Rocket Jumps Exercise Guide — How to, Benefits, & Alternatives

rocket jumps

Rocket jumps will improve your lower body strength and conditioning. 

Athletes should look beyond the conventional gym routine of heavy lifting for muscle development. Embracing diversity in workout regimes is crucial, with anaerobic exercises playing a pivotal role in comprehensive body development. Experts suggest adding plyometric exercises, such as jumps, to enhance workouts (1). Rocket jumps stands out amongst the ones to do. 

This bodyweight exercise involves an explosive leap from the ground, propelling oneself fully into the air, and is highly effective in strengthening the body. This article explores rocket jumps, highlighting their fitness advantages. It features a detailed, step-by-step guide on executing this exercise accurately and superb alternatives to ensure maximum benefits.

Techniques & Muscles Worked

Rocket jumps are plyometric training exercises targeting the lower body – quads, hip adductors, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. The core muscles, like the abs and obliques, act as stabilizers during this exercise. This study shows that plyometric routines improve athlete performance and agility (2).

The rocket jump requires no equipment, making it convenient for fitness enthusiasts to do it anywhere. Experts looking to increase muscle hypertrophy can perform this exercise with free weights, like kettlebells, barbells, or dumbbells. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do this exercise correctly.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, keeping your arms by its sides.
  2. Keep your back straight, shoulders pulled back, head and chest up.
  3. Slightly bend your knees, lowering your body into a half-squat position, and forcefully push yourself up as high as possible, extending your entire body parts. This is like launching yourself like a rocket with your body.
  4. When you reach your highest jump, tuck your knees towards your chest.
  5. Extend your knees back out to absorb your impact on landing.
  6. Repeat this movement for as many reps as you desire. 


The rocket jump is an effective strength training exercise for developing the lower body. It improves athletic performance and is a simple exercise to do. Below is a list of benefits you get when performing this exercise.

Enhanced Athletic Performance

Rocket jumps target the quads, hamstrings, calves, and adductors. These muscles help with quick and powerful movements like jumping, sprinting, and running. This study shows how jumping exercises like the rocket jump could enhance athletes’ performance (3).

Builds & Strengthens Lower Body Muscles

Performing this exercise regularly develops and strengthens lower body muscles. Rocket jumps put constant tension on these muscles, inducing hypertrophy. Rocket jumps make your movements easier since the same muscles are responsible for movement.

Burns Calories

Rocket jumps are high-intensity exercises involving quick bursts of energy and explosive movements. They use multiple muscle groups, causing the body to use more energy, which leads to burning more calories.

Strengthens the Core

Utilizing core muscles contributes to stabilization, better posture, and proper load balance. Performing the rocket jump reinforces these core muscles. Stronger core muscles make training safer and prevent injuries.

Boost Your Cardiovascular Health

Rocket jumps are good cardio exercises that boost your heart rate. Boosting your heart and lungs is an effective way to prevent heart disease. Research shows how regular physical activity, like jumping, benefits cardiovascular health (4).

Boost Muscle Endurance

The repetitive jumps will blast your lower body and quickly cause fatigue. Over time, doing them will improve your lower body endurance and conditioning. 

Strengthens Bones & Joints

Rocket jumps engage multiple muscle groups and joints. Regularly performing this exercise strengthens the flexors of the lower body and its surrounding tissues. This also extends to the skeletal structures that absorb the body’s impact on landing, making the body more resilient and the bones stronger.


The rocket jump is a great compound exercise and a very convenient bodyweight exercise that builds strength, power, and balance. However, to prevent hitting a plateau, fitness professionals recommend incorporating a variety of routines. Below are other exercise alternatives that target similar muscles.

Resistance Band Mountain Climbers

Resistance band mountain climbers also target the quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, and core muscles. This routine also engages the delts and arms to support your upper body. Using resistance bands challenges your lower body to achieve more muscle gains

Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell swings target the glutes, hamstrings, and core muscles. Other secondary muscles include quads, lats, adductors, and delts. Swinging the kettlebell builds your explosive power, too. 

Squats Jumps

Athletes who find the stretching part of rocket jumps challenging can try squat jumps instead. This less strenuous alternative works similar muscles and builds explosive power. These muscles include glutes, quads, hips, hamstrings, and core muscles for stabilization.


What do rocket jumps do?

The rocket jump is an exercise that develops and strengthens the lower body muscles. This increases the power and speed of athletes. It also improves exercise efficiency and athletes’ performances.

What muscles do rocket jumps work?

Rocket jumps work multiple muscles, such as the quads, hip adductors, glutes, hamstrings, and claves. Like the abs and obliques, the core muscles stabilize during jump squats. 

What are the benefits of jumping exercise?

Benefits of jumping exercises include improved balance and body coordination, vertical jump strength, and cardiovascular health. For more direct benefits, look at the benefits of the rocket jump exercise in this article.

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  1. Moran, J., Ramirez-Campillo, R., & Granacher, U. (2018). Effects of Jumping Exercise on Muscular Power in Older Adults: A Meta-Analysis. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 48(12), 2843–2857.
  2. Slimani, M., Chamari, K., Miarka, B., Del Vecchio, F. B., & Chéour, F. (2016). Effects of Plyometric Training on Physical Fitness in Team Sport Athletes: A Systematic Review. Journal of human kinetics, 53, 231–247.
  3. Marián, V., Katarína, L., Dávid, O., Matúš, K., & Simon, W. (2016). Improved Maximum Strength, Vertical Jump and Sprint Performance after 8 Weeks of Jump Squat Training with Individualized Loads. Journal of sports science & medicine, 15(3), 492–500.
  4. Nystoriak, M. A., & Bhatnagar, A. (2018). Cardiovascular Effects and Benefits of Exercise. Frontiers in cardiovascular medicine, 5, 135.
Terry Ramos
As a personal trainer and writer, Terry loves changing lives through coaching and the written word. Terry has a B.S. in Kinesiology and is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and ISSA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He enjoys playing music, reading, and watching films when he's not writing or training.