BOX JUMP SILLINESS IN THE GYM…
If you are training in a gym or watching training videos on Instagram then READ this for SURE!
Here is the Reader’s Digest version if you have a short attention span…
Jumping up on a high box (or my personal favourite jumping on to a big stack of 45lbs plates) has nothing to do with building your leg power.
Let me explain…
Jumping is a great way to build leg power. Jumping up onto a box is fine too.
But jumping up on to a 48” box does not give you any benefit over jumping up onto an 18” box.
I suppose if you need the fear of missing your jump and wiping out in the middle of the gym for motivation, then maybe it helps. Or maybe your gym has those wooden boxes or even better the metal framed ones with the plywood on top – – you know the ones that will strip an 8” curl of skin right off your shins if you miss your jump… yeah, that is motivating I guess.
But in terms of the actual power you produce with your legs, the box height makes no difference.
Landing on a high box is more a test of “how high can you pull your knees up to your chin” (look at the photo), so you can get your feet up onto the box. But again if you consider the physics, your power is measured by the displacement of your belly button, not how high you can pull your knees up.
Landing with your knees under your chin also has you landing with a flexed back, which is less than idea. You wouldn’t squat with a rounded back would you?
So, do your jumps – jump the lights out baby!
Here’s how to do it…
Focus on putting power into the ground, be ferocious with it, but there is no reason to jump up on a box higher than 18”.
We use box hop ups at Revolution, but more in the early stages of the off-season when I want to minimize the landing impact, but still let the athlete pour on the power.
After the early phase of the off-season we move on to a more advanced box jumping exercises that does a much better job of developing explosive power. I share more on that later.