Up until recently, I was stuck at the same height on my box jump for about a year. And let me tell you, it was not impressive. I couldn’t seem to jump to more than 10 inches… it frustrated the crap out of me.
Here I was able to lift heavy weights, run long distances, and push it through challenging endurance workouts, but still couldn’t jump off the ground!
Below are 3 simple practices that I implemented to improve my box jump, and how you can use them to do the same:
1. Practice without the box and improve mobility around joints
You want to be really mobile to be able to jump properly, both in order to avoid injury and to get height. Utilize stretches that are going to open up your hips and stretch your calves, quads, and ankles.
Any type of lunge or squat stretch, especially when resistance bands are utilized to get further movement, are going to help.
Like the one’s in this video:
You also want to practice your jumping before you get on the box so activities like skipping rope, hopscotch (not kidding), or jump squats and lunges can be really beneficial.
Also, tuck jumping beside the box that you would like to use to box jump is always a good idea to see if you are within range!
2. Leg strength and endurance exercises
Of course, if your leg muscles have more power, you will be able to jump higher. So add in some squats, lunge and deadlifts to your routine! (hint: you should be doing these anyway).
Start within an 5-8 rep range and up the weight as feels comfortable while you can maintain your form. ALWAYS activating your core (it should feel like your bracing for someone to punch you in the stomach)
3. Get out of your own way (mentally prepare and work up slowly – patience is key)
The main block that I found when building up my box jump was that I was afraid to jump higher. Before I would jump I would picture myself missing the box and smashing my shins. Of course this didn’t help me want to practice or improve.
I was also comparing myself to those that could jump meters in the air and feeling bad that I couldn’t. I was not at that level yet! I needed to be much more patient with myself and work up slowly.
Take your time, start small (low), breathe deeply and enjoy the process! Appreciating the little milestones are so important to having some fun.