5 Rules For Much Better Box Jumps

 

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Box jumps can train your muscles for power and explosiveness. But they can also injure you if done incorrectly. Here are the 5 rules to follow to get the most out of your box jumps. When progressing, do not progress to a higher box until you can land a set of 5 perfect box jumps.

4.) Use a Step Down. Jumping and landing on the box puts a lot of force on your knees and ankles. Jumping down from the box adds more opportunities for you to roll an ankle, so use a step down box. Box jumps are one of the simplest ways to train for power.

Defined as force multiplied by velocity (or more simply, how quickly you can apply force. To start, tuck the leg you’re 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 alternate. Box jumps are an explosive exercise and should be programmed before lifting and after a warm-up. In order to increase your vertical and potentiate your body for better lifts, start with static box jumps for 2-3 sets of 3-5 reps.

Remember, high volume isn’t important – high performance is. Two to four sets of 3-5 reps are fine for most people. This morning, Wednesday, 11Dec19 Box jumps was part of our WOD, 20 min AMRAP, 5 TTB, 10 Box Jumps & 15 Strict Presses – all in all I spent about 16min just looking at this box, I just couldn’t do it – I was devastated – I stayed on after our WOD was done to try again, I managed only 1 jump and spent another 20mins walking up to the box. Coaches want explosive athletes, and box jumps are a great way to train this quality. Explosiveness is usually measured with either the vertical jump or the standing long jump.

Box jumps are one of my favorite exercises of all time, and for good reason: they’re incredibly efficient, easy to scale for different fitness levels, and will get you sweaty and gasping for breath in no time! To do one, you’ll need some type of plyometric box or sturdy raised surface. You’ll jump up onto the box, landing with both feet, then straightening your legs at the top position.

With enough reps and time, coaches can help shape the synchronization of the legs and arms better in box jumps. While box jumps are remedial, the benefit is that athletes learn by doing. Box jumps are very useful tools when applied. Although athletes can work between rest periods, the boxes are not cheap and requires sharing; so, they are not 1. By the time you are really getting things going after 10-20 perfect reps, you will get too tired to do them well.

So doing 5-10 with a sufficed break in between is best. The real goal anyway with box jumps is to increase performance, not help fat loss. So, if changing the way you look is your goal, ditch the box jumps and pick up something heavy.

List of related literature:

Box jumps can be done in a variety of ways.

“Complete Book of Throws” by L. Jay Silvester, Jay Silvester
from Complete Book of Throws
by L. Jay Silvester, Jay Silvester
Human Kinetics, 2003

Box jumps can be performed unilaterally or bilaterally and, like hurdles, incorporate multiple jumping movements.

“Physical Rehabilitation of the Injured Athlete E-Book” by James R. Andrews, Gary L. Harrelson, Kevin E. Wilk
from Physical Rehabilitation of the Injured Athlete E-Book
by James R. Andrews, Gary L. Harrelson, Kevin E. Wilk
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2011

Jump onto the first box then off and jump onto the next to-box jumps high (depending on ability) with feet box.

“Physiological Aspects of Sport Training and Performance” by Jay Hoffman
from Physiological Aspects of Sport Training and Performance
by Jay Hoffman
Human Kinetics, 2002

Avoid depth jumping from boxes higher than 30 inches (0.75 meter).

“Physical Fitness and Wellness: Changing the Way You Look, Feel, and Perform” by Jerrold S. Greenberg, George B. Dintiman, Barbee Myers Oakes
from Physical Fitness and Wellness: Changing the Way You Look, Feel, and Perform
by Jerrold S. Greenberg, George B. Dintiman, Barbee Myers Oakes
Human Kinetics, 2004

Box jumps-ups are a great way to increase vertical jump.

“52-week Basketball Training” by Chip Sigmon
from 52-week Basketball Training
by Chip Sigmon
Human Kinetics, 2003

In a box jump, typically the jump will only be counted if the athlete fully extends the legs and hips when on top of the box.

“Inside the Box: How CrossFit ® Shredded the Rules, Stripped Down the Gym, and Rebuilt My Body” by T. J. Murphy
from Inside the Box: How CrossFit ® Shredded the Rules, Stripped Down the Gym, and Rebuilt My Body
by T. J. Murphy
VeloPress, 2012

Make sure the height of the box is appropriate for the athlete’s jumping ability.

“High-performance Sports Conditioning” by Bill Foran
from High-performance Sports Conditioning
by Bill Foran
Human Kinetics, 2001

As the athlete matures in age, increasing the training stimulus by adding box jumps and hurdle hops may be necessary.

“Coaching Track & Field Successfully” by Mark Guthrie
from Coaching Track & Field Successfully
by Mark Guthrie
Human Kinetics, 2003

Drop-jumps consist of the athlete stepping off a box, landing with minimum ground contact time and jumping for maximum height.

“Concurrent Aerobic and Strength Training: Scientific Basics and Practical Applications” by Moritz Schumann, Bent R. Rønnestad
from Concurrent Aerobic and Strength Training: Scientific Basics and Practical Applications
by Moritz Schumann, Bent R. Rønnestad
Springer International Publishing, 2018

This typically involves the athlete jumping from a high box and rebounding off the floor onto another (usually lower) box.

“Sports Science Handbook: I-Z” by Simon P. R. Jenkins
from Sports Science Handbook: I-Z
by Simon P. R. Jenkins
Multi-Science, 2005

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

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15 comments

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  • I find doing whats described in this video jars and hurts my lower back as i land on the ground. Anyone else had that issue and know how to overcome it??

  • Yes I think this help alot… I love box jumping……. in thebpassni may have done it slighty wrong and that was for fun… now with those helpful tips I’ll do themnroght and have fun.

  • I used to fear box jumps before joining crossfit. Then began to love them…UNTIL! i ended up shinning myself from a box jump, pretty god damn bad. left shin in Jan 2019 ended up swollen, for months, was going to phsio for it. I thought this is gettin too expensive now, and im not seeing any improvments here, so went to GP. He told me ‘you’ve got additional bone here, that will heel on its own, in 2-3 YEARS!’ so dont waste ur money on phsio!??:o im now terrified of Box Jumps again lol. i still have one swollen leg compared to other. and its been 7 months:(

  • Good stuff! This fits in with something I read year ago about how the brain doesn’t really recognize ‘not’. For example, you tell yourself over and over, ‘don’t hit the tree, don’t hit the tree’, wham, you hit the tree.The idea being you are fixated on the tree, so, you hit it! Same idea here, look at where you want to be, and you’ll go there. (Also a great golf tip, don’t take you eye off the ball and you’ll hit it, every time!). Really like your videos. Thank you!

  • Hey I think your videos are great. Really liked this one as you tell people to look at the box. Nearly all videos I’ve watched tell you not to look at the box and just keep it in peripheral vision but I am definitely not comfortable with that. Would love some tips on box jump overs.

  • Sure is right. even i was very sad since i workout well for abs but nothing was coming.

    Listen in a best female model 2012 exclusive interview she had mentioned about her strong abs with this 7 food items.

    worth watch here now bit.ly/1fPdBiQ?=mohof

  • For the average person, sure. But for those competing or breaking records… I’d say there’s nothing wrong with wanting to test your max jump, given all the other variables are safe and in place.

  • omg thank you so much for this video series. I have to retrain myself with these mechanics and I now realize I haven’t been jumping, landing, and pivoting properly.

  • The jump.box twisting variation really got my knees strong.after my second acl surgery. Thanx for the tip saw it last year on your channel.

  • It really depends on what you are applying it to. As a skateboarder, the importance of bringing your knees up as high and quickly as possible is a huge part of what we do. Using the same method in box jumping helps us when we are trying to go from a lower elevation to a higher one and where we will have to pull our body up from a squatting position.

  • WTF “you’re doing it wrong?”
    This dude’s form is suboptimal he’s looking straight in front of him the “core” muscles of the cervicis are hyperextended at take-off, impinging suboccipital nerve C1-2. Some tests would show 30% reduction in power supply to the diaghrapm (strongest core muscle).
    Vision should ALWAYS remain perpendicular to your vertebral line. When you’re standing tall, vision is perpendicular. When you bend over, so should your vision. You can still be athletic by maintaining a neutral synchrony between C-spine and T-spine, by looking up at your forehead.

  • it amazes me how crossfit uses plyometric principles in the pull up but doesn’t when doing a box jump (plyometrics).  Power output is not the goal of the exercise and the way people land on top of the box is irrelevant as well.

  • I understand that jumping onto a 40″ box does not equate to a 40″ vertical. However, it does still require significant power and hip-drive to reach a point where a person is able to bring their knees up to land. For example, say that 40″ is my current max and this involved bringing my knees to my chest, and once they are at my chest they can’t physically get any higher. This means that each additional inch I am able to add to the box can be interpreted as an increase in power generated through my hips to achieve the height necessary to land the jump. I agree that this does carry a higher risk of face planting, but I have found that the fear of falling can drive performance.

  • I started crossfit about 1 month ago. My cardio strength sky rocketed. I ran 3 miles today.it felt like i took a brisk walk…im hooked on crossfit!!!

  • All crossfit seems to be about is how many reps you can do in a certain amount of time and how fast. But doing workouts like that over and over can really strain the body. Thats not what fitness is about in my eyes.