Above is Boston Celtic point guard Rajon Rondo. See Rondo jump…. see Rondo jump VERY high. We are not all born with the genetics to reach the top of that box (on our feet) like Rajon is but here is a simple list to improve your current box jump.
1. If you can’t squat, don’t jump. If you lack the ankle or hip mobility to properly squat with depth (hip crease = knee height) with symmetry throughout the body you are not ready for the impact of plyometrics. Nail your squat first.
2. It is estimated that leaping is 10% arm movement (swing). How true is that? I don’t know but I can say that using and timing your arm swing (in the the direction you are jumping) helps.
3. Land silently. This will test your coordination and your ability to decelerate as you land on the box. “Land silent” is a cue I often use with my clients that helps them understand how to land with less impact.
4. Get your knees out of the way. As you squat to propel yourself and as you position your body to land, get your knees outside of your hips. Abducting the knees will not only help you generate power coming out of your squat but will enable your hips to flex and elevate your knees and feet higher (thus landing on a higher box).
5. Train your glutes. Calves get all the glory when it comes to owning a serious vertical but when it comes to box and broad jumps that power house behind you is your best friend. Speed squats, hip thrusts, and kettlebell swings will help you tap in to the glutes with hard…fast…ballistic movements.
…..Now get froggy.