Don’t be surprised if you find yourself enjoying this exercise. Box jumps are one of the more fun movements that can bring you back to your childhood days. Even more than just being fun, box jumps are an excellent way to help increase strength, stability, mobility, and coordination. Box jumps are also a great exercise for improving your explosiveness, which is going to have carry over benefits for your Olympic lifts. Elevating a barbell off the ground has a very similar movement pattern to doing a box jump, so it’s a great way to warm up for your Olympic lifting, whether you’re doing a clean or a snatch. Noah typically does a few box jump reps prior to lifting to get those explosive muscles firing.
CrossFit Games athlete Noah Ohlsen shares his tips for gaining more confidence with box jumps and how he recovers from them.
Scaling Tips | Box Jumps
If you’re not completely confident in doing box jumps, here are a few suggestions to help you scale the movement.
- Lower the box: Plyo boxes are usually able to be flipped to a lower or higher setting. If you aren’t comfortable with where it’s at, try flipping the box so it’s as low as it can be.
- Start with step ups: If jumping to the top of the box seems too daunting, start with doing step ups to get a feel for it. As you start to get more confident, gain some momentum by taking a couple steps up to the box and then jump up. For additional support, you can also have somebody assist you by holding your hand.
- Staggered step: Once you have a better feel for the movement, take the steps away and try a staggered stance from a standstill instead. The end goal is to go from a standstill with one foot next to the other and jump all the way on top of the box on your own.
- Weight plates: If the box on its lowest setting still feels too high, stack one plate at a time and jump on that. Keep adding plates until you feel confident jumping to a higher level.
Recovery from Box Jumps
When time is of the essence, you’ll often see athletes doing rebounding box jumps. This means that after you’ve come to full extension on the top of the box, you jump down and basically bounce up from the ground right back to the top of the box as quickly as you can. Doing rebounding box jumps will lead to an incredible amount of soreness in your lower limbs the next day. Noah Ohlsen recommends Marc Pro as the best and easiest way to recover from that. He puts one pad on the densest part of his calf and places the other one on the bottom of his foot or just at the base of the calf muscle. This Marc Pro placement will help flush out your calves, shins, and feet.
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