Plyometrics Exercises: The Box Jump

by Darrin on September 2, 2010

plyometrics exercisesIn an earlier post, I went over the basics of plyometrics exercises. This is the first part of a series that will cover this topic more in-depth.

The Many Benefits of Plyometrics

Plyometrics are an essential part of your fitness routine if you are a busy guy looking to get in shape as quickly as possible. Let’s take a look at what you’re missing out on:

  • Power exercises such as plyometrics train both speed and strength, killing two birds with one stone.
  • Little to no equipment is required, making it a great way to workout at home.
  • They involve compound movements, boosting anabolic hormones such as HGH and testosterone, literally forcing your body to store energy as muscle rather than fat.

In other words, you will get an enormous amount of leverage on your health and fitness by incorporating plyometrics!

The Box Jump

The “classic” plyometrics exercise is the box jump, and for good reason. Box jumps are like “bodyweight squats after a pot of espresso.” Jumping up and down from obstacles is a movement that our bodies are clearly well-designed to do, and this exercise will effectively strengthen and tone your lower body. (By the way guys, the ladies love the kind of tight glutes that box jumps will get you. Just sayin…)

The Equipment

Okay, so you need a box, right? Well, not really. Plyometrics boxes are nice, but they are really expensive. (For those of you with the tools and know-how, here’s a great guide to build your own plyo box cheaply.)

What you want to look for is something sturdy enough to withstand you jumping on it quite a bit. A low, sturdy table or park bench are two great ideas. On the other hand, a stack of the last two years of Playboy magazine is not such a hot idea.

How tall should it be? Well, the typical plyometrics box is about 20 inches tall, but feel free to tweak this according to your skill and whatever you have on hand. Beginners should start with something lower and then work their way up.

The Box Jump

Alright, you have something sturdy and stable to jump on? Awesome, let’s get going. Simply jump on top of and off of the object as quickly as you can. As always, stop when your form starts to get sloppy. Here’s a great video to demonstrate:

Now get jumpin’!

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