Box jumps may seem fairly simple, but believe it or not there is actually quite a bit of technique involved when it comes to box jumps, especially when trying to perform a MAX HEIGHT jump. If you want better fat-burning and strength-building results from you box jumps, here are two tricks.
2 Essential Box Jumps Tips
These two box jumps tricks will give you the edge you need to instantly increase your current max height jump by 2 to 3 inches and help you to build the confidence you need to continue to jump higher. If you have never performed a box jump before or would like to double check your form please refer to here first for instructions.
Once you have the form down it is time to apply my two helpful tricks that will instantly increase your box jump!
Trick 1: Building Confidence, Proprioception, Spatial Awareness and Depth Perception
Being able to perform a very high box jump has a lot to do with confidence. If you second guess yourself before a jump you may fail. Depending on how high you are attempting to jump, you could injure yourself quite severely.
Building confidence has a lot to do with these three things.
- Spatial Awareness
- Depth Perception
- Proprioception refers to the body’s ability to sense movement within joints and joint position. This allows us to know where our limbs are in space without having to look. For example when you walk or run you are able to look forward while still placing your feet on the ground where you intended. Or maybe you’re watching TV and reach for a glass of water on the table next to you without looking. But when it comes to box jumps, this is your ability to jump in the air and land precisely where you want to land without looking. This is very important because in order to jump as high as possible you need to swing your arms up for extra momentum and the movement will be restricted if you are forcing your head down to see where you are going to land.
- Spatial Awareness is the ability to see and understand two or more objects in relation to each other and to oneself. You learn this skill as a child and it becomes more enhanced as you get involved in sports and are more active in general. When it comes to box jumps, spatial awareness is what is going to help your body understand just how high you need to jump in order to get from the floor to the top of the box as it’s directly related to concepts like distance, speed required and the placement of an object.
- Depth Perception is the ability to visually see how far away something is or how much space there is between objects. This skill combined with proprioception and spatial awareness is what will help you pinpoint just how much force you will need to generate to jump on top of the box.
Now that you are familiar with proprioception, spatial awareness and depth perception, we are going to apply them to the box jump by simply climbing to the top of the box that you are attempting to jump on. By climbing on top of the box, you are breaking down the barriers between visually seeing how high the box is and physically KNOWING how high the box is. This will give you a much better overall sense of how high you need to jump.
Once on top of the box I want you to sit in the position you would be in if you were to jump and land. By staying in this position you are heightening your visual sense of how high you need to be to successfully plant your feet on the top of the box after you jump.
I recommend you climb up and down from the top of the box 5 to 10 times before attempting your first jump. Each time you climb down you will notice that you are more aware of how much force you are going to have to generate to jump and complete one repetition.
Trick 2: Jumping & Landing Techniques—Knees Out, Arms In
This trick will not only help you to gain an extra 2 to 3 inches on your jump but will also help to adjust your center of gravity which becomes EXTREMELY important when performing a MAX HEIGHT jump.
Most beginners fall into the habit of landing with their arms on the outside of their knees which means their knees are in line with their chest. This usually happens because with your arms on the outside of your knees you may feel more confident in your ability to catch yourself if you happen to “miss your mark.” Also, most beginners are not jumping very high so there is no real reason to focus on making sure their knees are not in line with their chest because their knees will not come close to touching it.
However, as you begin to jump higher the distance between your knees and chest will begin to close and you will inevitably hit your chest with your knees which will throw off your center of gravity and could result in a serious injury if you were to fall backwards at the top of your jump. To avoid a serious injury and help you to be able to jump higher, you need to practice landing with your arms between your legs. This will force your knees out to the sides of your body as well as allow you to easily adjust your center of gravity if you by chance only land on the edge of the top of the box. If you catch the edge with only the tips of your feet, you will be able to lean forward to stick the jump and in most cases save yourself from a nasty fall.
3 Week Program To Increase Your Overall Jump Height!
If you would like to continue to increase your overall jump height and eventually break your current MAX HEIGHT record, incorporate the box jump into your weekly circuit 2 to 3 times a week following the guidelines below.
- Week 1: Focus on the MAX HEIGHT you can do for 3 to 4 sets of 6 consecutive reps.
- Week 2: Perform 3 to 4 sets of weighted box jumps once again using the MAX HEIGHT for 6 consecutive reps. I like to use about two-thirds of the height from Week 1 and keep anywhere from 5 to 20 pounds in my weighted vest. You can use a backpack or wrist weights, but stay away from ankle weights as they can cause separation in your knees from the weight pulling down at the ankle which can lead to an injury. If you decide to use a backpack, try to use two and even out the weight between your front and backside.
- Week 3: Focus on the MAX HEIGHT you can do for 3 to 4 sets of 5 consecutive reps.
- Week 4: Repeat the program and try to increase the height by 0.5 to 1 inch.
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