I just started incorporating some of Chad waterbury’s ideas into my program and I’m having a little trouble with the jumping box squat. In chad’s article, he says to keep the knee angle around 100 degrees and the trunk angle aroung 60 degrees. Well, whenever I do this and try to jump it feels like I am almost stuck and can’t jump. When I jump, it just feels as though my form is not that great. Also, with the knee angle at 100 degrees, how do you keep yourself from not jumping backwards a little bit towards the box. This is my first attempt at doing this exercise, so I’m not completely sure I am doing them right.
I was lucky enough to have Chad demonstrate proper form at the Dallas seminar. The key is to try and push off through your heels, rather than your toes. Also, keep your hands folded behind your head to prevent the torso rocking forward too much. You won’t be able to get much height at first, until you get the hand of it.
Your question is a valid one.
First, I’m glad you are trying to perform the exercise precisely as I described it. Your problems are ones that almost every lifter should encounter. A big-time squatter, or even a relative newbie, would have no problem jumping up and down from a seated position. But once the knee joint is “opened” to 90-100 degrees, there is a dramatic shift to the hip musculature and away from the quads.
Second, the mechanical advantage is not great in the proper position so it’s actually pretty tough to jump up from this position - that’s how it should be, and that’s why advanced trainees can be challenged with a bodyweight version of this exercise.
The bottom line is this: your hips are not your strong point so this exercise is perfect for building the hip musculature. Remember, you must train your weak links to get great results. If the exercise was easy, it would provide little benefit.
So keep doing it as prescribed and you will be able to jump from the position that is currently challenging in no time.
I have to ask something about these also, and it’s going to sound stupid.
You have us putting knees at 100 degrees, so doesnt that dictate starting height of the jump? If so, what does the height of the box do?
I noticed I also tended to rock forward on the bottom of my box squats, so lo and behold, I try these and suxor at them. Don’t even get a foot of air out of them. It’s really hard to not jump off the toes using calves, and instead go off the heels.
Thanks Chad for the explanation. It makes a lot of sense how you describe it.
Antiliberal (I like that handle),
Your question is much like JasonL’s. Your explosive strength and hip strength are weak, therefore it is hard to jump from this position. That’s fine, and an even better reason to keep doing it.
You don’t jump from the balls of your feet, instead you initiate force by pushing through the balls of your feet. Once you are almost standing, you shift to the front of the feet to continue with the jump.
The knee joint can still be maintained at >90 degrees, even on a four inch box. You just have to open up your knee joint more (i.e., extend your feet out in front of you). But this position is brutal. As you can tell, even a horizontal height is tough if the form is correct. That’s why this “bodyweight” exercise is so challenging.
Thanks chad, I see what I was missing now.
So basically you are sitting back onto the box, which really does make the shorter box height a tough job.
I noticed when I did those I tended to start off slow then had to constantly remind myself to not jump off the toes so much, it’s just such a habit.
Good exercise though, shows me something that i’m sure would have been holding me back pretty soon if not already.