Box jumps are an awesome exercise that can help you to build strength and size. Jumps are a great addition to training, no matter what your goal, and they can help you get toned too!
To do box jumps at home you could buy yourself a gym style box (check out our reviews of the best adjustable plyo box), however they can cost in excess of $100. Instead, why not get creative? You could make your own box jump using only plywood, screws and wood glue. By building your own box, you can decide exactly what size and height you want it to be, and they are far more affordable too. For instructions on how to create your box, have a browse on the internet as there are hundreds of videos and easy to follow instructions that will help you to build your own box jump in less than 30 minutes! Or, if that doesn’t appeal, then why not jump up stairs or onto small walls, or even why not try heading to your local park with a friend and jump up on benches or old tree stumps. The possibilities are endless!
- How to do a Box Jump
- How to Adjust this Exercise
- Technique Tips:
- Stop Doing Box Jumps Like a Jackass
- Here’s what you need to know…
- Get Faster, Get Stronger
- The Benefits of Box Jumps
- Low Impact Landings
- Potentiate The Nervous System for Strength and Size
- Reinforce Your Mechanics
- What Not to Do with Box Jumps
- Don’t Do Box Jumps for Conditioning
- Don’t Use Box Jumps If You’re a Non-Athletic Desk Jockey
- Programming Box Jumps
- A Sample Progression
- Benefits of Box Jumps & How to Add Variety to your Workout (Tips & Exercises)
- Benefits of Box Jumps
- Before you start box jumps…
- What are the training benefits?
- How to do box jumps correctly
- Add variety to your workouts
- How to Crush Box Jumps—and a Box Jump Workout That’ll Hone Your Skills
- Box Jump Workout Benefits and Variations
- How to Do a Box Jump
- 6 Box Jump Workout Moves
- How To Do Box Jumps
- Box Jump Variations
- Box Jump
- How to do Box Jumps
- Box Jump Guide
- Beginning box jumps
- Advanced Box Jumps
- Incorporating Box Jumps into your Workout
- The 9 Best Plyo Boxes
- Best Plyo Boxes At a Glance
- Rogue Games Box
- Rogue Original Wood Box
- Stamina X Adjustable Box
- Best Multi-Sided Plyo Boxes
- #1 Rogue Games Box
- #2 Titan Fitness 3-in-1 Plyo Boxes
- #3 Rep Fitness 3-in-1 Wood Plyo Boxes
- Best Traditional Plyo Boxes
- #1 Rogue Original Wood Plyo Box
- #2 OneFitWonder Traditional Plyo Boxes
- #3 Titan Fitness Plyometric Box
- Best Adjustable Plyo Boxes
- #1 Stamina X Adjustable Height Plyo Box
- #2 Titan Fitness Adjustable Plyo Box
- #3 Rep Fitness Adjustable Plyo Box
- Great Plyo Box Exercises
- How To Do Jump Squats Properly
- Step By Step Guide To Do Jump Squats
- Jump Squat Benefits
- Types Of Squat Jumps
- 1. Weighted Squats
- 2. Box Jump Squats
- 3. Single Leg Jump Squats
- 4. Frog Squats
- 5. Jumping Jack Squats
- 6. Prisoner Squats
- 7. Bicep Curl Squats
- 8. Uneven Squats
- 9. Wall Squats
- 10. Regular Squats
- 11. Monkey Squats
- 12. Sumo Squats
- Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
- 7 sources
- Squat Jumps: How To Build Power With The Jumping Squat
- How To Do the Squat Jump
- Squat Jump Variations
- Step 1
- Step 2
- Step 3
- Step 4
- Step 5
- Step 6
- Step 7
How to do a Box Jump
- Stand a comfortable distance from the box
- Ensure your feet are shoulder-width apart and your knees are soft
- When you are ready to jump, drop quickly into a half squat
- Then, thrust and extend your hips up and swing your arms forward
- The final part involves pushing your feet into the floor in order propel yourself up and onto the box
- Jump or step down
How to Adjust this Exercise
To reduce the intensity of a box jump for newbie’s to the box, you can either reduce the height of the box, or just step up onto the box, and then jump down- ensuring you land with soft knees. To make your box jump harder you can either increase the size of the box- but don’t get too high and lose your technique, or you could add weights into the exercise, or even do a series of box jumps in a row!
Plyometric exercises, like box jumps, are an excellent way to build strength, explosive power and speed. In order to get the most from your box jumps, you should aim to do them the right way!
When jumping keep your abs tight in order to prevent your back from arching to prevent pain or injury, and keep your eyes and chest up in order to help you jump up on the box. Remember that there is no need to jump up on extremely high boxes, often times when you see people jumping that high it is as a result of great hip flexibility rather than good explosive power. Using smaller boxes is just as, if not more effective in terms of building power- as long as you focus on your technique. Finally, it is important to remember that with box jumps, quality is far more important than quantity. By focusing on getting a full hip extension, using your arms to thrust you upwards, and landing softly (making sure to land on bent knees in order to absorb the shock), you will gain awesome strength and power in no time.
I’m a big fan of plyometric exercises. They’re designed to increase speed, power, and explosiveness and are a great supplement to your regular strength training routine. Many lower-body plyometric exercises utilize a box of some sort that you jump on and off. If you go to a gym, you likely have access to plyo boxes. But if you work out in your garage, getting your hands on a box from one of the many fitness companies out there is going to cost you a pretty penny. An unassembled box from Rogue fitness will cost you $125 plus $20 in shipping. And you still have to put the thing together when it gets to you! Sheesh.
Thankfully, Jerred Moon from End of Three Fitness (who previously showed us how to make a DIY Prowler Sled) was in Tulsa a few months ago and stopped by to show me how to make my very own plyo box for just $30. Here’s how to do it.
The Difference Between a 3-in-1 Box and the Trapezoid Plyo Boxes
You’ve likely seen the plyo boxes that look sort of like a trapezoid. The reason they’re designed like that is so that the jumper doesn’t catch their shins on the edge as they jump on the box. Our plyo box is a straight-up rectangle. Yes, if you don’t jump high enough or with proper form, you will bang your shins on the edge and it will hurt. This box encourages you to jump high enough to clear the edge completely.
Another benefit with this design is that it gives you three different heights to work with. This box is 28″ x 24″ x 20″. If you want to do 28″ box jumps, just flip the box so that the longest side is vertical; if you want to do 24″ box jumps, flip it to another side; if you want to do 20″ box jumps, flip it yet again. In other words, this box will grow with your fitness level and is extremely adaptable. It’s handy if you and your workout partner are at different levels too — you don’t get that with the fixed heights of trapezoid plyo boxes.
Tools & Materials Needed
- Skilsaw or table saw
- Measuring tape and straight edge
- (1) 8′ x 4′ piece of plywood that’s 3/4″ thick
- Gorilla glue
- Box of 2″ wood screws
Step 1: Measure Your Cuts
This box will end up being 28″ x 24″ x 20″. Here’s how to make the cuts for that.
We need to cut the plywood into the following pieces.
- (2) 28″ x 20″ rectangles
- (2) 28″ x 22.5″ rectangles
- (2) 22.5″ x 18.5″ rectangles
You can do this at home with your table saw, but if you want to save some time, you can have the folks at Home Depot or Lowe’s make the cuts for you. The first two cuts are free and then it’s like $.50 a cut after that.
Thanks to AoM reader Robert Heffern for putting together this CAD of the box.
Step 2: Cut Your Pieces
Step 3: Do a Preliminary Assembly to Check For Evenness
Before you glue and screw your pieces together, Jerred recommends doing a preliminary assembly to see if everything lines up correctly. Edges that aren’t flush with one another will make your box wobble, which isn’t safe. Just put the pieces together without gluing them and make sure the edges line up evenly. If they don’t, either sand or cut until things are flush.
Step 4: Glue and Screw
Assembly is a breeze. It’s just gluing and screwing. You want to connect the pieces so that the smallest ones (the 22.5″ x 18.5″ rectangles) are encased by the other two rectangles, like so:
I highly recommend drilling pilot holes before you start screwing things together. And for added reinforcement, put Gorilla Glue anywhere wood touches wood.
There you go! How to make your very own plyo box. You will now be the most explosive and powerful man in your neighborhood. We hope you found this tutorial helpful.
My thanks to Jerred Moon for doing this tutorial with me. Be sure to check out End of Three Fitness for more great DIY gym tutorials as well as training programs.
Stop Doing Box Jumps Like a Jackass
Here’s what you need to know…
- Box jumps potentiate the nervous system for gains in strength and size, assuming you do them correctly.
- If you’re not getting full hip extension, you’re wasting your time.
- Those young geeks you see doing 50-inch box jumps just have fantastic hip flexibility rather than great jumping ability and explosive power.
- Quality is more important than quantity. Maximize the hip extension and land with sound technique.
- Perform box jumps as a potentiating exercise before you lift, not as a conditioning tool.
Get Faster, Get Stronger
No one cares how strong you are if the speed at which you produce force is best described as glacial. You need speed to bring your strength to new levels and the quickest way to get explosive is with the box jump.
Jumps are an awesome display of power, athleticism, and relative strength with directly applicable qualities to nearly every sport. And yes, they’ll get you more jacked, too. The problem is, they’re often over-prescribed and performed with atrocious form.
Let’s fix that. Let’s examine the muscle and strength building benefits of box jumps, along with how to do them properly, and how to program them into your workouts for rapid gains in explosive power.
The Benefits of Box Jumps
Most of the impressive box jumps you see aren’t what they appear. That 14-year-old kid hitting a 50 inch-box jump is impressive, but it’s a product of a pretty good jump and fantastic hip mobility rather than pure explosive power.
Even worse than some of these phony-baloney jumps, people set themselves up for bloody shins, dangerous wipeouts, and faulty landing mechanics due to inappropriate prescriptions of jumps.
Like every exercise, box jumps are a tool that must be treated carefully, not randomly thrown into your programming and conditioning.
Low Impact Landings
Box jumps are the most common jump variation in exercise programs for good reason – they decrease joint stress and provide a low stress environment to express power and practice sound landing mechanics.
When compared to the landing height from a vertical jump, the box jump has significantly less compressive stress. Likewise, when compared to the broad jump, the box jump has less shear stress and compressive stress at the knee.
Overall, there’s much less joint stress so you can keep your knees healthy while still developing explosive power.
And because box jumps have a low overall impact, they allow for a greater training frequency compared to other jumping variations.
Potentiate The Nervous System for Strength and Size
The absence of speed and power movements in training is probably limiting the amount of weight you use on the bar. No, you won’t gain muscle doing high volume box jumps, but you will potentiate the nervous system to fire at a more efficient, faster rate.
By improving nervous system efficiency, you’ll improve strength, which increases work capacity at sub-maximal weights to build muscle.
Reinforce Your Mechanics
Haphazard, random jumps thrown together allow for sloppy mechanics to take place. Strive for the following:
- Feet are flat at landing rather than exhibiting an anterior or posterior weight shift.
- Knees are neutral, rather than in valgus or varus (diving in or diving out).
- Abs are braced. Any rounding of the back and trunk shows a power leak that will cascade down the kinetic chain.
- Eyes and chest are up. If your landing in any sport leaves you bent over and looking at the ground, you’ll get lit up.
- Pause and momentarily hold position at the top of the jump to decrease injury risk.
- Step off onto a lower box if jumping over 20 inches. Jumping off the box backwards places tons of stress on the Achilles tendon and poses an unnecessary risk.
What Not to Do with Box Jumps
Box jumps are a great tool to increase performance, but any tool used haphazardly and without planning sabotages gains and becomes potentially dangerous.
Don’t Do Box Jumps for Conditioning
Every exercise requires a risk-reward analysis and box jumps fail miserably when used for conditioning.
For starters, jumps used as a conditioning implement often cause a breakdown of form in landing mechanics, which leads to battered shins and the engraining of poor mechanics like pronation of the feet and valgus collapse, both of which open the door for injury.
In addition, jumping for high reps and pushing the tempo minimizes full hip-extension, which ain’t good. Full hip-extension is the primary driver of a solid vertical jump and transfers to activities like sprinting, the lockout of a deadlift, or the end of your squat.
How you practice is how you play. If you use faulty mechanics in training, it’s going to show up when the lights come on. Keep box jumps where they belong, early in your workout as a power exercise and opt for low-impact jumping like the jump rope for conditioning.
Don’t Use Box Jumps If You’re a Non-Athletic Desk Jockey
Most “general fitness” folks rarely exercise and aren’t conditioned for high-force, high-impact exercises. Sedentary desk jobs, low-impact steady state cardio, and machine exercises are the norm for them.
If this is you, incorporating jumps without first engraining technique and conditioning the tissues for impact is a recipe for acute and chronic injuries.
Work into box jumps with low impact movements like skipping rope to condition the legs for a week or two. Then, start at a low-box height and master landing mechanics before progressing to greater heights.
Programming Box Jumps
There’s a checklist of factors that must be taken into account with any exercise. First, if it hurts, don’t do it. If you can’t do it properly, regress to a shorter box. Likewise, if it doesn’t match your training goals, don’t do it.
Assuming those precautions have been addressed, the low impact nature of box jumps makes them great for lifters. They’re a great tool to improve athleticism and power without the risk of higher impact jumps or the technicality of sprinting.
Box jumps are an explosive exercise and should be programmed before lifting and after a warm-up. In order to increase your vertical and potentiate your body for better lifts, start with static box jumps for 2-3 sets of 3-5 reps.
Remember, high volume isn’t important – high performance is. Two to four sets of 3-5 reps are fine for most people.
A Sample Progression
Perform box jumps two times per week after a dynamic warm-up.
- Week 1 – Jump Rope 5-10 min. (pre- or post-workout) 3x week
- Week 2 – 2 x 5
- Week 3 – 3 x 4
- Week 4 – 4 x 4
- Week 5 – (Increase Box Height) 3 x 5
- Week 6 – 4 x 4
- Week 7 – 4 x 3
- Week 8 – (Increase Box Height) 3 x 3
Remember, full hip extension on your jump and building sound landing mechanics is the most important thing, not height. Leave your ego at the door because there are no box-jump world championships.
Without full hip extension, you’ll limit the carryover to explosive lifts and athletic events, thus minimizing the training effect. You’ll also look like a doofus in the process.
Related: How to Train for Power
Related: How to use box jumps to bring up the deadlift
Benefits of Box Jumps & How to Add Variety to your Workout (Tips & Exercises)
A box jump workout has a lot of benefits without a lot of equipment. All you need is a stable box, your own body weight, and a few tips on how to do it correctly.
Benefits of Box Jumps
Box jumps are one of the main exercises in plyometric training or jump training. Not only do you burn a lot of calories through the explosive movements, you also work on endurance, strength, and coordination. At the same time, you train your body’s stability and mobility. By improving these two things, you will be more flexible, faster, and more agile. This will also boost your footspeed and help your balance.
Sharpening your coordination makes you better at other sports and helps you move through the day more securely and with fewer injuries. You will become more aware of your body and develop confidence.
Before you start box jumps…
You need to have strong legs, coordination, and a bit of courage. Make sure you use a stable box on a flat surface that doesn’t slip.
You can choose the size of the box. Generally it should come to your knees and can vary depending on your fitness level. To find out how high you can jump, start on low platforms and work your way up. This way you will build strength and confidence.
If you don’t have a box:
You can also use stairs or benches at the gym. Use park benches and tree trunks when training outdoors.
What are the training benefits?
Explosive strength, speed strength, and vertical jumping power are the primary areas you train.
In box jump training you work all of your leg muscles and strengthen your core using your own body weight. Box jumps also boost endurance and improve your cardiovascular health. Plus, you burn between 800 and 1,000 calories per hour with explosive plyometric training, which makes it a great option for people who want to lose weight. If you want even more of a challenge, use ankle or wrist weights, sandbags, or free weights.
You can integrate jumping exercises into your usual workout, for example as a cardio exercise in between sets or swap out another cardio exercise like jumping jacks. You can find more bodyweight exercises and targeted training plans in our adidas Training app.
Combine box jumps with other bodyweight exercises. Learn more in the adidas Training app.
Be sure to warm up properly:
Take plenty of time to warm up before doing a plyometric workout. It’s easy to pull a muscle or sprain your ankle in a jump if your body isn’t ready for it. Most importantly, the jumps should be performed in a controlled manner.
How to do box jumps correctly
Start in a low squat and stretch your arms out behind you like a ski jumper before takeoff. Now push yourself off the floor with all the strength in your legs and use your arms for momentum. Make sure to land softly with both feet fully on the box and absorb the jump with your knees. Jump or step down from the box and start again. Make sure your starting position is stable and the jumps are controlled. Messy, chaotic movements increase the risk of injury.
Pregnant women should avoid this workout due to the explosive movements. Anyone with problems with their lower back, knees, or ankles should focus on exercises without jumps.
Add variety to your workouts
The variations below will make your box jump workout even more fun! You can do these exercises with a partner, too:
1. Jumping Jacks to Jump-up
Stand just in front of the box and start with a jumping jack on the floor. Then jump onto the box with both feet and land in a stable position. You can also do this exercise with a partner by taking turns.
2. Burpee Step-up
Stand in front of the box and start with a Burpee. As soon as you stand up from the Burpee, jump onto the box with both feet and jump or step down again. You can also do this exercise with a partner by taking turns.
3. Ball Crush Jump-up
You and your partner kneel on the floor on either side of the box. Throw a light medicine ball back and forth. While one person catches the ball, the other jumps on the box.
4. Jump from Box to Box
You can try out different jumps and exercises with two or more boxes. Get creative!
Find more exercise variations for box jumps here. We’ve also put together an upper body workout here when your legs need a break.
Box jumps are one of my favorite exercises of all time, and for good reason: they’re incredibly efficient, easy to scale for different fitness levels, and will get you sweaty and gasping for breath in no time!
To do one, you’ll need some type of plyometric box or sturdy raised surface. You’ll jump up onto the box, landing with both feet, then straightening your legs at the top position. Then you’ll jump back down, and then immediately spring back up as quickly as you can. You can also step back down from the box rather than jumping down if you have knee problems or just feel more comfortable doing so.
Choosing the height of your box will depend on your current fitness level, but most women will want to start with a 14-inch to 18-inch box, while most men will want to start with a 20-inch to 24-inch box. I typically use a 20-inch box.
Start with three or four sets of 10 to 20 box jumps three to four times a week, or just add them to your regular high-intensity impact training (HIIT) workouts.
Here are six reasons to love box jumps:
1. They’ll give you amazing calves.
Jumping increases your strength and muscle tone, and builds both upper body and lower body strength like crazy. Box jumps force you to jump high enough that you’re forced to use every single muscle in your legs to get you up onto the box.
2. They burn a ton of calories and blast fat.
When you’re jumping at a fast pace, 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 stimulates changes in the mitochondria (where fuel is converted into energy at the cellular level), your body will burn fat before carbohydrates — always good news for anyone trying to lose weight.
3. They’ll help you keep up your balance and coordination in old age.
Since most of us would ideally like to still be healthy and active when we’re older, the best thing you can do is to continue to be active and increase your strength, balance and coordination now.
And since box jumps aid in balance, they’ll protect you from injury all the way into old age. Plus, they’ll help keep your bones strong and healthy for life.
4. They can be done without equipment.
If you don’t want to buy or make your own box, and don’t have access to one at a gym, you can still do box jumps! Simply find a high enough bench, or some stairs, or even a table (if you’ve got some serious hops) and get jumping!
Just make sure it’s really sturdy — you don’t want any chance of it moving while you’re jumping, which can easily result in injury.
5. They’ll increase your athletic abilities.
Whether you like to skateboard, surf, or play basketball in your spare time, box jumps will help to improve your vertical jump, speed, and endurance, as well as increase your coordination to help you excel in any sport you want to do.
If you haven’t tried them yet, you’ll soon know what I mean. Box jumps force you to increase your coordination quickly, since it’s all too easy when you’re tired to almost miss the box entirely and hit your shins on the front edge. Not fun (but, you’ll get better quickly with practice, really!).
6. They’re (really) fun!
Once you try a few and realize you can actually jump that high, box jumps soon become fun to do. Not only will they make you feel athletic and bring out your inner kid, they higher you learn to you jump, the more badass you’ll feel. What could be more fun than that?
Check out the 12 Minute Athlete app for tons of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts and plenty of box jumps. And get jumping!
How to Crush Box Jumps—and a Box Jump Workout That’ll Hone Your Skills
When you’ve got limited time in the gym, exercises like the box jump will be your saving grace—a surefire way to hit multiple muscles at once and get a serious cardio benefit at the same time.
“This exercise is meant to be a full-body movement-ideally, quick, explosive, and controlled,” says Stephany Bolivar, CrossFit coach and personal trainer at ICE NYC.
Aside from working your muscles from head to toe, box jump workouts (demonstrated here by NYC-based trainer Rachel Mariotti) also challenge you to work on athletic skills like agility, balance, and coordination. (BTW, here are the 4 essential moves to become a better athlete.) The best part: you don’t need to have a special plyometric box to do it. Any elevated, flat, and stable surface will do, like stairs or a park bench.
Box Jump Workout Benefits and Variations
During the upward phase of this movement, you’ll use your core, glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, and even arms to propel yourself onto the box. When you land during box jump workouts, your quads will do most of the work. Make sure to stand up all the way when you get to the top of the box to get a full hip extension, says Bolivar. The explosive force used in this move taps into your powerful fast-twitch muscle fibers. (Here’s more need-to-know muscle science.)
If you’re new to box jump workouts—and especially if you’re a little nervous to attempt the move—build power by mastering plyometrics moves on the floor first. Jump squats, star jumps, split jumps, and tuck jumps will all help you develop the explosive strength needed to master the box jump. (These 10 power plyo moves are a great place to start to build strength for box jump workouts.) When you’re ready, try a low box or a stair step before you move to a taller one.
As you become more comfortable with the box jump, you can use taller boxes or try them wearing a weighted vest (or even make it a box jump burpee), suggests Bolivar. Single-leg box jumps are another way to take this move up a notch. To make this move low impact, you can step onto the box, alternating which foot leads every rep, says Bolivar.
How to Do a Box Jump
- Stand just in front of a box with feet shoulder-width apart.
- Swing arms and hinge hips back with a tall chest, flat back, and engaged core.
- Swing arms forward, using momentum to jump up and slightly forward, landing softly with both feet completely on the box.
- Stand up, locking out the knees and extending hips. Carefully step back down to the ground.
Do 2 to 3 sets of 3 to 5 reps.
Box Jump Workout Form Tips
- Try to land as softly as possible. (Harder and louder landings mean more pressure on your joints. Learn more about why this is important to avoid.)
- Control the descent onto the box by keeping your core engaged.
- To make sure you jump far enough forward, aim to land near the center of the box.
6 Box Jump Workout Moves
Box jumps are far from the only thing you can do with a plyo box; in fact, these platforms can make just about any move more heart-pumping or hard-core. “Each rep forces your body to recruit more muscles to either catch air or sink lower into exercises like squats,” says trainer Adam Kant, the founder of Intrepid Gym in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Keep scrolling to try Kant’s incinerating box jump workout circuit—aim to do it four times through—and take your body to the next level. (Then try these other plyo box exercises that aren’t box jumps.)
Power Pistol Squat
Targets: butt and legs
- Stand facing box with elbows bent by sides. Step onto box with right foot so that it’s close to left edge with left leg slightly in front of you alongside box.
- Slowly bend right knee 90 degrees, lowering left heel toward floor, tapping down if possible; extend arms forward to counterbalance.
- Return to standing and quickly step back to start. (Related: Why Mastering a Single-Leg Squat Should Be Your Next Fitness Goal After Rocking This Box Jump Workout)
Do 14 reps; switch sides and repeat.
Targets: shoulders, chest, biceps, and abs
- Start on floor in full plank position, left palm on floor, right palm atop box near left edge.
- Do a push-up, lowering chest toward floor, then pressing up to start.
- Walk hands and feet to right, placing right palm near right edge of box, left palm near left edge and stepping feet toward right.
- Do a push-up atop box, then walk hands and feet to right again so that left palm is near right edge of box and right palm is on floor.
- Do a push-up to complete 1 rep.
Do 3 reps total.
Targets: shoulders, triceps, and abs
- Sit on front edge of box, palms resting on box on either side of hips. Straighten arms and shift hips forward to just in front of seat with knees bent, heels on floor.
- Bend elbows 90 degrees behind you, lowering hips toward floor as you bring left knee toward chest.
- Straighten arms, lowering left leg to floor; switch sides and repeat to complete 1 rep.
- Make it harder: Start with legs extended, heels on floor, and lift left leg parallel to floor.
Do 14 reps.
- Sit on box, arms by sides.
- Balancing on butt and bringing arms slightly out to sides, palms up, lean torso back 45 degrees and extend legs forward so that body forms almost a straight line.
- Crunch up, bringing knees in toward chest as you reach arms forward.
- Return to reclining position and repeat.
- Make it easier: Keep palms flat on box. (Related: The Best Easy Abs Workout for Women)
Do 14 reps.
Decline Side Plank
Targets: shoulders, abs, and butt
- Start in side plank position on floor, torso propped up on right forearm, feet stacked left over right atop box with hips lifted off floor.
- Make it harder: Lift left leg off box as you hold plank.
Hold for 30 seconds; switch sides and repeat.
Burpee Box Jump
Targets: arms, abs, butt, and legs
- Stand behind box and squat, placing palms shoulder-width apart on floor in front of feet.
- Jump feet back into full plank position.
- Quickly jump both feet forward near hands.
- From squat position, jump onto box (step closer to box first if necessary).
- Jump back down from box and repeat the box jump workout move from the beginning.
Do 14 reps.
- By Sara Angle and Jenna Autuori-Dedic
How To Do Box Jumps
When House Of Pain exhorted the world to jump around, jump around, jump around, jump up, jump up, and indeed get down, they were almost certainly not lauding the benefits of adding plyometric exercises to your training regime. But that doesn’t stop the song being great workout advice.
Throwing a few jumps into your workout builds speed and strength, and is especially useful for people hitting the gym to improve their performance in sports. Plus, jumping as high or as far as you can is also fun and a great way to break any monotony that has crept into your workouts.
The box jump is a plyometric move that strengthens your main lower-body muscles – glutes, quads, calves and hamstrings. Box jumps will help make you faster, more powerful and springier than ever, and if you do them for more than a few seconds, they’ll raise your heart rate and burn calories like nobody’s business.
It’s a versatile move, too. “The beauty of box jumps is that you can adjust the height of the box so you can use it for a wide variety of fitness goals,”says personal trainer Joe Spraggan. “ So you can build explosive power and speed using a high box for low reps, or use a lower height to work on foot speed and improve cardio endurance with higher-rep sets. They can also be used, after a proper warm-up, as a great way to fire up your central nervous system ahead of a big legs session.”
“To build explosive power use a higher box and focus on quality reps over quantity. Do up to five sets of five reps – resting for three to five minutes between them – but stop as soon as your form fails,” says Spraggan. “To burn fat and build cardio endurance, use a lower box and do three to four sets of up to 20 reps, resting for up to 60 seconds.”
First things first: find yourself a box. Start with a height of around 50cm while you work on getting the form right. Smashing your shins into the top of the box because you’ve aimed too high is no-one’s idea of fun.
Stand in front of the box with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend into a quarter squat and swing your arms back, then swing them forward and explode up off the ground. Land on the box as softly as possible. You’re aiming to mimic your take-off position on landing – feet flat and knees slightly bent (don’t let them collapse inwards). If you land in a deep squat rather than a quarter squat, it’s a sign that you’ve picked too high a box.
Then jump back down. Again, you’re aiming to land as softly as possible. You can also opt to step down slowly one leg at a time, which will work the glutes even more and safeguard your joints.
To build power with box jumps aim for one to three sets of three to five reps, using as high a box as you can jump on without sacrificing good form.
To use box jumps for conditioning lower the height of the box. Try jumping up and down continuously for five minutes, maintaining good form throughout. You can also build them into a HIIT workout, as your heart rate will rocket if you keep jumping. For the ultimate challenge try doing box jumps until you can remember the name of another House Of Pain song.
If you’re going to use box jumps to improve your power output, make sure you limit the number of reps you perform each set. Study subjects who did ten sets of two reps with a ten-second rest between sets demonstrated greater power production, take-off velocity and jump height than those who did two sets of ten reps with 90 seconds’ rest between efforts. If your aim is to develop power endurance then higher-rep sets may still be useful – but if it’s all-out power you want, keep it short and explosive.
Box Jump Variations
One-leg box jump
Halve the number of legs involved in the exercise and the box jump becomes a whole lot tougher. You can take off and land on one leg, or just land on both if it’s proving too tough. The one-legged version is especially good when training for sports involving running, or indeed just running – because unless you’re doing it wrong, you don’t land on two legs when running.
Rotational box jump
Box jumps with a twist, literally. Stand with the box by your side. Leap up and turn to face the box as you go, landing on both feet. Then step down from the box and repeat. Do all your reps facing one way, then turn to face the opposite direction and do your turning box jumps from that side. The rotation movement makes this an excellent exercise for anyone who does sports involving twists and turns of the torso, and it’s especially good for golfers looking for extra power in their swing.
Two-step box jump
Stand about a metre away from the box. Jump forwards once to get closer to the box and then go immediately into another jump up onto the box. This is a more challenging version of the box jump and it can be made even harder by starting further away from the box so you have to take a longer first jump. Don’t get too cocky with the size of your box when doing this variation, especially when you first try it, because it’s easy to go too far forwards with the second jump and rattle your shins on the way up.
Box jump burpee
For those who really want to turn this plyo move – or any exercise – into something that belongs in a house of pain, add a burpee. Because you’re dramatically upping the demands of the move, choose a lower box than usual – your legs are going to tire out quickly.
Once you’ve stepped off the box, drop into a squat, placing your hands on the floor outside of your feet. Jump your feet back and drop your chest to the floor. Reverse the move to standing and prepare for another box jump. If your pulse wasn’t going like a jackhammer before, it definitely will be after this.
Seated box jump
If you’re doing box jumps to build your explosiveness, consider adding this variation to your schedule, because starting from a seated position removes the benefit of the momentum and power generated by squatting before the leap. Set up a bench next to your box – we recommend starting with a box that’s the same height as the bench until you get used to the exercise. Sit down on the bench and swing your arms back behind you, then bring them through and jump onto the box. When you’re sitting facing the box for the first time this will feel like a very bizarre thing to attempt, but once you’re over the mental hurdle of your first jump you’ll quickly get a feel for it.
Weighted box jump
Don’t use a lot of weight. That’s the first thing to say, because you don’t want your body shape to be pulled out of position mid-jump. Use a weighted vest if you can, or hold a light dumbbell in each hand, then perform the exercise as normal. This is a good way to increase the difficulty of the exercise if you don’t have higher boxes.
How to do Box Jumps
- Stand in front of the box with feet directly under the hips and hands by your side.
- Lower yourself into the jumping position by bending at the knees and hips. Keep your head up and back straight.
- Explosively jump from the crouched position whilst swinging the arms.
- Land softly on the centre of the platform absorbing the impact with your legs.
- Stand tall.
- Return to starting position by either jumping backwards off the box, or by stepping down and repeat the movement.
- If you’re not using a commercial plyo box, make sure that your choice of platform is sturdy enough to withstand the rigours of continuous, high-impact jumps.
- Add plyo box jumps into your routine early while you’re still fresh, prior to strength training.
- Cease the exercise when form and speed are compromised.
- Work towards minimal contact time with the box
Box Jump Guide
The box jump is a classic plyometric exercise that demands coordination, accuracy, agility and balance.
The exercise will strengthen and tone the lower body, increase vertical jump height and develop your power output.
Beginning box jumps
When just starting out with box jumps it’s important to start with lower heights and increase as you progress. Going too high, too soon results in very painful scraped shins!
- Start with a platform height that you can comfortably jump onto.
- Instead of jumping up, step up to the box.
Advanced Box Jumps
As you become stronger and your vertical jump height increases you can increase the height of the box to maintain improvement and continuous challenge.
Try the following techniques for more advanced box jump exercises:
- Increase the height of the jump platform
- Wear a weighted vest for intense weighted box jumps
- Increase the distance between your starting position and the box for a longer jump.
- Land in a deep squat and immediately jump back from the platform in one flowing, controlled movement.
- Use resistance bands to add intensity to the exercise. The higher you get from the ground the more resistance is applied by the band.
As an advanced alternative to standard box jumps you can try the following:
- Side box jumps, in which you jump sideways on to the box platform.
- Depth jumping – dropping from a lower platform first and exploding upward to the main plyo-box.
- Box Jump Burpees – combining the all encompassing burpee exercise with a box jump for maximum effectiveness and exercise intensity (see standard burpee exercise).
Incorporating Box Jumps into your Workout
Below we outline two different approaches to integrating box jumps into your existing routine.
- Isolated box jump training – adding the exercise at the very beginning of your workout or as a dedicated additional session.
- Complex training (combination of traditional strength and plyometric exercises together) – adding box jumps as a paired exercise to complement your strength training exercise i.e. Squats followed by squat jumps.
The 9 Best Plyo Boxes
Power. It’s the combination of strength and speed, and it’s absolutely integral to performing at your best during any kind of athletic endeavour. Those who understand that power is the name of the game when it comes to athletic ability also understand that plyometric training is undoubtedly the most popular and effective way of developing it.
Plyometric exercises are easy to build into your home workouts, and require nothing but your bodyweight and a bit of free floor space. For that reason, plyometrics usually make up a large part of crossfit workouts, which are great for people with little time, like busy moms and dads. Some of the best and most effective plyometric training techniques, however, incorporate not only your bodyweight, but gravity as well. And the best way to bring gravity into your workouts is to use a plyometric box (or plyo box for short).
That said, there’s a broad range of plyo boxes out there, and deciding which is the best fit for you is not always straightforward.
So, we’re here to help.
We’ve taken a good look at the best plyo boxes currently on the market and reviewed them below in order to help you make the best decision on which to add to your home gym. To make things easy, we’ve broken the reviews up into the general categories that different plyo boxes fall under: Multi-sided boxes; traditional boxes; and adjustable boxes. And because we want to help you get the most out of your plyo box(es), we’ve also included a sample of exercises that’ll get you on your way to developing some serious power.
Best Plyo Boxes At a Glance
Best Multi-Sided Plyo Box
Rogue Games Box
Trusted for use in the CrossFit games, this CNC-machined plywood box is the best there is. It’s a 3-in-1 box with 20″, 24″, and 30″ sides, meaning you get a quality plyo box that can grow as you do.
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Best Traditional Plyo Box
Rogue Original Wood Box
Rogue’s traditional plyo box is the best option for those who want something cheaper and simpler. It’s quick and easy to assemble, with size options ranging from 12″ – 24″ tall.
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Best Adjustable Plyo Box
Stamina X Adjustable Box
This sturdy 4-in-1 plyo box is perfect if you’re looking for reliability and versatility. With height options from 12″ – 24″, you can also fold it flat for easy storage.
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Best Multi-Sided Plyo Box
Best Multi-Sided Plyo Boxes
Multi-sided plyo boxes are great because you essentially get 3 plyo boxes in the 1 piece of equipment (that’s why they’re also called 3-in-1 plyo boxes). Their shape makes them extremely adaptable as you’ve got a different height to work with depending on which of its sides you have it sitting on. It’s for this reason that they also tend to be more expensive than traditional and adjustable plyo boxes. They’re plyo boxes that’ll grow with you, which is why they’re great for people that are new to plyometrics and are aiming to build up to more demanding exercises over time.
All of our top multi-sided plyo boxes are made from ply wood. They’re shipped flat-packed (some have the option of being shipped assembled, which is more expensive) and you’ll need to assemble them. They screw together, and the only tool you’ll need is a Philips head screwdriver, however it’ll be much quick and easier with a power drill. It’s also a good idea to use wood glue as well as the screws, but this isn’t absolutely necessary.
Here are our top 3 multi-sided plyo boxes:
#1 Rogue Games Box
Do you know why it’s called the ‘Games Box’?
Because it’s the multi-sided plyo box that’s used in the official Crossfit games, and is made to Crossfit’s own specifications. If such a major event puts their trust in Rogue’s plyo box, then why shouldn’t we?
This box absolutely lives up to Rogue Fitness’ reputation for well-designed and crafted fitness equipment. As with all of their other original products, it’s designed and built in the USA, and they stand by it with a 1 year warranty, which is very good for a plyo box.
What you’ll get:
- A versatile 3-in-1 box that’s perfect for intense plyometric exercises regardless of your level of ability or experience
- CNC (computer numerical control) machined, 3/4″ plywood that fits together perfectly
- Rounded edges to save doing your shins too much damage if you don’t make a jump
- You can order it flat-packed or pre-built (pre-built costs $10 extra)
- Dimensions and weight – 20″ x 24″ x 30″ | 56 lbs (25.4 kgs)
If you buy it flat-packed, you’ll have to assemble it. It comes with a pack of wood screws, but it’s recommended that you also grab yourself some wood glue. Check out the video below from Rogue on how to assemble the Games Box if you decide to get it.
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#2 Titan Fitness 3-in-1 Plyo Boxes
The 3-in-1 plyo boxes from Titan Fitness come a close second to the Rogue Games Box. Ultimately, they’re very similar plyo boxes.
What are the similarities?
- CNC machined with puzzle joints for a perfect fit assembly
- Both come in a 20″ x 24″ x 30″ size option
- Edges are bevelled to prevent your shins from being hacked up if you miss a jump
- Titan’s plyo boxes also come with a 1-year warranty
What are the differences?
- Titan Fitness’ 3-in-1 plyo boxes are designed in the USA, but manufactured in China
- Titan’s 3-in-1 plyo boxes also come in smaller sizes – 16″ x 20″ x 24″, and 12″ x 14″ x 16″
- Titan Fitness’ plyo boxes don’t come pre-built; only flat-packed
Why go with the Titan 3-in-1 plyo boxes over the Rogue Games Box? If you’re after a large plyo box, you’ll save about $30 plus shipping (Titan Fitness bake their shipping into their prices) if you go with the Titan boxes. If you’re looking for smaller boxes, say for kids, step-ups, or just because you can’t consistently jump that high, then Titan’s smaller options are ideal. Also, even though Titan Fitness’ equipment is manufactured in China, it’s still good quality stuff.
Unlike Rogue, Titan Fitness don’t provide a video demonstration for assembling their flat-packed plyo boxes.
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#3 Rep Fitness 3-in-1 Wood Plyo Boxes
Do you want even more size options for your plyo workouts? Then the 3-in-1 plyo boxes from Rep Fitness are what you’re looking for.
If you’re thinking that these plyo boxes look the same as the ones above, then you’re absolutely right; they pretty much are the same. They’re all made from 3/4″ plywood, are CNC machined with puzzle joints, have internal bracing for extra strength, and have bevelled edges to make them more safe (and less painful when you make a mistake…)
So, why go with the Rep 3-in-1 plyo boxes? The main reason is the range of sizes that you can get:
If you want a couple of small boxes for kids or youth, or to do plyometric pushups, or maybe just short step-ups, then the smaller sizes will be great.
Unlike the Rogue Games Box (but like the Titan Fitness boxes), these don’t have a pre-built option. You will have to assemble them yourself, which is very easy to do and should take no more than 10 – 15 minutes.
Rep Fitness also have an assembly video, which you’ll find below
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So, that’s our 3 best multi-sided plyo boxes on the market this year. Any one of them will help you incorporate a solid plyometrics routine into your home workouts, and develop the power you need to perform at your physical best. If you’re good with your hands and don’t want to purchase a 3-in-1 box, then you can follow this guide to making your own at home.
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Best Traditional Plyo Boxes
Unlike the multi-sided boxes above, traditional plyo boxes have a single usable surface. This means that one box provides one height to work with. Also, this type of plyo box is often trapezoid in shape (wider base, narrower top) with the reason being that it’s a safer design. When you’re performing box jumps, if you ‘miss’ on a jump (fail to jump high enough) you can catch your shins on the lip of the jumping surface, which usually then causes you to fall forward and grate your shins down the edge of the box. This is how many plyometrics enthusiasts end up with badly bloodied shins. The trapezoid shape makes this kind of accident less likely.
Here are our 3 best traditional plyo boxes:
#1 Rogue Original Wood Plyo Box
Again, these are the traditional plyo boxes used at the Crossfit games (well, the 20″ and 24″ ones anyway). If you purchase one of these, you’re looking at pretty much the same deal as the multi-sided Games Box, but you’ll only have one height per box:
- CNC machined with puzzle joints
- Smoothed edges around the jumping surface for extra safety
- Assembly necessary (you can’t get these pre-built)
Unlike the multi-sided Games Box, these traditional boxes come in 4 different sizes: 12″, 18″, 20″, and 24″
There’s also a nifty little 4″ booster box that can be used to give the 24″ plyo box a bit of extra height.
If you’re looking for a rock-solid traditional plyo box, designed and manufactured in the US, and trusted by the pre-eminent CrossFit event, then the Rogue Original Wood Plyo Boxes are your only option.
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#2 OneFitWonder Traditional Plyo Boxes
Again, Fringe Sport’s OneFitWonder traditional plyo boxes are very very similar to Rogue’s. They’re made from basically the same material, in basically the same way (although not made in USA), and require essentially the same assembly process.
So, why get them over the Rogues? Fringe’s traditional plyo boxes have a 30″ box for all you hardcore box jumpers. The smaller sized boxes are also slightly cheaper than Rogue’s, even with the free shipping. That said, the 24″ is about the same price once you factor in Rogue’s shipping costs.
Another to the OneFitWonder boxes is that they can be shipped pre-built, which will suit anyone who doesn’t have the tools, skills, or inclination to assemble the box themselves (even though it really is quite easy to do).
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#3 Titan Fitness Plyometric Box
Now we’re looking at some equipment that’s a little different!
The Titan Fitness plyometric box has a steel frame, and is definitely built to withstand whatever kind of beating you can give it. Even though most wood plyo boxes are very sturdy, there’s nothing quite like the solid feel of metal to know that you’re not going to have to worry about breaking your equipment.
The steel frame has an open design so that you can nest the different sized boxes if you want. The three sizes available are 12″, 18″, and 24″.
Why get these over the Rogue or Fringe boxes?
- Steel frame construction means extra strength
- Ability to nest the different sized boxes, which will save storage space in your home gym
- No assembly required
- They’re significantly less expensive
Although the jumping surface on these boxes has a non-slip surface, the metal base will slide if you use these on hardwood, smooth concrete, or any other naturally slick surface. If you are planning to use these on this kind of surface, we recommend getting some protective foam flooring to prevent damage to your floors, and prevent the box slipping during use.
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If you’re looking for a good quality traditional plyo box, then you can’t go wrong with any of the 3 above. If safety is a concern for you, then make sure you go with a trapezoid box, and start with a low, manageable height. This will help ensure that you don’t miss on your box jumps are all successful, you don’t wreck your shins and potentially ruin plyometric exercises for yourself.
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Best Adjustable Plyo Boxes
Adjustable plyo boxes combine the good parts of multi-sided and traditional boxes; you get varying box heights in the single piece of equipment, and they tend not to take up too much room. Therefore they’re perfect for people looking to develop their plyometric exercises but who don’t have a very large home workout space.
They do have drawbacks though: they tend not to be trapezoids, meaning that if you miss your jump, you’re likely to have very sore shins as a result. They’re also most often made from metal, which only makes missing a jump even more perilous.
This doesn’t need to be a serious issue, as long as you start out using them at their lowest height, and gradually work your way up.
Check out our top 3 adjustable boxes below:
#1 Stamina X Adjustable Height Plyo Box
This is probably the most expensive plyo box on the market, but boy is it a good one. Stamina Products make good quality home fitness equipment, and this adjustable plyo box is a great example of that.
What you’ll get:
- A 12″, 16″, 20″ and 24″ box in the one piece of equipment
- Easy-to-use adjustment mechanism. With the box laying flat on the jumping surface, you just need to pull the pin, fold down the guard, and adjust the legs to the desired height
- 27″ x 19″ jumping surface | 52 lbs (23.5 kgs) total weight
- Heavy-duty steel construction means it’ll take whatever abuse you can throw at it
- Plyometric workout guide included
This bad boy comes already built, so there’s no assembly necessary. Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s also an investment in a great piece of plyometric equipment.
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#2 Titan Fitness Adjustable Plyo Box
As you can see, the Titan Adjustable Plyo Box is very similar to the Stamina X above. Let’s take a look at how they’re similar, and how they’re different:
What are the similarities?
- Heavy-duty steel frame – weighs in at 50 lbs (22.6 kgs; only slightly less than the Stamina X)
- Non-slip jumping surface
- Identical pin-release locking mechanism
- 12″, 16″, 20″ and 24″ height variations
What are the differences?
- Less expensive than the Stamina X, even when at full price (by $20 – $50)
- Smaller jumping surface: 25″ x 15″ for the Titan vs 27″ x 17″ for the Stamina X
- No plyometric workout guide included
So, all-in-all they’re not terribly different pieces of equipment. Although the Titan isn’t much smaller than the Stamina, it’s footprint will save you a couple of inches, which might be handy if you have a particularly small home gym. Also, you’re not getting a workout guide with the Titan, but that shouldn’t matter too much considering how easy it is to find good plyo exercises on the net (including at the bottom of this article).
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#3 Rep Fitness Adjustable Plyo Box
And last on our list, but certainly not least is this fairly unique adjustable plyo box from Rep Fitness. Due to it’s design, with all four legs locking into place, this adjustable plyo box is lighter than the two above (40 lbs; 18.1 kgs), yet stronger. It has a maximum capacity of 400 lbs compared to 300 lbs for the Titan and Stamina X.
That said, it’s also smaller and less adjustable. The jumping surface is 16″ x 16″, which means that you have less room for error when doing box jumps. Also, with the amount of screws sticking out of the sides on this little baby, you really don’t want to miss on a box jump and fall forward on to it. Furthermore, it only has 3 height adjustments: 16″, 20″ and 24″, making it somewhat less versatile than it’s counterparts above.
Owing to the fact that it’s smaller, lighter, less versatile and requires assembly, this adjustable plyo box is the least expensive of the three (it’s usually in the vicinity of $110 – $120). Word to the wise: this thing has a lot of screws, many of which require an adjustable wrench to tighten. Rep Fitness recommend setting aside 45 minutes to assemble this plyo box, however you should actually be able to get it done in more like 20.
Overall, it’s good choice for those looking for a smaller, lighter, yet still rock solid adjustable plyo box.
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So, there you have it – the 9 best plyo boxes money can buy. If you’re looking to develop greater power, strength, speed, and agility, as well as build muscle, or you’re just looking to add some fun and challenging variation to your home workouts, then plyometric exercises are a fantastic option. And, having a good plyo box in your arsenal of home exercise equipment (and using it regularly) will ensure you’re getting the most out of your plyometric workouts.
Now, if you’ve got yourself a plyo box and are unsure where to start, or you simply want to find some new exercises to add to your list, then check out the section below.
Great Plyo Box Exercises
Ok, now that you’ve:
- Read through the list of best plyo boxes
- Found the one(s) that suits you and your circumstances / athletic ability
- Taken the plunge and bought it / them (and assembled if required)
It’s time to get training. Here are some great exercises you can do with your plyo box(es). We’ve separated them into beginner, intermediate and advanced exercises, so go ahead and try the ones that are best suited to your level of ability.
Beginner Plyo Box Exercises
If you’re brand new to plyo box exercises then you should start with one or more of these exercises. Do them for at least a couple of weeks to build up your ability and confidence before moving onto the more advanced exercises.
#1 Altitude Drops
Also called a “drop and freeze”, this exercise is a foundation for almost all plyo box exercises. It’s very simple:
Standing on the box, place one foot out and step off the box. Try to drop from the exact height of the box. Land on both feet with on the ground and immediately stop any further downward motion.
You want to start off with a box that is 20″ or less. As you get more comfortable with the exercise, you can increase the height. The freezing action as you land will help to build eccentric strength and develop control in the landing of all of your plyometric exercises.
#2 Step Ups
Step ups, are a fantastic exercise to start developing real strength and explosive power through your legs. Again, if you’re new to plyometrics, you want to begin with a short box for this exercise – 12″ will be perfect.
Start with one foot on the box, and the other on the floor. Then, push off with the foot on the box to launch yourself into the air. Land with the same foot on top of the box and push off again. Use a double-arm swing for height and balance.
Not only will these help build strength and power, they’re also a good cardio exercise that really gets the heart and lungs working.
#3 Box Jumps
The box jump is what plyo boxes are all about right? This is a great exercise to properly train your leg muscles in correct jumping mechanics. This is the exercise that shreds the shins of those who try to do too much, so a 12″ box is the max height that you should be starting with.
Stand on the ground with feet either shoulder or hip-width apart. Using the double-arm swing jump from the ground onto the box, making sure your feet spacing stays even, and you land with both feet on the box at the same time.
The progressions of this exercise can be fun and extremely challenging. Just make sure you build a solid foundation first, because you really don’t want to miss on a box jump.
Intermediate Plyo Box Exercises
Once you’ve got a good few weeks of the beginner exercises under your belt, try moving onto these intermediate exercises.
#1 Depth Jumps
Depth jumps are the original plyometric exercise. They use ground reaction forces, which are key to developing explosive jumping power. Ground reaction forces occur when you use gravity to impose force against the ground, and then use the strength and power of your legs to overcome this force. Start with a 12″ box:
Stand on the box, with toes close to the front edge. Step from the box and drop to land on both feet like you do with an altitude drop. As soon as you land, spring back up as quickly as you can and jump into the air. When you step from the box, try not to let your heels touch the ground, stop yourself from settling into the landing, and make your contact with the ground as short as possible.
Depth jumps can be stressful on your body, so do a maximum of 30 on any one day, and make sure you have at least one rest day in between workouts that include this exercise.
#2 Side to Side Box Jumps
This is a box jump drill that’s great for building up your ground reaction time, which will translate into better agility. No matter what level of experience you have, this exercise is really only suitable for short boxes (12″ or less).
Stand beside your plyo box with feet shoulder-width apart. Start by jumping onto the box and then back onto the ground on the other side, then immediately back onto the box. Continue to jump side-to-side across the top of the box for an set amount of time; each touch on top of the box counts as one rep.
When first beginning, only go for 30 seconds. Gradually try to work your way up to 90 seconds without stopping. Getting better at reacting to the ground force is the name of the game with this drill. Something that can help you react as quickly as possible is to imagine the floor is lava, and you want to spend as little time as possible on it.
#3 Alternating Step Ups
This exercise is a more advanced variation on the Step Ups shown above.
Start with one foot on the box, and the other on the floor. Push off with the foot on the box to launch yourself into the air. This time, land with the opposite foot on top of the box and immediately push off again with this foot. Use a double-arm swing for height and balance.
Again, this is great exercise for building strength and power, as well as improving your coordination.
Advanced Plyo Box Exercises
Once you’re really comfortable with the beginner and intermediate exercises above, try these plyo box exercises to add some serious difficulty to your workouts.
#1 Single-Leg Depth Jumps
The single-leg depth jump is exactly what it sounds like – a one-legged variation on the depth jump shown above. You can do this with any box up to 24″.
Stand on your box, with your toes close to the edge. Step off the box and land on one foot – the same one you stepped off with. Then jump as high as possible, landing back on the same foot. Keep your contact with the ground as short as possible. For added difficulty, jump to a second box after the jump.
Just like regular depth jumps, this variation can really take it’s toll on your body, so maintain the same 30 per day limit, and make sure you have a day between doing these for sufficient recovery. Do not try this exercise if you’re a beginner, especially the two-box variation.
#2 Depth Jump to 180 Box Jump
This is a simple combination of the depth jump and the box jump, but it actually takes real power to do it well multiple times. You can use two boxes of the same height, just make sure they’re not too high to begin with. You can also do this from a lower box to a higher box.
Stand on the first box with your toes close to the edge. Step off with one foot, and land with both feet as you do with a depth jump. Immediately launch yourself up onto the second box, as you do with a regular box jump. Step down and repeat.
If you only have one box, you can do a 180 degree turn after the depth jump and box jump back onto the same box. This is not an easy move, so you should get used to doing the 180 degree turn just on the ground before trying it back onto the box.
#3 Pyramid Box Jumps
This is exercise is in the same vein as the side-to-side box jumps, and is great for improving your agility via better ground force reaction. Use between three and five boxes of evenly increasing height (e.g., 12″, 16″, 20″, etc.)
Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart in front of the lowest box. Jump onto the first box, then off on the other side, onto the second box, then off, and so on down the line. After finishing the sequence, walk back to the start for recovery, or immediately hop back down the row of boxes.
By the time you’ve gotten to the third box, you’ll generally have lost some of the springiness in your legs, which puts you at greater risk of ‘missing’ your subsequent jumps. Therefore, start with just the three boxes and gradually build up to the five box sequence.
Well, there you have it. Thanks for reading our review of the 9 best plyo boxes for your home workouts, as well as taking a look at some of our recommended plyometric exercises. A good plyo box is extremely valuable for a good plyo workout, and a good plyo workout is extremely valuable for building some killer athletic power.
If you found the article valuable, why not share it with your friends on social media?
As always, best of luck with your home workouts. Remember: When it comes to our health and fitness, we can make excuses or make the effort, but we can’t make both.
THFF (The Home Fit Freak)
How To Do Jump Squats Properly? Benefits And Types Charushila Biswas Hyderabd040-395603080 December 23, 2019
Jump squats are the power-packed HIIT version of squats. They are also known as squat jumps. This exercise works on your glutes, lower abs, and leg muscles. Squat jumps and their variations help shed fat from the lower body, tone your butt and legs, and improve strength and balance (1), (2), (3). This article tells you how to do jump squats properly, their benefits, and their types. Read on!
Table Of Contents
How To Do Jump Squats Properly
To begin, stand in front of a full-length mirror. Bend your knees a little, making sure that your spine remains upright.
Step By Step Guide To Do Jump Squats
- Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, hands by your side, chest up, shoulders rolled back, chin up, and look ahead.
- Push your buttocks out, bend your knees, and squat down or assume a sitting position. Your knees should not overshoot your toes. Bend slightly forward to prevent your lower back from curving and getting hurt.
- Bring your palms together as you squat down.
- While getting up, propel your body upwards and jump. Throw your hands down to generate force.
- Land gently on the floor and squat down. Bring your palms together, making sure your knees are not caved in (this causes injury) and not overshooting your toes.
- Do 3-sets of 15 repetitions each.
Adding jump squats to your leg and glutes day can help you reap the benefits listed in the next section.
Jump Squat Benefits
Jump squats have a variety of health benefits. They help build and tone the calves, glutes, hamstrings, core, and quadriceps. They have other benefits as well. We have listed some important ones here.
1. Burns Calories And Fat
Doing 30 jump squats burns about 100 calories, depending on your current weight and intensity of the exercise. Many women tend to accumulate fat in the lower body, which is linked to many health issues. Adding jump squats to your routine will help burn calories and shed fat from the lower body.
2. Tones The Butt, Legs, And Ab Muscles
Jump squats are a plyometric version of normal squats. This high-intensity exercise helps tone the leg and butt muscles.
3. Maintain Mobility And Balance
Mobility and balance are crucial for movement, day-to-day tasks, and a better quality of life. Jumping not only increases mobility but also improves balance. As you get older, your leg strength decreases. Squats can help curb the natural weakening of these muscle groups. They help maintain motor balance and help improve brain-to-muscle communication.
Note: Avoid doing jump squats if you have a leg injury or are recovering from one.
4. Boosts Sports Performance
Scientific studies have concluded that squatting could help athletes perform better, specifically in endurance exercises (2). This is why jump squats are a part of most athletic training sessions.
5. Improves Health
Exercising has many health benefits. It helps improve glucose regulation, lipid metabolism, and insulin sensitivity (4), (5). High-intensity cardio exercises like jump squats help reduce the risk of heart disease, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes (6).
6. Help With Waste Removal
Jump squats are a cardio exercise that improves body fluid circulation and increases sweating. These two actions help deliver nutrients to tissues, organs, and glands, and remove waste from the body (7).
Apart from regular jump squats, here are a few variations or other types of jump squats to improve your muscle tone, mobility, and balance.
Types Of Squat Jumps
1. Weighted Squats
- Hold a pair of dumbbells while keeping your elbows bent and palms facing each other. Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Squat down.
- Launch your body upwards. Lift your hands above your head as you jump in the air.
- Try to land in the same position. Bring your arms back to the starting position.
- Do 2-3 sets of 15 repetitions each.
2. Box Jump Squats
- Place a stable table or exercise box about 1-2 feet away from you.
- Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, shoulders rolled back, and chest and chin up.
- Squat down a little to propel your body into a jump.
- Land on the box, squat, and jump back down on the floor.
3. Single Leg Jump Squats
- Stretch one leg out in the front.
- Stretch your hands in the front, too.
- Squat as low as you can.
- You can use a piece of furniture for balance.
4. Frog Squats
- You need to do these the same way you do burpees.
- As you squat down, jump and land on your feet with your hands in the front.
- Jump back up and repeat.
- Continue to stretch down and back up similar to the way you do burpees.
5. Jumping Jack Squats
- Start doing jumping jacks.
- As your arms go down, squat down.
- As your arms go up, your body should squat up.
6. Prisoner Squats
- Keep your hands behind your head.
- Push your hips back while you bend.
- Keep your shoulders and arms straight.
- Lower your body and squat.
7. Bicep Curl Squats
- Perform any of the above squats with weights.
- Use weights that you can lift comfortably. Always make sure that you can maintain proper balance without the weights. That way, you won’t hurt yourself when doing any of these squats with weights.
8. Uneven Squats
- Place a plank at a little height to perform this squat jump exercise.
- Place one foot on the floor and the other on the plank.
- Do your regular squats.
- Make sure that you balance your weight evenly.
- Do not stress the knee when you are jumping up and squatting down.
- If you have any problem doing this, do not attempt this squat.
9. Wall Squats
These are regular squats done against a wall.
- Do the regular squats, but instead of pushing your hips out, make sure that your back is straight against a wall.
- Do not bend lest you hurt yourself.
- Repeat without sliding up and down the wall.
10. Regular Squats
- Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart.
- With your feet firmly on the ground, push your hips out while lowering yourself slowly.
- Make sure that your toes are pointing forward, knees are in the front, and your head and shoulders are straight.
- Rise slowly.
- Repeat the same.
11. Monkey Squats
- Stand with your legs a little wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Reach for one knee or toe (depending on how flexible you are) as you lower into a squat.
- Holding the toe, squat as low as you can.
- Slowly rise and release the toe.
- Make sure that you never pull or push the toe or knee.
12. Sumo Squats
- Keep your feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart.
- Make sure that your feet are not so far apart that you lose your balance.
- Hold a heavy weight with both your hands and perform a squat.
- Remember to keep your upper body straight as you bend your knees.
- Lower yourself as much as you can.
There you go – a simple and easy guide to do jump squats properly along with their benefits and variations. Do these at home, and you will certainly see a difference in your muscle tone and fitness. Cheers!
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
Do squats make your butt bigger?
Squats and proper nutrition can help make your butt more shapely and rounder. Here’s a list of foods, exercises, and tips to get a bigger butt.
Are jump squats safe?
Yes, jump squats are safe. Make sure you wear good shoes. Avoid jump squats if you have a leg injury or are recovering from an injury or surgery.
Do jump squats slim your thighs?
Just doing jump squats will not help you get slim thighs. You must take care of what you eat and do cardio 3 days a week and strength training twice a week. Here are a few thigh slimming exercises you can do.
Are jump squats bad for knees?
Jump squats can injure your knees if you land hard, do not wear shoes that have shock-absorbing properties, or if your posture is bad. Your knees should not overshoot your toes and they should point diagonally out.
What muscles do jump squats work?
Jump squats work on glutes, hamstrings, quads, lower abs, and calves.
Stylecraze has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.
- The Effects of Multiple Sets of Squats and Jump Squats on Mechanical Variables, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Jump-Squat and Half-Squat Exercises: Selective Influences on Speed-Power Performance of Elite Rugby Sevens Players, PloS One, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Power versus strength-power jump squat training: influence on the load-power relationship, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Exercise and type 2 diabetes: molecular mechanisms regulating glucose uptake in skeletal muscle, Advances in Physiology Education, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Exercise and Regulation of Lipid Metabolism, Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence, Canadian Medical Association Journal, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Exercise and renal function, Sports Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Malasana / Yoga Squat / Garland Pose – How To Do And What Are Its Benefits?
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Squat Jumps: How To Build Power With The Jumping Squat
We’ve waxed lyrical about the standard squat on many occasions and we’re about to do so again, because the squat is a foolproof way to strengthen your legs and glutes, as well as working your core muscles.
You could do squats for the rest of your life and it’d be time well spent, but to up the ante you should also consider the jump squat. Not only will adding in a jump spice up any training sessions that are starting to get dull, it also helps you build the explosive power that will be a boon in all of your sporting endeavours, while also increasing the cardiovascular demands of the exercise. Because of this ability to send your heart rate rocketing, the jump squat is a superb choice for HIIT sessions.
How To Do the Squat Jump
Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, toes pointing slightly outwards. Inhale as you lower your hips back and down gently into your standard squat, aiming to keep your thighs slightly higher than your knees. Then, exhale and explode into the air with as much power as you can, driving hard with your legs and pushing yourself further upwards with the balls of your feet. Your body should be poker-straight while you’re in the air, and your hands should be above your head – keep your core engaged to prevent your body from rotating. Land with your legs slightly bent before controlling your gentle descent back down into the squat position.
Squat Jump Variations
Squat box jump
Once you’ve mastered the jump squat you can take it up a level (quite literally) by jumping onto a platform like a box or bench. Stand facing a box, lower into a squat, then leap up and land softly on both feet. Pause for a second, then step back down. Use a box that’s around 50cm high while you get used to the exercise, then increase the height to up the challenge. For reference, the Guinness World Record for a standing jump is a truly remarkable 1.616m.
Weighted jump squat
You can also try doing jump squats while holding weights to increase the difficulty of the exercise, but keep it light – trying to leap up while holding massive dumbbells will probably pull your body out of position in the air. If you are struggling to remain in control, practise rocking on the balls of your feet as you come out of the squat rather than leaving the floor. This should help you get used to the movement and ensure you maintain your form in the full exercise.
Starting Position: Stand with your feet feet hip-width apart, arms by your sides, depressing and retracting your scapulae (pull shoulders down and back) without arching your low back, and “brace” (engage your abdominal / core muscles) to stiffen your spine.
Downward Phase: Begin your downward phase by first shifting your hips backwards then slowly moving downwards to create a hinge-like movement at your knees. Continue to lower yourself until your feel your heels about to lift off the floor. Try to maintain a flat back by bending forward at the hips, keep your head facing forward and position to your arms where comfortable or where they offer the greatest degree of balance support.
Jumping Movement: With ONLY a very brief pause at the bottom of your downward phase, explode upwards through your lower extremity, achieving triple extension (pushing and extending your ankles, knees and hips simultaneously). As you jump into the air, keep your feet level with each other and parallel with the floor.
Landing: The most important components of the landing phase are correct foot position and avoiding excessive forward movement in your lower extremity which places additional stresses upon your knees.
Attempt to land softly and quietly on the mid-foot, rolling backwards quickly towards the heels. Always push your hips backwards and drop them downwards to absorb the impacting forces associated with jumping. Avoid locking out your knees or quads on your landing as this may lead to potential knee injuries
Land with your trunk inclined slightly forward, head aligned with your spine and back rigid or flat. Keep your abdominal / core muscles engaged, stiffening your torso to protect your spine.
Exercise Variation: As you develop your jumping and landing skills, you can increase the exercise intensity and complexity by: (1) Driving your arms behind you during the downward phase (illustrated), (2) driving your arms forward and upward during the jumping phase (illustrated), or (3) driving your knees towards your chest during the jumping phase.
It is suggested, you first learn how to squat and land before attempting to jump. Once you have mastered the hip-hinge mechanism, begin with small jumps, but emphasize your landing mechanics. Only progress to more explosive jumps once you have mastered your landing mechanics.