Exercise of the Week- Box Jumps

And now, my personal favorite….

Box Jumps

Equipment: A plyo box, you might need to ask a trainer where these are in your gym. If you’re crazy, you can use a park bench.

Works: Cardiovascular system, glutes, hams, quads, core

The Move: Stand in front of your box of desired height.

Bend your knees into a modest squat and jump up onto the box.

Extend the hips and stand up tall, pausing before either jumping back down or stepping one foot at a time. Be sure to get your whole foot onto the box- no heels hanging off the edge!

Do this as many times in a minute as you can, rest for 30 seconds and continue for up to 5 sets.

A modification for non-impact would be to step onto the box quickly and step back quickly, keeping your pace fast and no rest.

High box jumps challenge us in ways that other exercises can’t.  First there is the very real fear of the height.  The mental and, dare I say, spiritual gains from overcoming an admittedly scary jump are huge.  The physical benefits of high box jumps range from increased explosivity to faster hip flexion. The biggest benefit of burst training is it will convert you from a fat-storer to a fat-burner. If you want to lose fat while building lean muscle you must create the correct hormonal balances. Burst training is the most effective routine for turning on your fat-burning switches and there’s scientific evidence to prove it.

So get hoppin!


CrossFit Experiment

“CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide. Our program delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing. Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward this kind of fitness and, on average, punish the specialist. The CrossFit program is designed for universal scalability making it the perfect application for any committed individual regardless of experience. We’ve used our same routines for elderly individuals with heart disease and cage fighters one month out from televised bouts. We scale load and intensity; we don’t change programs.” (Emphasis mine)

So, essentially, it’s training to become a cage fighter.


My co-worker, Jack, was the first to introduce me to the wild world of CrossFit training. Evereyday he would pull wht WOD (Workout of the Day) and drool over the list of insane exercises. Since then, I have been terrified of Crossfit, thinking it was waaay above my ability level. Then, a couple of months ago, my friend Brian, who is no workout buff, told me HE was doing Crossfit!! I was amazed! If Brian could do it, I was sure I could. So, after wussing out two times, I told him I was finally ready to give it a try!

So, I laced up my Nikes and drove over to this little box gym that specializes in fighting.


There I met Lindsay, who was super nice and encouraging! My friend from Cascade, Selena, was also there which made it a lot more fun. We started with a warm up that consisted of very “ADAPT” like movements, so I caught on fairly quickly. Warming up with movement is the best and safest way to prepare your body for exercise.

Then we moved into the instructions for the WOD. We were to do what they call Tabata. For twenty seconds do as many reps of the assigned exercise as you can – then rest 10 seconds.
Repeat this seven more times for a total of 8 intervals, 4 minutes total exercise.
The score is the least number of reps for any of the eight intervals.


The four exercises were:

1) Deadlift to high row

2) Curve Rockers

3) Kettlebell Swings

4) Box Jumps

We practiced the squat with deadlift with high row for about 10 minutes before adding in the 45 pound bar. Yes, 45 pounds in the bar alone! I thought I should stick to the lighter weight for the first day. At the end of the first 4 minutes, I maintained the number 7 for my deadlift rows. Not too shabby!

Next up was the curve rockers. I could not stop laughing since I couldn’t figure out how this was supposed to work. I finally figured it out and scored only a 2 on that one :0) I’ll have to work on those abs a bit more.

Then my favorite- kettlebell swings. Being slightly over confident, I grabbed a pood (36 pounds!) and got ready to swing. In this one, you have a slight squat and swing the bell up over your head and back down. Sounds easy, right? I was DYING by the end!! My arms were shaking and I thought about dropping to the floor. But oh no, we still had box jumps to do!

These were no ordinary boxes either! Standing 20 inches high, these bad boys made my shins quiver! I was nervous about not being able to jump high enough to get on top. However, I was able to maintain 5 jumps for each round of tabata! Not bad for my first try!

After a few minutes of foam rolling, Brain and I practiced handstand pushups (I know, a glutton for punishment). It was awesome! Then I decided it would be a great idea to ride my bike to work….Let’s just say it’s Friday morning and I am still suuuper sore, lol. I’m going in for round two of torture in a few hours, so this should be entertaining at best. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes!

For more information about Crossfit, checkout their website at Crossfit.com to find a location nearest you. But keep in mind, everyone who does this goes in knowing that they will, at some point, get hurt and that if you have any muscular imbalances (like I do) or injuries, that you should consult a trainer before you do it. This is not for the faint hearted my friends.