The Box : Box Hop Over Squats

How to do Box Hop Over Squats.

Doing box hop over squats is a great way to strengthen your legs, and get some cardio in an enclosed space. I’ve recently found that you can use a box to work out a lot of different parts of your body, and it’s nice if you need to increase difficulty, or you’re just getting bored of your current routine. I’ve been trying to find activities that require minimal space, and plyometrics done with a box fit that bill nicely.

First of all, let me say that you can use pretty much anything that’s study and can support your weight, but be sure that whatever you find is sturdy (a cardboard box is not a good choice!). In the video below, notice how the base of the “box” has a larger area than the top of the box. This is ideal because it minimizes the risk of the box falling over when you’re quickly shifting your weight on it. Remember, safety first. Let’s get down to business.

Box hop over squats are a good alternative to just doing high-intensity squats. They strengthen your hamstrings, glutes, and calves. When doing them at a high-intensity, box hop over squats become an aerobic workout. Before attempting this exercise, you should be familiar with doing regular squats, and be confident that you have good form. If you aren’t confident you have good form, look at The Bodyweight Squat: Guide to perfect form.

Box hop over squats are pretty straightforward. They’re just like normal squats, but you alternate your legs on an elevated surface.

Box hop over squats

It should look something like this

Place your right foot on the box, make sure your feet are slightly more than shoulder-width apart, squat down, on your way up, do a small hop, and move your right foot off the box, and your left foot onto the box, then repeat. Make sure your toes are pointed straight ahead of you, your feet aren’t slipping, and the box isn’t moving around. Watch the video below to see a demonstration.



Safety Measures

Now that you have an idea of what box hop over squats should look like, lets get some safety measures in place. Before starting, I suggest using tape to mark where your feet should be landing. The reason being, once you start to get tired, you’re form will start to slip and you may start to place your feet too close or too far from where they should be. Because you are moving around when doing box hop over squats, you’ll be putting more strain on your ankles and if your foot placement is wrong, you could get hurt.

When you first start doing box hop over squats, start off slow, gradually increase your speed as you get accustomed to the movements. Having one foot elevated may make you feel like you’re off balance. If you feel off balance, adjust the tape marks on the floor to a comfortable positions. Be sure that your feet are firmly planted on the ground with each movement, make sure your toes are pointed forward and your feet aren’t slipping.

If while doing this exercise you find the box you’re using is moving around, stop immediately. This could mean one of two things, either your form is slipping (or maybe it was bad to begin with), in which case you should take a short break, then start over, or, the box isn’t stable enough to be using. If the box isn’t stable, you either need to move the box to a new surface (such as a basketball court), or find a new box. Do not do this exercise on carpet, because you’ll be hard-pressed to find a box that won’t move around on something like carpet.

Stay safe, have fun, listen to your body. Let me know if something is unclear and I’ll try and make it more clear.

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Posted in Introduction to Calisthenics

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