Wednesday, June 25, 2014

How To Do A Box Jump (without face planting) Plus Advanced Box Jump Variations

It's not easy to try new movements or equipment in the gym, which I personally know. But when amazing strength and hardcore improvements become more important than obeying your comfort zone, then I can help instruct you. Box jumps are an explosive movement that trains your fast twitch muscles, give you phenomenal speed training and will make you feel POWERFUL ! Also, the equipment you need is almost as available in the gym as the 2-pound dumbbells. There the plyometric box is, just sitting there with a quirky grin, waiting for you to jump on it.

How-To Do Box Jumps

  1. Decide on the height of the box you will jump on. If you are lacking courage, start with a shorter box. In Crossfit, 20" is a standard height for girls and 24" for guys. Be brave.
  2. Face the box and mentally tell it what is going to happen. (I am going to jump on you Mo-Fo!)
  3. Stand about 12" away from the box (or where ever feels warm and coziest for you) 
  4. Start with step-ups. This is to warm up your hips and teach you the height of the box. Just alternate each leg stepping up to standing with both legs. Jump or step down. Do 5-10 on each side. 
  5. Jump on it like you mean it. When you feel ready, bend your knees a little and explode up to jump on that box! You will have so much fun, you will want to use the box at every workout, promise
  6. When jumping down, listen up! Your achilles tendon will NOT want you to jump up and down quickly. You want to extend your hips at the top of the box and then jump/step down to avoid an injury of monumental proportions.
As a useful tip! Remember that box jumps have the potential to put you in a face plant and or scrape/cut your shins if you don't make the jump. In fact, my good friend Adam had to get stitches from an failed box jump landing. Two things to avoiding this happening is to mentally focus on each jump, don't let your mind wander. When your mind wonders away from the task at hand, it makes you sloppy. And no one wants to cringe as you perform sloppy box jumps. The second is to know when your legs are jello. Shaking legs do not make for good box jumps. Push yourself but don't overdo it.

Advanced Box Jump Variations:
 Once you get the basic box jump movement down, and want more explosive movements, try these:

  1. Box jump overs. My post here with a video. You don't jump onto the box at all, instead you jump over it like a frog (a really large, mean, burly frog).
  2. Burpee box jumps. Do a burpee but instead of clapping your hands at the end of the burpee, you jump up onto the box 
  3. Side jumps on the box. Face sideways to the box, with your right leg close, then jump to the right and land on the box. Switch sides and do your left. This requires some coordination and a little faith.

Inspiration for box jump variations? A quick video from Dean Somerset who's leading the way to greatness: