Exercise of the Month.... Box Jumps!
Power is important for athletes, non-athletes, and especially to aging adults. Some of the top exercises that develop power: Olympic weightlifting (clean/jerk and snatch), medicine ball throws, and jumping (there are others, but we will focus on the 3 mentioned). Box jumps are one of our favorite exercises, for many reasons. When we start looking at exercises that develop power, we have to make choices based on our risk to reward ratio.
- Olympic Weightlifting take a years to master. Younger athletes (under age of 20) should be given the opportunity to learn Olympic lifting. Its a tool which can help them improve explosiveness. For the rest of us that have not learned it at a younger age, risk to reward become too great (not that one can't learn Olympic lifting, but your time would be better spent performing another exercise).
- Medicine ball throws are a great tool for developing upper body power. We implement this in almost all of our strength & conditioning bootcamp workouts, youth workouts, and some boxing workouts.
- Jumping is something that is very easy to learn, however it can be dangerous. Depth jumps and hurdle jumps add a lot of stress to your joints, and should be used sparingly. We generally use box jumps in most of our workouts, as the "risk to reward" ratio is in our favor.
Here are some benefits as well as some recommendations on how to perform box jumps.
There are many ways to program box jumps into your workout. Jump-rope is a version of a plyometric jump (low intensity), so think outside the "box" (pun intended) when adding jumps to your workout. Keeping reps low, fatigue low and intensity high will build power.
If you have any questions email us, or drop in to one of our classes to see how we program box jumps into our workouts!