The box jump is considered an entry-level plyometric exercise utilized to increase explosive power. However, despite this exercise being the first rung on the ladder to more advanced explosive plyometric training, it is constantly performed poorly!
Here are just a few things you need to know!
1) Plyometric training was created by Russian sport scientist Yuri Verkhoshansky an athletics coach who specialised in the jumping events. He wanted to find away to replicate the stress involved in jumping when the athletes had to train indoors due to bad weather and found jumping off boxes was a perfect solution. This idea was then heavily researched and it was found this was a good way to improve explosive power.
2) Plyometrics are a training modality that utilises the stretch reflex, they consist of a stretching (eccentric contraction) followed by a shortening (concentric contraction). In between both these contractions is a transition phase (isometric contraction) known as armotization, which involves no movement.
3) Due to the high forces involved in Plyometrics they have a large effect on your nervous system and as such should be performed with quality. This means low reps and long rest periods!
4) You don’t need to be able to squat 1-1.5 times your bodyweight to be able to perform this plyometric training. BUT you must master the basic levels before progressing to exercises of greater difficulty and stress.
5) Stop thinking you are an explosive beast because you have the hip mobility of a cheerleader! You must achieve full hip extension and your hip must exceed the height of the box to be deemed powerful!
6) There are several variations of the box jump with varying levels of difficulty. Start with a simple bilateral (double leg) countermovement jump as can be seen in the video.
Plyometric training is an imperative part of developing your explosive power as a footballer, but don’t take them lightly and utilize them to their full potential.