Develop explosive lower body power and increase vertical jump height using box jumps or weighted box jumps.
- Primary Muscle: Quadriceps
- Secondary Muscle(s): Calves, Hamstrings
- Difficulty: Intermediate
- Also known as: Plyometric Jump, plyo jump, plyo box jump
- Equipment: Plyo Box
- Optional: Weighted Vest
View Box Jump guide
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.
Box Jump Variations
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.
Always consult your GP before undertaking any form of weight loss, fitness or exercise