When performed correctly, box jumps can be an awesome display of lower body strength, power, coordination and overall athleticism.
Soaring up from a static position onto an elevated surface is a great way to build explosiveness that translates to real world movements like sprinting and picking up heavy objects.
However, when performed incorrectly, box jumps can be a recipe for disaster.
Aside from the embarrassment you might feel when falling off the box, you also run the risk of getting injured, which is not what we want.
This week we’ll show you how to perform the box jump safely and correctly, so you can get the most out of the exercise.
1. Master the prerequisites
The box jump is a fairly advanced plyometric movement. It’s therefore imperative that you make sure that you’re comfortable performing air squats and weighted squats with good form and full range of motion before moving onto this progression.
2. Prepare your environment
If this is your first time performing box jumps, you’re going to want to start with a small surface to jump onto, roughly around knee height. Make sure that it’s stable, and that it has a big enough surface area for you to land on safely.
3. Ready up
You’re going to start by taking one big step back from the box to give you enough clearance, before getting into your ready stance. Stand in a neutral posture with your shoulders back and down, your hips aligned, feet hip-width apart and pointing forwards, and your glutes and abs slightly engaged.
4. Initiate the movement
To start the box jump, you’re going to squat backwards as if you were sitting back onto a barstool. Remember to keep your shins vertical, drive your knees out slightly and create torque by almost screwing your feet into the ground. You don’t have to squat low – just enough to give you that driving force necessary to get airborne.
5. Drive with the hips
To initiate the movement, you’re going to drive your hips into full extension, keeping your chest and head up, and your back flat. Shoot your arms overhead to gain a little more momentum.
6. Land like a ninja
Box jumps can place a high stress on the connective tissues in the knees and ankles if done incorrectly, so try your best to land softly, absorbing the impact with a deep squat.
Ensure that your ankles and knees are aligned, and pause for a second in the end position before stepping down.
7. Stay safe
If you want to remain injury free and maximise your gains, remember to take your time with the box jump and focus on quality over quantity.
It’s better to do one rep well as opposed to ten with poor form.