Box Jumps for Explosiveness: How plyometrics can improve performance.

Squats and deadlifts will make you stronger without a doubt, but if you want to build speed and explosiveness try adding box jumps to your leg routine. Box jumps and other plyometric exercises train fast twitch muscle fibers and these will help with sprint speed and jumping ability. Dmitry Klokov advocates using weighted jump squats to build speed and explosiveness for Olympic weightlifting. In fact, plyos help with all sports, from football, basketball, rugby, or wrestling. Any movement that requires an explosive burst can be improved with Plyometrics,  like simple box jumps.

Box jumps, when done correctly will help train those fast twitch muscle fibers.

Always start with a manageable height when doing box jumps. Trying to land on a platform that is too high can cause you to have poor form at the best and can cause serious injury in the worst case scenario. While standing in front of your box dip into a quarter to half squat and drive off both feet simultaneously while swinging your arms upward. Keep your eyes focused on where you plan to land. Try to land in the same position that you started in.  Again, make sure to start small to avoid injury. Use small sets of 3-7 reps and give yourself enough time to recover between sets. This exercise will really target your hamstrings and glutes so make sure to adequately warm up and stretch before and after. Also recommend myofascial release.

 

Here is a brief video of me doing some box jumps at about 40″ in height. I did my working sets at 30″ and then added the extra height since my legs still felt pretty fresh.

Supernova AKA “Lil Blue Ball of Pain”

Back in May of 2014 I bought a Supernova from Kelly Starrett mobilitywod.com. I had never really used mobility aids in the past but had read about how helpful they were and it was too hard to get someone to rub my sore muscles (girlfriends expect you to rub theirs too, I guess).

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My ‘little blue ball of pain’ has become a staple of my gym bag now. I use it almost daily for rubbing out those nasty knots in my muscles. The supernova works exceptionally well on calves, hamstrings, glutes, and those hard to reach spots in your hips.

The supernova is just larger than a softball and a little heavier, so it is super portable. At around $40 it is a must have for myofascial release and self help for mobility. I cannot recommend the supernova highly enough. Check them out at roguefitness.com and mobiltywod.com