box jumps.
an awesome bodyweight plyometric exercise.
and i have a killer box jump workout for you today!

i made up this workout last week and intended for the workout bud to try it out with me. he is a volleyball player, has a wicked vertical and he loves box jumps. so, i figured he’d be all for this workout. turns out he wanted to be lazy that day, so i did this workout myself.
and i LOVED it.

well, tuesday at the gym, there was a gal doing box jumps, about 10 steps high. he wanted to try it with 12 steps, so after our kettle bell workout (coming on the blog soon), he assembled the steps for the box. he easily cleared 12 steps and able to actually jump over the box with 14 steps. he kept adding until there were no steps left – 18 total on each side.
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he made at least 5 jumps 18 steps high!!
he’s pretty good. 20 is his next goal.

why are box jumps so awesome you might ask?! well, let me tell you. box jumps are an exercise in plyometric training, or reactive training. plyometrics involves quick, powerful and explosive movements, like jumping or bounding.
there are three phases that make up a plyometric exercises: eccentric phase (the stretching or cocking phase – the loading phase), the amoritization phase (the transition phase), and the concentric phase (muscle contraction – the unloading phase).
so, think a box jump: eccentric phase is crouching down, prepping for the jump up on the box. amortization phase begins when you start to jump up towards the box – being in mid air. the concentric phase is landing on the box.

plyometrics improve eccentric/concentric strength, dynamic joint stabilization and range of motion, and neuromuscular efficiency – basically, the neuromuscular systems ability to allow all muscles to work together in all ranges/planes of motion. the short version, plyometrics are a great and fun exercise, suitable for most populations.

today’s workout is all plyometrics. all box jumps. you can stack the boxes as high as you need, in order to get a good workout. my box jumps, single leg squats and power step ups were done on a higher box, and the other exercises on a lower box. listen to your body. i know how many steps i need to use in order to make it through the workout and still feel the burn.

this is a tabata circuit, so set your time for 20 seconds work | 10 seconds rest | 8 rounds, for a total of 4 minutes. each exercise you will do for 4 minutes. any exercise that is a single leg exercise, do one leg for 4 rounds and the other for 4 rounds.

in between each set, you will do either 20 elevated push-ups (on the box) or 20 elevated knee crunches. take a break as needed. part of doing effective plyometric exercises, is to have a strong core. these moves will work your core. plus, they give you a little break from the jumping.
check out the photos for a little demo. a few descriptions are below.

speed skater squat: lower into a squat, placing your right foot on the box (you should be parallel to the box). as you come up from your squat, jump your right foot to the ground on the opposite side of the box and your left foot onto the box. lower into a squat and then explode back up, jumping your right foot back onto the box and your left foot on the ground. repeat quickly.

180 jumps: start in a squat position, box to either your left or right side. jump up and turn to land on the box. then turn and jump down back into a squat in the opposite direction. you’ll jump 180 degrees.

box jump burpees: stand next to the box, so you are parallel to the box. perform a burpee (with or without a push-up – i switched it up). after you jump up from the burpee, jump up on the box with both feet and quickly jump back down into a squat. immediately perform a burpee. repeat.

you knew i had to throw a burpee in there!
try it. let me know what you think.
let me know how many step you can jump!


p.s. what was your max number of reps for each exercise?