Box jumps are an explosive hip driven movement which have a lot of carry over to sports. It is a full body movement as in the upward phase of the jump the core, glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves and even arms are engaged to propel yourself onto the box. Coordinating these muscles helps develop lower body power enabling you to run faster and jump higher.
However, many athletes do box jumps incorrectly. They do not understand the purpose of the box jump, so they tend to want to jump on a box which may be way to tall for them. Jumping on as high a box as possible may look good on the gram, but doesn’t correlate to better sports performance.
It doesn’t matter how high a box jump is if your center of mass does not move upward a significant distance. Many tall box jumps are accomplished not by the hips creating force and being driven up, but by the knees being brought up so that the athlete can land on the box. Box jumps this way does not increase the power being generated from the hips, which translates to improved performance, instead its a measure of how quickly they get their knees up. This does not train power output, nor does it improve performance.
By using a smaller box, the height of the jump is the focus, not the height of the box. This allows for the hips to drive the center of mass to a greater height, thus increasing power output. The focus when doing box jumps is to create explosive power through “violent” hip extension. It is this movement which translates to power on the playing field, enabling an athlete to jump higher or run faster.
If you are looking to take your game to the next level, run faster and jump higher, let us know how we can help!