Why: In 2002, Greg Glassman (owner and founder of CrossFit) put together a list of garage gym equipment. The list was short, but he included the plyo box as an essential tool. Here’s what he said: “Plyometrics boxes are a simple and wickedly effective tool for both explosive/power training and metabolic conditioning. Timed box jumping is high-intensity functional exercise and a regular feature in CrossFit’s Workout of the Day.” Add box jumps to your training to improve your power and cardio. (And if explosive power is what you’re after, add the two Olympic lifts to your training: the snatch and the clean-and-jerk.)
Set-Up: Start with your feet hip-width apart. Stand close to the box—about a foot away. Set your eyes on the spot you’re going to jump on—dead-center on the box.
Execution: Reach your hips back and launch up onto the box using a two-foot take-off. Land softly with your knees slightly bent. Keep your knees in line with your toes. Reach full hip and knee extension. Jump or step down to begin the next repetition.
Points of Performance: To get a “good rep,” ensure the following:
– You use a two-foot take-off
– Both of your feet land simultaneously on the box
– You reach full hip/knee extension at the top (unless the workout doesn’t require this, such as in a “box jump over”)
– You use the prescribed height (It’s common for men to jump to 24 inch box heights, and women to jump to 20 inch box heights. Check the WOD standards.)
Pro-Tip: If you hear your shoes squeak on the box, you’re about to eat pine. Jump higher on the next rep and save your shins!