Touch the Sky

Leapfrog your competition with a four-pack of exercises.

Want to clear the ground like a plan surging from the runway? Then master all four phases of jumping: countermovement, propulsion, flight and landing.

“Most men neglect countermovement – the initial downward phase,” says strength and conditioning specialist Robert dos Remedios. Dip down, lean forward and use your arms. And give yourself extra lift by performing these four exercises.

1. Dumbbell Jump Shrug

Stand holding a pair of dumbbells with an overhand grip in front of your thighs. Dip slightly and shift your weight forward. Keeping your back flat and arms straight, simultaneously thrust your hips forward, shrug your shoulder and jump straight up. Do four sets of five reps.

2. Countermovement Jump

Dip down by bending your hips and knees. Swing your arms back, then up, as you jump as high as possible, reaching for a mark on a wall or backboard. Land softly with knees bent, shoulders slightly forward and bum and hips back. Reset and repeat. Do four sets of eight reps.

3. Front Squat

Hold a barbell across the front of your shoulders and bring your elbows forward so your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Push your hips back and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Quickly stand back up. Do six reps first, then subtract one rep and add weight each set. Do four sets.

4. Dumbbell Step-Up

Holding heavy weights, lift one foot and place it on a bench, then push your body up until your weight-bearing leg is straight and your other foot hangs off the bench. Return to the starting position. Do six reps with each leg, then subtract one rep and add weight each set. Do four sets.