blast Workout!


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    How To Do Split Jumps:

    1) Stand tall with your feet hip-distance apart. Hands are in front of the chest hand on fist. Take a large step forward with one foot and lower your body toward the floor. Both legs should be bent at a 90-degree angle at the bottom of the lunge.

    2) Lower the back knee slightly and jump to switch the feet.  While in the air front foot comes back and back foot comes to the front.  Land in a bent knee lunge. Repeat.

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    What Muscles Do Split Jumps Work:

    Split jumps are an awesome cardio exercise that work your glutes, legs and core while giving you a great cardiovascular challenge that gets your heart rate up anytime, anywhere.

    Benefits of Split Jumps

    There are many reasons you should incorporate split jumps into your workouts. Here are just a few:

    High-Intensity Interval Benefits

    No matter how you look at it, split jumps are going to get you breathing heavy! You will undoubtedly reach your anaerobic state meaning breathing only through your mouth and needing a break after about 20-30 seconds. This makes it perfect for high intensity interval training! It’s a crazy-good move that accomplishes in seconds what takes other exercises several minutes.

    Work Your Lower Body & Core

    Your legs are moving and getting stronger with split jumps. Quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves…every muscle is put to the test. The key is to get a full range of motion. Don’t cut it short! You should go deep and make sure both knees bend. Different than a lot of cardio moves, the key to getting more intensity is range of motion INSTEAD of speed. In addition, you need to use your core in order to keep this movement efficient and easy on the joints, so it’s a great way to train those core stabilizers.

    Cardio Exercise at Home

    The cardio benefits of split jumps are amazing, but even better is the fact that you can do this move right at home. No need to go to a gym or head into bad weather for your workout. Just find some space and get moving. Some short burst of high intensity moves like this can get you an awesome workout in less than 20 minutes!

    How Many Calories Do Split Jumps Burn?

    People often ask how many calories they are burning in their workouts. Most exercises will generally burn about 100 calories for every 10 minutes you are working hard. Bottom line – the harder you work, the more calories you burn.

    Other Exercises Similar to Split Jumps

    If you like the idea of getting a great cardio move right in the comfort of your own home with no equipment needed, try these moves too!

    How To Do Diamond Jacks

    How To Do Tuck Jumps

    How To Do Skaters 

    Incorporating Split Jumps Into Your Workouts

    Split jumps are an amazing cardio exercise all on their own! However, you could also incorporate split jumps into other workouts to mix them up. Here are some ideas to make that happen:

    Use Split Jumps in a Bodyweight-Only Cardio Workout

    You don’t need to go running or ride a bike to get your cardio in. You don’t even need to be in a gym or outside. Using basic bodyweight moves you can get a complete cardio workout that is simple, easy to do anywhere, and super effective. Try this:

    10-Minute Bodyweight-Only Cardio Challenge: 1 min. jog in place to warm up. Do each of the following for 45 seconds, with 15 seconds rest in between: Lateral Jumps– Split Jumps– High Knees – Front KicksPower Skips: Repeat all 5.

    Use Split Jumps in Your Circuit Training

    Circuits are a fun way to exercise and get your strength and cardio in all at the same time. The idea behind circuits is to go from one move, or one “station”, to the next with little or no rest in between. Check this out:

    Fat Blasting Circuit Training Workout

    Move directly from one exercise to the next with little to no break in between. Rest for 1 minute at the end, then repeat the sequence.

    30 seconds side lunges

    30 seconds high knee run

    30 seconds push ups

    30 seconds split jumps

    30 seconds plié squats

    30 seconds bear crawl

    30 seconds modified army crawl plank

    30 seconds crab walk

    Rest 1 minute. Repeat. Stretch.

    Use Split Jumps in Your HIIT Training

    High Intensity Intervals are all the rage because they get the job done in record time. Go as hard as you can for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds and then go hard again. Here’s a super easy way to kick butt!


    Do each move for 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds in between moves. 

    Split Jumps

    Plank Jacks

    High Knees

    Squat Jumps


    Here are 3 more workouts that incorporate split jumps into your workout!

    5 Minutes to Leaner Legs

    7 Total Body Exercises That Burn Fat Fast

    4 Simple Moves For Full Body Tabata Workout

    Targets: glutes, legs, core

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