Box jumps are a great way to build explosive power and challenge yourself to reach new heights, literally. Box jumps are compound, multi-joint exercises that work not only the glutes, hamstrings, and quads, but your core as well, all while elevating your heart rate. But many people never get off the ground. Why? There’s something a little intimidating about box jumps. Follow these simple tips to help you master your box jump at any height.
How to Box Jump:
- Start in your ready stance (feet shoulder-width apart, toes forward, knees over toes) and your arms overhead a few steps back from the box
- Swing your arms down, hinge back and bend your knees keeping your core engaged, your chest open, and your spine long
- Swing your arms forward and use your momentum to push off your feet to jump up and slightly forward landing softly with both feet on the box and your weight in your heels
- Press through your heels to stand up tall and extend the hips, then step back carefully down to the ground
Tips for Setting Up Your Box Jump:
- Find your Stance and Warm Up: Success starts with your set up. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, your toes facing forward, and your knees facing forward over your toes. Do a few squats in this position, extending your hips at the top (optional: add an arm swing) to ensure that you can keep your squat position with your knees over your toes and to find your range of motion.
- Find Your Landing Point: Before adding the jump, step up on to the box to get a feel for what it’s like to land with your whole foot on the box in a squat position. Now you know where to aim for.
Tips for Beginners:
- If box jumps are new for you, be sure to start low and work your way up to higher boxes
- You don’t have to have a gym box to do these, you can use any sturdy elevated flat surface like a step
- If the thought of a hard box scares you, many gyms have softer boxes that can be a bit more forgiving if you make a mistake
Tips for Form
- Make sure that your landing is soft by engaging your core
- Aim to land the way you started, toes facing forward and your knees over your toes, not splaying out to the side or caving in to the center of your body. If you can’t achieve this, go back to practicing weighted squats or squat jumps to lock in your form before progressing to box jumps
- Aim to land in the center of the box so you are sure to get your entire foot on the box when you land
- Don’t overdo it – box jumps are meant to require maximum effort, so start by performing 3-5 reps per set and allow yourself adequate time to rest in between sets (approximately 60-90 seconds)