Box jumps are a common
exercise that we mix in to our
weekend warrior workouts on a
regular basis. They are an explosive, functional, athletic
exercise that improves both leg/hip power as well as body mechanics
and endurance, depending on how they are performed. We will
typically perform 2 different box jumps at our workouts as follows:
Single box static jump
- starting from a standing position, squat down, explode up, land
softly with knees bent, and step down. We typically repeat
for 30-50 repetitions.
Triple box plyometric
hop - using plyo boxes of varying heights, jump up, then down, and
immediately explode back up (minimizing ground contact time) to
take advantage of the stretch shortening cycle common to
plyometric exercises. Try for 5-10 laps through the 3 boxes
minimizing rest intervals.
*Caution: It's no secret that box hops can be
dangerous, especially as you start to get fatigued. Start with
smaller boxes (or a stair step) and always focus on what you are
doing. If all else fails, where some shin guards
Here's a good article
that I came across that provides some great direction...
3 Keys To Better Box Jumps by Bryant Perkins
Box jumps have long been
an integral part of functional movement training. Like running, box
jumping is one of those things that looks simple but is often
dangerous when performed the wrong way. However, it can be very
effective when performed the right way.
Practice and perfect three
key elements and youíll be well on your way to feeling more
confident in your jumps.
Stabilization & Strength
Itís about core stability and core strength. Stable core muscles
allow you to hold your initial position, as you land on top of the
box, and as you land back on the ground. Strong core muscles allow
you drive powerfully into the air, hold your position while in
flight, and protect your body from the shock of landing back on the
Plank to achieve better
Planks help engage the muscles of the pelvis and lower abdomen,
which are vital to the execution of a proper box jump.
Begin in a plank. Hold 45 seconds. Extend your arms, one-at-a-time,
until in a full push-up position. Bring your right knee to your
chest and hold for 30 seconds. Take your leg back and bring your
left knee to your chest. Hold 30 seconds. Take your leg back to its
original position and rest. Repeat the sequence for 3 sets of 4 to 6
holds per leg for max benefits.
Your takeoff position is key to achieving lift and accuracy in your
jumps. Imagine your body is a tightly coiled spring. Your objective
should be to release that spring straight up, not out, and as close
to the box as possible.
closer to the box forces you to drive vertically, decreasing the
distance between you and the box before, during and after each jump.
A closer position forces you to drive your knees higher, increasing
your trajectory, enabling you to achieve maximum lift, clearing the
height of the box. The shorter the distance from the box, the faster
you can perform each jump.
Position your body as you would during the start of a hang clean.
Rise up slightly onto your mid/forefoot. This foot position will
trigger the reflex needed for the initial take off.
Position your arms behind
you so that they follow the angle of your torso. Good arm placement
aids in timing and balance at takeoff and landing. Your head along
with your eyes and chin should be focused forward, not up or down.
Takeoff & In-flight Mechanics
When you are set to jump, violently swing your arms up towards the
sky. This motion will begin to draw your torso up initiating the
movement. At the same time, drive your knees up towards your chest
in order to leave the ground and complete the lifting process. Your
main objective is to clear the height of the box, not necessarily to
land on top of it. Think height first!
Tuck jumps are great for practicing your takeoff form and in-flight
mechanics without a box.
Start in the takeoff position. Takeoff from the ground as you would
during a box jump, violently throwing your arms up, and driving your
knees to your chest at the same time. Land back on the ground and
repeat for 2 -3 sets of 4-6 reps for max benefits.
One-Leg Low Box Jumps
These are perfect for building up the lower leg muscles needed in
both the takeoff and landing of your jumps. This exercise will also
ensure that you are building the strength, stabilization, and
endurance of each individual leg. Legs that are conditioned
separately and equally have fewer imbalances, and will be twice as
powerful when used together.
Find a flat surface to jump on about 1ft off the ground. To start,
tuck the leg youíre not jumping with behind you and hold that leg,
bending it at the knee. Standing on one leg, position your body in
the correct position to do a standard box jump. Leave the ground the
same way you would during a standard jump as described above. Repeat
for 2-3 sets of 5-10 reps per leg for max benefits. Do not