The basic hop up is an aerobic exercise move that fits its name. It combines the direction of a basic step with the propulsion of a jump to add an intensity interval to your workout. Performing this simple, but explosive step will support cardiovascular health and help tone and define leg muscles.
Back to Basics
The basic step in a group exercise class helps you feel the height of the platform, begin to step in time with the music and warms up your legs for the workout. It is one of the easiest step moves to learn as you step onto the bench with your right foot, followed by your left foot, then step onto the floor with your right foot followed by your left foot. You can also do the basic step with a left-foot lead. You always approach the board with your face forward, instead of stepping backward up onto the bench.
Step It Up
The basic hop uses a propulsion movement to elevate your heart rate and strengthen your legs. You face the bench and stand within 12 inches to the step. Bend your knees slightly and jump up onto the step. Land with your whole foot on the bench with your knees slightly bent to absorb the impact. Only jump up onto the bench. Step down to the floor with one foot at a time before you repeat the basic hop. The muscles of your lower body trained with the basic hop are your glutes, hip flexors, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.
The basic hop is considered a plyometric exercise. Plyometrics are jump-training activities which improve your muscular power. Power is the combination of strength and speed. The basic hop can be used as part of a group exercise choreography or as a separate training movement. If you need to modify the basic hop, perform a small two-footed jump in which one foot remains on the ground until the jumping foot is almost in contact with the step. This reduces the impact level of the hop.
Plyometric movements are performed once or twice a week to improve your power. During step class, the International Fitness Association recommends limiting jumping movements to one-minute intervals and doing these only after a five- to 10-minute warmup. When you step down onto the floor after the basic hop, lead with your toes and rest your toes on the floor before you lower your heels.
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