One of the most over used excuses for people that choose not to work out, is that they aren’t a member of a gym. According to some market research from 2007, only one third of us use a gym or leisure centre. Combine that with the dire health warning by a (UK) government based think tank, 60% of adult men and 50% of adult women could be obese by 2050. So if you don’t have access to a gym, stop making excuses: you can still get fit!
We’re going to tell you about one fantastic exercise that you can do anywhere: all you need is a raised platform, be that a bench, a wall, anything. Whatever you use, it has to be something that allows you to jump up on to it safely.
How to box jump
- Face the platform and make sure you’re standing fairly close.
- Bend your knees and bring your arms back.
- Swing your arms forward and explode through your legs to propel you forward.
- Jump and land firmly on the box (or platform).
- Rinse and repeat.
- The humble box jump allows you to build tremendous explosive power in your lower body. This makes it great for sports training and also carries over to your squat and deadlift.
- It’s easy. A raised platform is the only equipment you need which you can find anywhere.
- It helps build your core strength. As you have to control your body when you land, your core gets a tough workout trying to stabilise you.
- Progression is easy to measure. If the height you are jumping increases, you’re getting better. Simple as that.
- The box jump is great for increasing explosive strength (and size) but in terms of overall leg development it is only one piece of the puzzle. This is particularly an issue for you guys or girls without access to a gym, but it’s certainly worth doing!
- Jumping can take its toll on your knees. Due to the high impact of landing it is not recommended if you have knee problems (but go see a physio) but if not, it can still cause issues. Our advice would be to restrict box jumping to one, perhaps two times a week but not really any more.
We hope this shows that you don’t have to be a member of a gym to get out there and start getting fit! If you combine some simple exercises such as the box jump with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) then you have a recipe for some serious conditioning. We will be adding more exercises you can do at home in the future, so make sure you follow the blog and keep tuned!
We’d love to hear how high some of our readers can jump. Leave your PR (personal record) in the comments below and let’s find out who’s the best!