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Marlo Alleva demonstrates an in and out hop squat. [SCOTT WHEELER/THE LEDGER]

Today’s Workout: Jump squat will get your heart pumping

Sometimes you just want to “jump” into your workout. The quicker you get moving, the more you tone and burn. Right?

It is always great to combine a strength training exercise, such as a squat, with heart pumping cardio moves, such as hopping. That’s where today’s move comes into play.

The exercise is an in and out hop squat. The squat will be working your whole lower body, glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves. And the hopping motion will increase your heart rate and double as a cardio move.

Begin this move by standing tall, feet just outside your hip width, core engaged and arms tucked at your chest. Start by hopping your feet out to a wider stance and quickly lowering into a squat position. Once you reach your lowest point, return upward, adding that hop back to your starting stance. Immediately lower into another squat on the closer stance, then rise up again, hopping back to the outside.

The idea is to move swiftly, squatting in both stances, and using the hop motion for the out and in movement.

Shoot for at least 10 repetitions, for at least three sets.

This move can be intensified by adding a hand weight and holding it to your chest. If the hopping motion is too much for you, simplify it to a quick step out instead of a hop. This exercise can be performed alone or added into a lower body routine. It’s great for the heart and the booty; what’s not to love about that.

— Marlo Alleva, an instructor at Gold’s Gym and group fitness coordinator at Fontaine-Gills YMCA in Lakeland, Florida, can be reached at faluvzpa@msn.com

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