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Box Jumps

Prepare for takeoff with this plyometric primer

By Rob Fitzgerald
Box Jumps

For the fitness enthusiast, it’s a great time to be alive. We’re at the peak of the industry’s information age, with purportedly new training techniques cropping up everywhere we look. this is good. What’s not so good, however, is when people take these techniques into the gym and use them the wrong way.

Plyometric exercises sit at the very top of this list. so, to help you get started with box jumps the right way—and to develop explosive power quickly—follow these guidelines.

the workout

 

Here’s how to incorporate box jumps into your lower-body training days:

 

TECHNIQUE

1. Stand in an athletic position, with your feet shoulder-width apart, at a comfortable distance from the box.

2. When you’re ready to jump, drop quickly into a quarter squat, then extend your hips, swing your arms, and push your feet through the floor to propel yourself onto the box.

3. Don’t “stick” your landing. Instead, envision the way cats land when they jump from something—you, too, should try to land this quietly.

 

PROGRAMMING

1. Box jumps are a compound, multi-joint exercise. As with exercises like the bench press and squat, when you’re working at 90% of your one-rep max, you won’t be able to perform three sets of 10 at this intensity.

2. When training for explosive power, perform box jumps at a very challenging height for sets of 1–3 reps.

3. This is an all-out-effort move, so recover fully between sets, the same way you would when speed training or squatting for maximal strength.

 

    EXERCISE                SETS       REPS       REST      

Box Jump (80–90%)      6                3         60–90 sec

Back Squat                      5                5           2–3 min

Glute-Ham Raise            3              10           60 sec

Romanian Deadlift         3              12           60 sec

Incline Sit-up                   3               15          45 sec

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