Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Frog Jump

Did you play Frogger when you were a kid? That video game where you have to jump a little frog across traffic, then across a stream of floating logs? I played it almost as much as I played Tetris and Paperboy, which I happily kill hours playing even to this day. (Yes, we have an 8-bit Nintendo game system that still works. Only after you blow on the game cartridge a few times, of course.)

I think there's something quite hypnotizing about the above video games. Something almost relaxing. No matter how good you do in one round, you are absolutely certain that you can do even better in the second round. But sometimes you don't, which only continues the pattern. It's mindless entertainment, really. And before you know it, your day is gone and you never got to the gym or the grocery store.

"Why are you talking about this?" So glad you asked.

Ever do the frog jump at the gym? Seriously good stuff! It obviously reminds me of the above, but more importantly, it gives me yet another way to work the legs, core, heart and lungs in one fell swoop. The frog jump is serious plyometrics, and worth a try if your knees can handle the impact.

How to: Pick a wide-open space in your gym. Or if you're at home, go out to your driveway, sidewalk, or the grass in your yard. Start with your feet hip-width apart, squat down, then jump up and forward as you extend your arms and legs. Land in your starting position, then repeat ten to twelve times. Try to make one repetition follow another, but don't go so fast that you have to compromise your form. Work through your entire range of motion, and really focus on what your legs and abs are doing to propel you forward. Sounds easy, but I promise you'll feel it.

Speaking of jumping, I hop-skipped across the lake (not really, I drove) to Chicago today for the SELF Magazine Workout in the Park. Last year's event was a huge success, so I'm anxious to see how this year's turns out. Bag full of goodies? Let's hope. Good weather?

Ugh. HEY SUNSHINE, COME OUT...COME OUT...WHEREVER YOU ARE! Geeze. I'll give you the full report tomorrow. While you wait for it, feel free to play some Frogger (after you finish your workout).

Question: What's your favorite plyometrics move?

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