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Bodyweight Workout: “Leap Year”

By September 26, 2022Exercise and Workouts
Reading Time: 3 minutes
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The standing long jump is an excellent measure of your fitness. Done for repetitions, it represents a significant athletic challenge (while giving you a fun way to build strength in your legs, hips, and core).

In this workout, you’ll be doing quite a few long jumps. This activity that comes with a caveat: things will get more difficult as the clock marches onward, but you’ll still want to work for good, solid jumps (rather than simply skipping along to “get it done”). If you concentrate on quality rather than quantity, you’ll get the maximum fitness reward for your efforts.

The Bodyweight Workout

The scheme is simple: push-ups and standing long jumps with a rep count equal to the minute. Start a timer, and immediately begin work.

  • During the first minute, do one push-up and one standing long jump. Rest until the beginning of the next minute (don’t worry, it gets harder).
  • During the second minute, do two consecutive push-ups, then two consecutive standing long jumps. Rest until the beginning of the next minute.
  • Continue in this fashion, adding one push-up and one standing long jump each round until you can no longer complete the prescribed repetitions within the minute.

Movement Tips

To perform a push-up:

  1. Start in a plank. Arms straight, with your shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles in a straight line. Abs are tight and engaged.
  2. Bend your arms, keeping your elbows against (or very near) your sides, descending until your chest touches the ground.
  3. Push back up to a plank, maintaining the straight line between shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles.

To reduce the difficulty of the push-up:

  1. Maintain the form outlined above, but place your hands on an elevated object. You could start with your hands on a chair or plyo box (making sure the object is secure and won’t slide). Choose a higher or lower object based on your success in performing a full range of motion push-up — a higher object is easier, a lower object is harder. Be sure to maintain your shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles in a straight line, regardless of the height of your hands.
  2. Begin with the form outlined above, but drop your knees to the ground. This will effectively shorten your body length, reducing the mass moved, thereby making the push-up easier. If you choose this option, be sure to maintain shoulders, hips, and knees in a straight line.

To perform a standing long jump:

  1. Start with both feet directly under your hips.
  2. Bend at your knees and waist as you swing both arms backward.
  3. Rapidly swing your arms forward and explosively extend your hips, reaching forward at a 45-degree angle while jumping off the ground.
  4. Keep your eyes on the spot where you want to land. Make sure you’re looking forward rather than downward.
  5. Land and bend your knees, absorbing the forward motion.

To reduce the difficulty of the standing long jump:

  1. Aim for “manageable” distances rather than a maximum effort leap. For instance, you may choose to jump three feet every time (the length of a yardstick) rather than go all out. This has the benefit of making your jumps fully repeatable, and is easier for athletes who aren’t yet comfortable with a big jump. If you choose this option, be sure to consciously choose a distance and stick to it.
  2. If you cannot jump forward due to limitations, do a tuck jump. This is the act of jumping straight up in the air while bringing your knees as high as possible, ideally to your chest. This is a good substitution for the standing long jump, and you’ll give up nearly nothing by selecting this option.

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Jon Gilson
Jon Gilson is a coach and writer, and the former CEO of the Whole Life Challenge.

Previously, he founded Again Faster Equipment, a functional fitness equipment company created to serve the CrossFit community. Established in 2006, Jon took the Company global in 2012, twice landing on the Inc. 500/5000 list of America’s fastest growing private companies.

From 2007 to 2013, he served as a Senior Lecturer for CrossFit, Inc., training aspiring CrossFit trainers at over 100 seminars, including engagements in Iceland, Afghanistan, Moscow, Holland, the United States, and Canada. Jon also served on the CrossFit L1 Advisory Board, helping establish policy for the organization’s training efforts from 2011 to 2013.

He’s also done stints in state government, gym management, and consulting — and currently teaches classes at CrossFit City Line.

Jon graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2003, summa cum laude, with a B.A. in Psychology. He also holds a Graduate Certificate in Finance and Control from the Harvard Extension School, 2006, and has completed coursework in data analytics.