Box jumps instantly bring me back to ski team dryland at Crested Butte Academy. We did them in the gym, in the park, on a bench, on a wall, anywhere and everywhere with a stable platform. They’re one of the most versatile exercises for ski season. They engage your calves, hamstrings, quads and glutes.
Box jumps will translate the strength you’ve gained through squats, deadlifts, and kettlebell swings to explosive legs ready to dominate. Box jumps are a core plyometric move and increase your reactive strength. Think of your legs as giant rubber bands. Each time you stretch your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves you are able to store tension within the muscles. This tension causes the muscle to act like a rubber band when you contract them by landing on either the ground or the box. The faster you perform box jumps, the more force you generate through the “rubber band”, therefore making you faster, and stronger. As your reactive strength increases, your agility also increases, making you react faster to changing terrain and snow quality.
Box jumps will also increase your stamina and coordination. Box jumps derive from the Russian idea of “shock therapy”. Box jumps are done for short, high intensity intervals, much like skiing top-to bottom laps at most North American resorts. Landing on top of the box requires focus, coordination, and faith. You have to believe that both of your feet are going to land on top of the box to avoid bashing your shins. Stamina, coordination and agility are all important when skiing off-piste, you will be able to rock the moguls (not get rocked), pop and stomp airs, and navigate traverses with ease. Box jumps will make your legs built-in shock absorbers.