Fitness Tip of the Day: Add Box Jumps

This explosive exercise doesn't just add leg strength

Want one move to kick your routine into high gear? Try adding box jumps to your regimen. While seemingly a power leg move, box jumps is actually a dynamic total body exercise—one that yields great results. The move is so effective not only because it engages more than one large muscle group simultaneously, but also because it requires explosive, repeated contraction of muscles. You can expect to see results not only in your vertical jump height, but also in your speed, power, flexibility, stamina, balance and agility.

To do a box jump, you’ll first need a “box” to jump onto. (I recommend starting slow, with a bench or other knee-level object at first, then gradually increasing the height of your block as you become stronger and more confident.) Begin in a deep squat just behind your “box.” Then, leap upwards, explosively propelling the arms upward to gain height on your vertical jump, landing on top. (Imagine a sprinter shooting off of the blocks, only vertically.) Hop down, and repeat. Try 8-10 back-to-back jumps, 2-3 times with rests between. See my video below.

—Andia Winslow is a 2014 Winter Olympics hopeful in Skeleton—a racing sport that involves plummeting head-first down a steep ice track on a tiny sled. She’s also a certified fitness professional and trainer at the Chelsea Piers in New York City, a wellness advocate for the Women’s Sports Foundation and rocks a 44” standing vertical jump. Check out her website, I Was Never In the Box.