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Box jumps can help train your legs for explosive power. But it is necessary to have the right equipment and strong knees and joints for those crazy moves you see others doing on boxes and elevated platforms. That means box jumps may not be suitable for everybody.
But there are quite a few box jump alternative exercises that can help you train for explosive power and strength.
Box jump benefits
It is one of the best ways to improve your explosive power and strength, which can help in many physical activities and exercises.
Box jumps are one of the most effective ways to target and work your lower body muscles. Your calves, glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings are all expected to work together to help build the strength and power you need for the movement. The exercise works your core and arms as well. Thus it is a full-body exercise that can help develop muscles in your upper and lower body.
It can help improve your athletic performance and capabilities. Athletes from all types of sports, including volleyball and basketball, can use box jumps to develop and enhance their performance.
It is a good way for anyone to boost their fitness and cardiovascular health.
It can help improve your level of coordination and vertical jump capabilities.
Preparing your body for building explosive power and strength
It is necessary to train your body well before trying any activities that involve explosive strength and power.
One good way of training your muscles is to include jumping ropes in your warm-ups before any strenuous exercises. Jumping ropes can help strengthen your muscles for the power-generating and high-pact movements required.
Best box jump alternative exercises for building lower and upper body strength
Try these box jump alternative exercises if you want to develop your explosive power and strength or looking for ways to build your athleticism but are not ready for box jumps for whatever reason.
You can also incorporate them into your box jumping training to help improve your capabilities.
Add these alternative exercises for box jumps to your workout to help build lower and upper body strengths.
Trap bar Jump
You will need a trap bar or hex bar for the trap bar jump. Check here for our recommended best trap bars if you are considering one for your gym.
Recommended Read: 10 Awesome Trap Bar Exercises That Can Help Build Strength And Muscles
Trap bar jumps are one of the best box jump alternative exercises for developing speed strength. They can help boost your speed, power, and explosive abilities. They are an explosive and dynamic version of the trap bar deadlifts.
Jumping while holding the trap bar forces you to perform the movement with higher force and velocity. They can help improve your ability to jump vertically
- To perform the trap bar jump, rest the loaded bar on the floor
- Stand inside the trap bar, and bend your knees slightly to grasp the handles. Ensure your feet are about a hip-width apart throughout the movement.
- Lift it and stand upright to bring the hex bar to the middle of your thigh, with arms at full stretch.
- Then without bending your elbows, forcefully drive into the floor, and jump as high as possible.
- Ensure you keep your knees soft and return the bar to your starting position upon landing.
Compared to box jumps, trap bar jumps are not challenging to master. Jumping vertically allows you to focus on the concentric part of the lift. It also makes it possible to utilize a much higher load, than would otherwise be possible, helping to build more power and explosiveness.
Incorporate this box jump alternative exercise into your training to prepare you for more challenging movements. You can also use it as part of your speed-strength training to help improve force production and the rate of force development.
Box Jump Overs
Box jump overs are another great box jump alternative exercises to consider as part of your training.
It is very similar to box jumps. But instead of landing on the box, you jump over it and land on the other side. Alternatively, you can land over the box, but continue the movement and land over the other side of the box.
It is an effective way to develop your coordination of movements. Your goal is to develop the ability to jump and clear an object at a certain, or given height.
Box jump overs can help develop your explosive power, help you build lower body strength, and help to improve your overall athletic performance.
The movement requires total-body engagement. Thus, you should start with a low box or platform and build on from there.
You will need very strong joints to help you land safely. Trying to jump over a box that is too high could cause you to trip on it and fall over, causing injury.
Squat jumps are an alternative to box jumps at home. It is a bodyweight exercise that combines jumping and squatting into one exercise
Squat jumps, like plyometric jumps, can help improve your agility and power, as well as, your ability to jump vertically.
It is another good box jump alternative exercise. It can also help develop and train your muscles for such sports as long jumps, high jumps, and vertical jumps. It can also prepare you for box jumps in the future. The movement is one of the best ways to train your glutes, legs, and lungs simultaneously.
It is one of the best bodyweight exercises for developing explosive power and can help build your core and other lower body muscles like your glutes, abs, lower back, and hamstrings.
You don’t need any gym equipment for the jump squat movement. That means you can do the exercise at home or anywhere.
- Start the box jump alternative exercise by standing with feet shoulder-width apart and with a slight bend in your knees,
- Engage your core and hamstrings and jump as high as you can.
- Then, go into a squad as you land on the floor.
- Ensure you land softly, and immediately, and using the momentum for your landing, prepare for the next explosive jump.
You can mix jump squats with other strength and conditioning workouts or introduce them into your cardio workouts to boost their intensity.
You can also perform the jump squat box jump alternatives as a power exercise to help build your jumping power, or burn fat as part of your effort to lose weight quickly.
Tuck jumps are another box jump alternative exercises that can help train you for explosive power.
They are an effective way to move the intensity of your workouts to a higher level.
The movements are very demanding and require lots of energy to enable you to jump and pull your knees into your body.
It engages your core muscles, external obliques, and rectus abdominis, requiring them to work much harder than in regular jump squats.
Tuck jumps are a type of plyometric movement that can help increase your power output and boost muscle contraction and performance to boost your athletic performance.
It is a movement that can benefit powerlifters, weightlifters, and other athletes to develop explosive lower body power.
Include it as part of your HIIT or fat-burning workouts
It is a repetitive stepping up and stepping down body resistance movement that targets the muscles in your core, glutes, hips, and thighs.
It is another box jump alternative exercise for the lower body. It can also help Increase stability strength and agility in your legs.
You will need a box, bench, or raised platform for the movements.
- To go through the movement, put one foot entirely on the box.
- Then push yourself through the lead foot on the box to drive yourself straight up to pull your other foot off the floor.
- Then, softly land with both feet on top of the box before stepping down. Change sides and repeat with the other foot.
- Ensure you keep your back straight, and the movement controlled and smooth
- Start with a low step or box build form, if necessary
It is a good way to boost your power levels.
You can add weight, for example, by holding dumbbells in each hand to make the movement more challenging. The higher the weight, the higher the potential of building more power.
The explosive step-ups can help increase your overall speed and power as you need to generate enough power to force yourself off the ground. It can also help boost your jumping capabilities
Broad jumps are simple and basic jumping exercises that can help develop and build an explosive extension in your hips and legs.
Broad jumps will primarily target your quads and, to some extent, your calves, hip flexors, and hamstrings.
The movement requires you to use many muscles simultaneously while adding some cardio element to your training. It is a full-body workout that activates your upper body, core, and glutes, and also gets your heart rate pumping without the need for any equipment.
Broad jumps are box jump alternative exercises that can eventually help you to develop strength and power. It can prepare you for other challenging exercises in the future
- To perform the exercise, squat down, push through the floor, jump and propel yourself forward as far as you can.
- Land very softly and jump forward again immediately.
Star jump is a plyometric move that involves driving your body off the floor. It can help improve muscle activation and help you develop explosive power.
It is a full-body movement involving many different muscle groups in your lower and upper body, including your glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, and delts.
It is one of the most effective bodyweight movements to include in your cardio training.
- To perform the box jump alternative exercises, assume a quarter squat position. Ensure you keep your feet a hip-width apart and slightly bend your knees
- Push into the floor and explosively drive your body straight up.
- Extend your arms and legs sideways fully while in mid-air to form the shape of a star
- Bring your legs and arms back toward your body during the downward movement and softly land at your starting position.
Jump lunge combines the lunge exercise with a jump.
The exercise involves jumping high in the air and switching the position of your legs before landing.
It is an effective cardiovascular exercise that can help improve your health.
It is also a bodyweight exercise that can help develop and boost lower body strength and power. Aside from engaging and stabilizing your core and hip muscles, it can help target other lower body muscles like the quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, and hip flexors.
Jumping lunge is a box jump alternative exercise that can form part of your high-intensity interval training or include in your calisthenics exercises to help get your heart rate pumping.
Burpee Box Jumps
The burpee box jump is another explosive bodyweight exercise that can help build explosive power and strength. It is a combination of a burpee and a jump onto a box or a raised platform.
You start the exercise by performing a burpee.
- Stand in front of a plyometric box.
- Get into the plank pose by kicking your legs back.
- Stand, and instead of jumping into the air, jump on top of the box
- Come off the box and repeat the movement
It is an effective way to work your upper and lower body in one go.
It is a box jump alternative exercise that can prepare you for other challenging exercises like the deadlift
You can perform the burpee box jump as part of your metabolic conditioning training or as part of your cardio and fat-burning exercises.
Final words from LiveLIfe
Including box jump in your training can give you many benefits and help prepare you for other challenging movements. But not everybody will find it comfortable doing those jumps.
The box jump alternative exercises we have discussed are a way to help you build explosive power and strength in your lower body without the risk associated with box jumps.
Incorporate these box jump alternatives into your training to help build stronger muscles, power, and explosiveness. The outcome will not be that different.
- Box Jumps. n.d. American Council on Exercise (ACE)
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- Peitz M, Behringer M, Granacher U. A systematic review on the effects of resistance and plyometric training on physical fitness in youth- What do comparative studies tell us?. PLoS One. 2018;13(10):e0205525. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0205525
- Jönhagen S, Ackermann P, Saartok T. Forward lunge: a training study of eccentric exercises of the lower limbs. J Strength Cond Res. 2009;23(3):972-978. doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181a00d98.
- Alejandro Pérez-Castilla, Amador García-Ramos, et al. 2021. Unilateral or Bilateral Standing Broad Jumps: Which Jump Type Provides Inter-Limb Asymmetries with a Higher Reliability? National Library of Medicine