The box jump is a very explosive movement that translates to multiple domains in the fitness world and sport in general. However, performing the box jump with proper technique can be underrated at times. Box jumps are often put in a workout for time or in an AMRAP, which automatically makes people perform them as fast as possible. There is nothing wrong with this concept but making sure speed doesn’t trump technique is very important. Understanding the purpose of the box jump will help people want to perform them correctly and actually help perform the box jump more efficiently. Whether coaching or performing the box jump, emphasis always needs to be focused on technique. Proper technique will help you be more safe, efficient, and explosive. In this video we talk about the proper technique when performing the box jump. The written portion of this article will focus more on why the box jump is such an important movement and help people understand why this movement should be in every fitness or strength and conditioning program.
The box jump translates to multiple domains because it focuses on hip extension and explosiveness. Some movements the box jump can translate to are snatch and the clean. If a person has an issue getting under the bar fast enough in these two movements, they usually relate it to them not being quick under the bar. Many times the main issue is that they don’t finish the pull by completely opening the hip at the top of the pull. This alone can make the difference in making and missing a lift. Have an athlete perform the box jump and emphasize opening the hip as they jump on the box. They will notice that they will land higher on the box due to more power being produced. The box jump can translate to multiple team sports as well. The box jump produces hip explosiveness and leg-drive, and can tremendously improve flexibility in the hamstrings and lower back. This can make the difference in getting a rebound in a basketball game or making a block in a football game.
Here are the key points when performing the box jump.
Loading for the Jump
- Foot position
The feet should be no wider than shoulder width in order to
produce as much vertical force.
- Hip position
Make sure the athlete pushes the hips back. This will ensure enable the athlete to use maximum power from the glutes and hamstrings, which will produce the highest jump.
The knees need to track outward over the second and third toes. This will help the athlete in engage the glutes and put the knees in the safest position.
The arms should be extended behind the hips
The arms need to punch through as the athlete jumps in order to produce the most power and help open the hips fully.
The glutes need to be squeezed as the athlete jumps to ensure the hips are fully extended.
- Hips and knees
Fully extended in order to produce full power of the jump.
The landing position should look exactly like the loading position. This will ensure the athlete lands in a safe position. The athlete should not be in a low squat. The hips should always be higher than the knees in the landing position.
Whether you are coaching the box jump or just working on improving it, these are some general, easy to use tips on technique that should always be used. If you are coaching the box jump or any movement for that matter; communicate to your athlete not only what to do but why.