Box jumps are one of my favorite plyometric exercises. In addition to being great at training explosive power, they are also lots of fun. My clients love pushing themselves and seeing how high they can jump (safety being the number one priority of course). However, there are two main errors I see in the gym when performing them. Bring out the aloe folks, I’m about to cause a couple of sick burns…. I’ll explain my position for each of these points and you can make up your own mind.
- Stop jumping back down. All of your energy should be focused on exploding from the ground up to the box. After you’ve completed the task, simply step down. You can do this by either stepping down directly or placing a shorter box next to yours as a step. This will force you to slow down between reps, focusing on better technique and execution. It will also drastically reduce the risk of injury to your knees and ankles by eliminating excessive impact.
- Stop doing an insane number of reps. Again, the focus here is great technique but also know what you’re training for. Box jumps are NOT meant to be a conditioning exercise. Perform them in the 3-5 rep range and focus on quality reps every time. Any more than that and you’re simply making yourself tired for no reason and increasing your risk of injury. If you want to focus on cardio/conditioning, find a better exercise that’s easier on your joints!
I’m going to be totally honest with you and admit that I was once guilty of these errors when programming/performing box jumps. Learn from my mistakes and be better.
To your lifelong health and success,
-Demarco Crum, CPT