Starting Position: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms by your sides. Pull your shoulder blades down and engage your abdominal / core muscles to brace your spine.
Downward Phase: Shift your hips back and down. This will create a hinge-like movement at your knees. Continue to lower yourself until you feel your heels about to lift off the floor. Try to maintain a flat back by bending forward at the hips. Keep your head directly facing forward and position your arms where they offer the greatest degree of balance support.
Jumping Movement: With ONLY a very brief pause at the bottom of your downward phase, explode up through your lower body, fully extending your hips, knees and ankles. As your jump into the air, try to keep your feet level with each other and parallel with the floor.
Landing: The most important components of the landing phase are correct foot position and avoiding excessive forward movement in your lower extremity, which places additional stress on your knees.
Try to land softly and quietly on the mid-foot, rolling into the heels. Always push your hips back and down to absorb the impact of landing. Do not lock out your knees on your landing.
Land with your trunk slightly forward, head aligned with your spine and back rigid or flat. Keep your abdominal / core muscles engaged, bracing your torso to protect your spine.
Exercise Variation: As you develop your jumping and landing skills, you can increase the exercise intensity and complexity by: (1) Driving your arms behind you during the downward phase (illustrated), (2) driving your arms forward and upward during the jumping phase (illustrated), or (3) driving your knees towards your chest during the jumping phase. ?
It is suggested you first learn how to squat and land before attempting to jump. Once you have mastered the hip-hinge mechanism, begin with small jumps, but emphasize your landing mechanics. Only progress to more explosive jumps once you have mastered your landing mechanics.