How to do box jumps: Tips for beginners

Box jumps are good for strength and power. Don’t know how to do plyometric exercise? Here are some box jumps tips for beginners.

Box jumps, a classic plyometric exercise that requires you to jump on an elevated box-like structure, can hugely improve lower body strength. But it may be intimidating for people who are not familiar with it. Some people may have doubts about having the perfect landing and some may simply fear a humpty dumpty fall. If box jumps still intrigue you, it may be worth it to give them a shot!. Follow these helpful box jumps tips for beginners to work your way through a fun fitness session!

What are box jumps?

Box jumps are a type of plyometric exercise where you jump onto and off of a sturdy box or platform. It is a powerful and explosive movement that challenges your strength, power, and coordination, says fitness expert Chitharesh Natesan.

A woman doing box jumps
Box jumps target lower body muscles. Image courtesy: Freepik

What are the health benefits of box jumps?

Plyometric training has positive effects on physical capacities such as muscle strength, power, and endurance performance, as per 2023 research published in the Sports Medicine – Open journal.

As for box jumps, they primarily target the muscles of the lower body, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. They also engage the core muscles to stabilise the body during the movement. By repeatedly performing box jumps, these muscles become stronger, more explosive, and better able to generate power, which can translate to improved performance in various sports and activities, says the expert. Also, the high-intensity nature of box jumps can increase calorie burn and contribute to overall weight management and cardiovascular health.

Why can’t some people do box jumps?

Some people may struggle with box jumps due to factors such as previous injuries, lack of strength or power, poor coordination, or fear of jumping onto a box. It is important to start with appropriate progressions and consult with a fitness expert if you have concerns.

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How to prepare for box jumps?

Before attempting box jumps, warm up thoroughly with stretches and lower intensity plyometric exercises like squat jumps to activate the muscles involved and increase blood flow. Focus on proper landing mechanics and start with a lower box height to practice the movement pattern. You can jump as high as only 20 inches if you have a fear of falling down. Using a knee-high plyometric box will also be okay for beginners. You can also use soft boxes instead of the wooden ones if you are scares of getting injured.

How many box jumps should a beginner do?

For beginners, start with a lower box height and aim for around 5 to 10 repetitions per set. It is important to gradually increase the intensity and volume to avoid injury and build confidence in the movement pattern.

A woman doing box jumps
Learn these box jumps steps for beginners. Image courtesy: Freepik

How to do box jumps?

Once you are done with the preparation step, beginners can do the following:

  • Start by standing in front of the box with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Lower yourself into a partial squat, then explosively jump onto the box, swinging your arms for momentum.
  • Land softly on the box with both feet, ensuring you fully extend your hips and knees at the top.
  • Step down carefully or jump back down to the starting position and repeat the steps.

Initially, box jumps may look difficult. But as you practice, you will be able to perform this exercise with confidence. Also, don’t forget to rest when tired. If you don’t have the energy or strength, you will struggle to make another jump and then probably miss it.


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