There are exercises we all love to hate, and, for many, box jumps are near (or at) the top of the list. It seems like a simple enough move — until you’re facing the box, wondering how in the world you’re going to propel yourself on top of something so high.
“Box jumps are hard for most of us for two reasons: fear and a lack of awareness and coordination in the body,” says Bergen Wheeler, national director of Core Fusion talent development for Exhale and co-creator of their Core Fusion Extreme class.
But with a few key tips and Wheeler’s step-by-step exercise progression below, you can work up to confidently leaping onto any box. “Box jumps are an incredible exercise,” she says. “They make you strong, they make you overcome your fears and they make you look really cool when you do them in front of your friends — you will be the envy of all of your friends and the gym or studio regulars!”
Key Pointers for Box Jumps
Wheeler says the keys to nailing box jumps are to:
- Jump on and off of the ground with both feet.
- Track your (bent) knees over your toes.
- Land with your feet flat, at least hips distance apart, with bent knees in a squat position.
- Use your arms to help lift you off the ground.
- Brace your core. (This is the most important step!)
Your Box Jump Training Program
Start with the first exercise (squat jumps), performing it every time you work out. “This should be done each time you set foot in the studio or gym. Incorporate it into your exercise regime,” Wheeler says. When you feel comfortable doing squat jumps, move onto the next exercise. Continue doing this, and soon you’ll be a box-jump master.