Charles Keenan, USAW
Box Jumps are a great hip extension movement used to develop explosive power. While power cleans might trump the box jump in terms of overall power development, box jumps are a great substitute when power cleans might be contraindicated, such as with a baseball pitcher. This article will briefly cover the basics of a box jump, specifically the "take off" and the "landing".
Basic Box Jump Take Off
- Feet Shoulder Width
- Swing arms back while hinging hips back (load the hamstrings and glutes)
- Keep knees out as the arms swing forward and the hips extend
Basic Box Jump Landing
- Keep your eyes on the box
- LAND SOFTLY
- Keep hips above parallel squat
- STEP down off box (don't jump off)
Typically most injuries occur during the landing of a box jump. In order to avoid injury, it's important to select an appropriate box height where the athlete can have a "soft" landing and keep their hips above a parallel squat. As an athlete progresses, the height can be raised to a more challenging level.