So my sister Liz suggested that I write something about “how to improve” your box jumps. I am no CrossFit expert having just started the sport a mere four months ago but I do come from a gymnastics background where we did tons of plyometric drills. The plyometric drills we did in gymnastics consisted of jumping up and down rectangle mats that were various heights. Usually there would be six or seven mats in a row.
I have attached two links about how to do a proper box jump. One is a video demonstration and the other is a step-by-step guide. Below are a couple of things that I think about when performing box jumps:
- Try to keep your chest up when jumping onto the box. You do not want your chest bending down to your knees especially when you land. You should try to land with your chest as upright as possible.
- You only want a small bend in your knees before you begin the box jump. If you bend to parallel or a right angle (where the angle of the thigh and the calf makes a right or 90 degree angle) you have gone to far.
- When you begin the jump think about pushing all the way through to your feet. This means that you aren’t just using your thighs for power but you are pushing off with your thighs, calves, ankles and toes.
- You also want to think about landing softly on the box. You should not be landing like a pound of bricks. Think about how a cat would land. Today I did box jumps barefoot with no problem and it is because I land softly.
- In a lot of the videos I see people standing like a foot away from the box. I usually stand much closer then that but I think how far you stand from the box is mostly personal preference. You don’t want to be so close that when you bend your knees, they hit the box. You also don’t want to be so far away that you are using most of your energy just jumping towards the box and not up.
- Lastly, and I think this is what I do differently than most of the videos and guides that I have seen is that I do not let my arms swing above my head. I stop my arms just below my shoulders. I am very aggressive at getting my arms to this point though and I think doing it this ways helps you to rise. Plus, this was how I was taught in gymnastics.
I like this picture. I think she has pretty good form and this is about the level that I swing my arms to.
** I just want to point out one last time that I am not a CrossFit coach but that these are tips and tricks that help me when doing box jumps. P.S. Make sure you put as much energy into your first box jump as you do your last or you may end up the next box jump victim 😉