AMONG PLYOMETRIC moves, box jumps are a favorite. They build explosive power, cardio capacity, and balance. Runners can get even more out of the move with a second box.
“Split-stance box jumps came from exploring sprinting mechanics,” says Ashton Roberts, founder of AR Performance Training in Pasadena, CA. They recreate and isolate the push off and landing that happens during running, giving you a better understanding of how your legs track during the entire running motion—what’s called proprioception. On top of that, it’s a solid move. The jump relies on glutes and hips, and the landing is all quads.
Before using boxes, practice the move on the floor. Squat, then explode up, landing in a split stance. Next, add a 6-inch box in front of you, front foot landing on that, back foot on the floor. Finally, try the version seen here. Set up 2 boxes, a 20-inch and a 12-inch, 2 feet apart. Stand between them. Squat, then explode up, landing on the boxes in a split position, one foot on each box. Most of your weight is in the front foot, on the high box, while the back foot acts to balance you. Try for 2 or 3 sets of 6 to 10 jumps each side.
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