One of the gym activities that many personal trainers enjoy introducing to their clients is the box jump. This is a simple activity in which the client jumps vertically onto a box, helping to build explosive muscle power in the legs and hips. Box jumps are valuable because they never stop being a challenge — when you master being able to jump on a box of a certain height, your trainer will simply introduce a box that is taller. Many personal trainers will show their clients a number of box jump variations, so if you're looking to make this workout even more challenging, this is a topic to bring up. Here are some variations that your personal trainer may introduce.
Running Box Jumps
It's customary to perform the box jump from a standing start. Typically, your personal trainer will have you stand at a set distance from the base of the box and then ask you to jump up onto it when you're ready. Another way to approach this exercise is while running. Often, the trainer will give you a guideline about how many strides to take. For example, you might start several yards away from the box and take three large strides before jumping up onto it with both feet.
One-Legged Box Jumps
The conventional way to perform a box jump is to bend both knees and explode upward with your entire body, landing on the box with both feet at the same time. A variation that can be exciting and challenging is to perform this exercise with only one leg. This usually means that you'll want to start out on a shorter box. You'll stand in front of the box, figure out which leg you want to target, and then shift your body weight to that leg before you explode upward.
Hurdle Box Jumps
Many personal trainers use small hurdles set in a pattern on the floor for various exercises. For example, you might try to hop over the hurdles in a specific rhythm as fast as you can to improve your foot speed if you're an athlete. These hurdles can also come in handy for another box jump variation. This one is similar to a running box jump, but the path that you'll follow toward the box will have a series of hurdles along it. You'll need to time your movement to clear each hurdle before you soar onto the box.