Paleo Fitness Intermediate Power Move: The Box Jump
The box jump takes some of the impact out of jumping because you’re landing on an elevated surface. Although the box jump is a bit more forgiving than the broad jump, it’s equally challenging and offers its own unique benefits.
For one, the box jump helps you develop stand-still explosiveness — the ability to rapidly “turn it on.” Like the broad jump, the box jump helps you increase your natural rate of force production. The box jump is more of a vertical leap, whereas the broad jump is horizontal.
Simply put, you jump up with the box jump, and you jump out with the broad jump. The projection of force with the box jump is more like the snatch, while the broad jump is more like the swing.
When working the box jump, keep the box you’re using at or under 36 inches. Higher box jumps ultimately become more of a function of hip mobility than actual explosiveness, and the marginal benefits to be had from leaping to such heights don’t merit the additional risks.
The following steps walk you through the box jump:
1Set up slightly behind the box or surface you’re leaping onto, and assume your natural jumping stance. Initiate the jump by squatting slightly downward, taking a shallow dip.
Here’s one way the movement differs from the broad jump. When leaping upward, your take-off comes out of something more like a shallow dip than a hinge.
2Explode out of the dip, leaping up onto the box.
The goal is to stick the landing softly, like a cat, with some knee bend and both feet landing simultaneously. Essentially, you should land in almost the exact some position you took off from. If you’re landing in a very deep squat, you’re probably using too high of a box.
3Step — don’t jump — down from the box.
Jumping down from the box has little benefit and can cause injury.