The box jump is an explosive exercise that strengthens the muscles of the lower body, including the quads, glutes, calves, and hamstrings. They also develop power in the lower body while revving the heart rate. Box jumps can be performed for low reps to focus on strength and power, or for higher reps for metabolic conditioning. Most coaches recommend stepping down rather than jumping down between reps. When you jump, your body burns 800 to 1,000 calories an hour (compare that to 200 to 300 calories burned per hour while walking).
And since high intensity jumping such as box jumps stimulates changes in mitochondria (where fuel is converted into energy), your body will burn fat before carbohydrates- good news for anyone trying to lose weight.
One of the greatest benefits of box jumps is their ready application to enhanced sports performance. Athletes from just about any sport or activity (basketball, football, and volleyball are just a few examples) can see improved athletic performance with proper application of box jumps to a workout routine.
Box jumps are perfect for seasoned exercisers looking for a challenge. If you’re a beginner or have any injuries, take pause before incorporating box jumps into your routine. In this case, be sure to consult a doctor and an experienced personal trainer prior to diving in.
How to do Box Jump?
All you need to perform box jumps is a commercially available plyo box, a sturdy bench, a chair, or another sturdy elevated surface. If you’re just starting out, get comfortable with a lower box or surface before trying to advance to taller boxes.
Also, make sure the box you choose won’t slide around or be inclined to fall over if you kick it. The goal is to land directly on top of the box, so theoretically, most sturdy chairs or benches should work, but you don’t want to catch the edge of a chair with your foot and have the whole thing fall over as you try to land on top of it.
- Stand facing the box, your feet within roughly six inches of its side. Your feet should be about hip-distance apart, your knees and hips slightly bent in an athletic stance.
- Bend your knees and press your hips back as you swing your arms behind you in a smooth motion.
- Explode through the balls of your feet, jumping straight up into the air, swinging your arms up and forward as you fully extend your knees and hips to get as much height as you can with your jump.
- At the height of your jump, bend your knees and hips to draw them forward to be able to land on top of the box.
- Land with both feet at the same time atop the box, leading with the balls of your feet, following with your heels. Try to do this “softly,” allowing your knees and hips to bend naturally to help absorb the shock of the landing.
- Check your foot position-when on top of the box, your feet should be roughly hip-distance apart.
- Step-don’t jump-carefully off the box and reset for the next repetition.