Box jumps – one heck of a plyometric exercise that can be added into virtually any circuit or interval workout. However, technique plays a huge role in affecting the level of effectiveness of this wonderful (and wonderfully simple) exercise.
Many people who do box jumps cheat a little bit. One of the fundamental components of the box jump is the hip extension and here’s where the cheaters cut the corner.
Take a look at the following sequence:
If you notice, the person doing the box jump doesn’t do a full hip extension when he lands on the box. A full extension can be reached either through completely standing up (hips over feet) at the top of the box or through a powerful leg/hip explosion off the box that causes the legs and hips to straighten out and extend.
To illustrate, take a look at another sequence:
The full hip extension is one of the most powerful movements that the human body is capable of. Many compound movements, such as the squat, deadlift, clean, or simply standing up or moving into a sprint from the starters position – all are based on the hip extension. As such, it is important to complete a box jump with a full hip extension and work those muscles to the max. Doing so will work the quads, hamstrings and glutes all that much more while increasing the energy requirements of the movement and causing increased cardiovascular stress.