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’!


Raymond - ZenMyFitness September 3, 2010 at 5:31 am

This is so easy to add in to training and I think its one of the most effective ways to get fit I can’t believe I keep on forgetting about it.
I really got into it when I trained for the “300 Workout” but I haven’t done it since.
Thanks for the reminder

Kelly-Fitness Overhaul September 4, 2010 at 12:53 pm

I still haven’t done these consistently yet! I know I need to, but haven’t given them a fair shake. I have been following the Visual Impact routine, but I am almost done with the bonus phase. I am going to change things up a bit until the end of the year, when I do VI again. I will try them out during my time away from VI and see how I like them.

I have a feeling that I will love them and wish I have been doing them all along!


Alykhan - Fitness Breakout September 4, 2010 at 2:41 pm


Plyometrics are a great way to train the lower body without getting your legs too bulky. I’m in a similar situation to Kelly. I just finished Visual Impact, so over the next several weeks I’m going to get into predominantly body weight training and I’ll be incorporating more exercises like box jumps into my routine.


Mimi (Damn the Freshman 15) September 6, 2010 at 12:28 am

I want to add these in. The thing is I have a weird phobia of the box flipping on me…baaaad middle school experience that ended in a split chin and bloody brow. Lol, guess I just have to suck it up.

Dave - Not Your Average Fitness Tips September 6, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Love plyometrics and you can’t have plyos without the box jump. Whenever I think of box jumps, I think of The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) doing them with what must have been a 4 foot platform. Pretty incredible. I’ll stick with my 2 foot box for now.

Alejandro "The Fittest Vegan" September 6, 2010 at 5:54 pm

The box jump is simple yet very effective. I associate it with doing burpees, after a few reps you’re legs are sore as you don’t realize how much effort it requires.

Darrin September 7, 2010 at 6:55 am


Yup. Definitely one of the best lower-body exercises out there.


I agree. Let me know what you think of them!


Cool. Bodyweight exercises are always an excellent way to change things up if you’ve been working out primarily with weights.


Ouch! Make sure you use something REALLY sturdy. Like a big coffee table you don’t mind stomping on, or a bench or platform outside. Also, these can be dangerous if you train to failure rather than fatigue. Call it a set once you can no longer maintain your form.


Wow. I couldn’t find that video, but I’ve definitely seen some people do some insanely high box jumps once they get really good.


Yeah, all of these speedy exercises definitely get to you much sooner than you think they would!

Dave - Not Your Average Fitness Tips September 9, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Check it out:
The man is a machine! I’d like to think he’s all natural as well, but with wrestlers you never really know.

Darrin September 18, 2010 at 9:48 am


Great vid. Who knows whether he was all-natural back when, but I’m sure he is these days, now that he doesn’t look like such a musclehead anymore.

Anonymous November 10, 2010 at 6:28 pm

One effective way of increasing verticals is to do box jump and squat jump.It’s very effective. And addition to plyometrics benefits, Plyometrics can help individuals to enhance strength and flexibility to increase their power, strength, and balance.

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