What Are Box Jumps? Tips, Technique, Correct Form, Benefits and Common Mistakes

Learn everything you need to know about box jumps.  (Image via Pexels/Cottonbro)
Learn everything you need to know about box jumps. (Image via Pexels/Cottonbro)

Get ready to hop around with box jumps if you're not afraid of a challenge and a little fun in your workouts.

If you follow any fitness accounts on YouTube or Instagram, you've probably seen some pretty incredible box jumps, with some athletes landing atop 50-inch-high stacks and jumping on a box.

Adding a few box jumps to your workout routine will increase your speed and strength. Jumping as high or as far as you can is also enjoyable and a good way to break up any monotony in your training.

This exercise can involve a single jump or sequence of jumps from any direction, in any direction, onto any height or shape platform. There are so many possibilities.

The box jump is a plyometric exercise that develops your glute muscles, quadriceps, calves, and hamstrings. Box jumps will help you become quicker, stronger, and more agile than ever before. If you execute them for more than a few seconds, they'll elevate your heart rate and burn calories.


Getting started with box jumps: Correct technique

Box jumps the right way.  (Image credits: Pexels/ Li sun)
Box jumps the right way. (Image credits: Pexels/ Li sun)

A commercially supplied plyo box, a solid bench, a chair, or another stable elevated surface can be used to perform box jumps. Just ensure that the box you use will not slide around or topple over if you kick it.

Box jumps are one of the most risk-free plyometric exercises available. However, they can still be done wrong. Poorly executed box leaps will give subpar results and may even result in harm.

If you're just getting started, start with a lower box or surface and work your way up from there.

Here is a step-by-step guide to performing box jumps correctly:

  • Prepare your box. It must be robust, stable, and untippable.
  • Take a few steps back from your box. The distance between your feet should be about shoulder-width. Keep your arms at your sides.
  • Swing your arms behind you as you descend into a quarter-depth squat.
  • Without pausing, smash your feet into the ground explosively, swing your arms forward for further momentum, and jump up and onto your box. Jump as high as you can.
  • Land lightly on top of your box, aiming for the middle with your feet. To cushion the impact of your landing, bend your legs.
  • Reset your starting point and repeat the process.

Benefits of box jumps: Why should you do them?

The box jump is a very helpful and effective exercise when done correctly. Check out some of its benefits below:

Benefits of box jumps.  (Image credits: Pexels/ Tima Miroshnichenko)
Benefits of box jumps. (Image credits: Pexels/ Tima Miroshnichenko)

1) Complete lower-body workout

This exercise will simultaneously target your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, abductors, adductors, and calves.

This makes it an ideal workout for developing lower-body power and strength. You'll also notice that this exercise requires you to use your core and arms often.


2) Improved athletic performance

One of the best things about box jumps is how easily they can be used to improve athletic performance.

Athletes in almost any sport or activity (basketball, football, and volleyball, to name a few) can improve their athletic performance by including box jumps into their workout program.


3) Effective squats

Box jumps improve explosiveness, power, and speed. These characteristics can help you squat for maximum benefits.

You'll be able to drive up and out of the bottom of your reps with more strength, using speed and momentum to push beyond your sticking areas. This should result in a stronger squat. Your deadlift form should have a similar effect.


4) Enhanced body balance

Not only do box jumps burn a lot of calories, but they also improve endurance, strength, and coordination. You train your body's stability and mobility at the same time.

You will be more flexible and agile if you improve these two aspects. This will also aid your balance, improve your range of motion, and increase your footspeed.


Common box jumps mistakes to avoid

Box jumps are becoming increasingly popular these days, but poor form or technique significantly lowers the exercise's effectiveness.

Box jumps tips to remember.  (Image credits: Pexels/ Cottonbro Studio)
Box jumps tips to remember. (Image credits: Pexels/ Cottonbro Studio)

With that in mind, here are some tips to help you avoid mistakes that may prevent you from reaching your full potential:

1) Choosing a box too high

One of the most common mistakes is to start with a box that is too high. For starters, failing to complete the activity can cause you to lose confidence. You're also more prone to kick or trip in the box, lose your balance, or scrape your shins.

If you've never done the exercise before, start with a small platform — 12 to 24-inches — to get used to it and ensure good technique.

If the jumps become too easy, you can level up to the next box height. Also, keep in mind that the box is really a tool, not a badge of honor.


2) Poor landing

The key to avoiding injuries, especially knee injuries, is landing the box jump correctly. Landing with one foot ahead of the other is a common blunder. When you land, look down to catch a bad foot placement.

Your feet should be about hip-distance apart, as they were when you first stepped off the ground.


3) Keep hips above your knees

This advice is applicable for both takeoff and landing.

A deep squat at the start saps your strength, while landing with your hips overly bent puts strain on your lower back.

Your box is too high if your hips are below your knees when you land.

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Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh