I love box jumps when they are done correctly, sadly I see a lot of box jumps done incorrectly.
Like every exercise box jumps can be very beneficial to you but also can be harmful depending on how they are done.
I love box jumps for teaching athleticism, improving explosiveness, improving timing and co-ordination, fat loss, CNS activation, jumping and landing mechanics and much more.
Warning : Before You Start Jumping
You have to be ready to jump and land from a jump or you are asking to get injured. Here are three things you need before you start jumping.
1. A deep bodyweight squat pushing the hips back and the knees out, when you jump you have to land and if you can’t get a good squat patter with your body weight you are not ready to jump and land yet.
2. Bbodyweight squat x 20 reps. You have to make sure your able to have a strong body weight squat first.
3. Bar squat of your bodyweight for minimum 1 rep (I’d recommend 3 reps)
Box jumps can be a great exercise and here are 3 tips to make them better.
3 Tips For Better Box Jumps
1. Land Soft
The jump is important, but what is even more important is the landing.
Learning how to land soft and cushion your landing.
I always tell my clients to land like a cat or even better to pretend they are a ninja and to make no sound when landing. If you land and you hear a “THUMP” then you are doing it wrong. Be sure to land softly as the landing is the most important part of a box jump.
Jump Up and Land Soft.
2. Jump Up & Step Down
This is VERY important. Jump up and STEP DOWN.
Step down one leg at a time, and if you are jumping to a high box height have another box next to it and step to the box on the side and then step down. Reset, jump again.
Let me be clear DO NOT JUMP UP AND JUMP DOWN.
Your waiting for an injury to happen doing this and the last thing you want is an Achilles rupture (my dad and my brother ruptured their Achilles trust me you do not want this to happen).
I see a lot of this happening in box gyms and the WOD programming.
It’s very simple, don’t do it.
Remember to jump up and step down,not jump up and jump down.
3. Don’t Jump Too High
While doing insane high box jumps and testing your max box jump height can be fun once in a while it’s not something you want to do every single workout. I’d recommend this about every 6 weeks or so but no more than that.
Box Jumps should be done at a reasonable height to teach jumping, landing and squatting mechanics not to just see how high you can jump. A lot of injuries from jumps occur from trying to jump too high, destorying your shins on metal or wooden boxes or as seen above jumping down.
Jump to knee/waist height and really practice perfect form and technique and don’t get obsessed about how high you jump.
There is a big difference in a vertical max jump test vs a plyo max height jump test.
I hope you enjoyed these 3 plyo box jump tips, train hard and train smart.
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Rob King is a Competitive PowerLifter, Coach and Writer.