The next time you're at the gym, elevate your workout with box jumps. A popular exercise among athletes and in CrossFit workouts, box jumps test speed and agility while also increasing your heart rate. To do this plyometric exercise, all you need is a box (solid or padded) or an elevated platform. Depending on your fitness level and goals, use a single box to improve your agility or stagger boxes for obstacle-testing efficiency. Before you get jumping, keep these tips in mind:
- Consider your box height: First things first, consider the height of the box. On average, most boxes are between 12 and 24 inches. If you're solely testing your vertical ability or doing a singular jump, a taller box is appropriate. But if you're testing speed or creating a course, consider smaller boxes or staggering those of different heights. Remember, you can also work your way up. Always start lower to prevent injury and get comfortable with the movement.
- Create a workout for your goals: Your goals should determine how and what type of box jumps you do. If you're starting out, you may only focus on the "jump," then step down. If you're looking for a cardio workout, do several jumps in a row. To improve your balance, try jumping with one leg.
- Use your entire body: Although jumps are primarily a lower body move, they do work your entire body. Use your starting position to set up the entire movement: engage your core, bend at the knees, and allow your arms to provide you with momentum. Relying on your entire body will affect your stance and help you stay light on your feet.