Athletes interested in strengthening their muscles and increasing their vertical jumps can benefit from the star jump exercise. The star jump is a form of plyometrics, or a jump exercise, that focuses on stretching and contracting muscles to increase explosive muscular power. According to “High-Powered Plyometrics” by James C. Radcliffe and Robert C. Farentinos, the purpose of the star jump is to extend the limbs, attain maximum height and develop power throughout the torso. Learning how to do a star jump can assist you in various sports, including basketball, volleyball and skiing.
Stand with knees slightly bent and feet shoulder-width apart on a flat surface. Your arms should be slightly bent at your sides. The American Council on Exercise recommends that you perform plyometric jumps on a flat, padded surface, such as grass or a gym mat.
Bend your knees to get into a squat position and jump vertically as high as you can.
Extend your legs and arms fully out to your sides at the same time in midair to form a star shape with your body. Your arms should point upward at a 45-degree angle away from your head.
Bring your arms and legs inward near your body as you begin to descend from the jump. Land softly on the ground with your knees bent.
Squat and push off vertically again to perform a second star jump. This exercise can be done repeatedly. By pulling your limbs inward on the descent, you prepare yourself for successive jumps.
- "High-Powered Plyometrics: 77 Advanced Exercises for Explosive Sports Training"; James C. Radcliffe, et al.; 1999
- American Council on Exercise: Plyometrics: Controlled Impact/Maximum Power
- "Simply Karate"; Mark Richardson; 2005