Are Box Jumps as Good as Squats?
At Sporteq we aim to provide answers and solutions to any of your workout questions and needs. That is why in this article we will be answering the question ‘Are box jumps as good as squats?’
With 1 in 20 adults in England getting the amount of both aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercise, we knew it was our duty to show everyone how accessible exercise can be to anyone of any level. Whether you are looking to make a home gym, or attend your local gym, we have the answers you need.
Box jumps and squats share similarities in that they can be done with minimal equipment, and with or without weights, making them accessible to anybody on any part of their workout journey.
Let us first explain a bit about the box jump, and squats before we answer this question.
What can I do box jumps on?
Box jumps can be done on any elevated surface, however, the safest way is with the use of a plyometric box. They can also be referred to as:
- Plyometric Jump Box
- Plyometrics Box
- Jump Box
- Jumping Box
- Jump box gym
A staple gym accessory made from high-density foam and encased in vinyl, it takes the shape of a box and depending on what your preferences are, you can have the box set at different heights. (20, 24 and 30 inches.)
We are happy to share with you that we supply anti-slip plyometric boxes. This means that regardless of what surface the box is on, and what movements you do whilst using it, it will not slip out of place. (However, slippage may occur if not wearing the appropriate footwear).
If the height of the non-slip plyometric box is too much for you, we also offer aerobic Yoga adjustable stepper boards. This is recommended for somebody in recovery from serious injury or illness or the elderly. It can also be used by any person who exercises at any level, as the number of exercises that can be done with it is almost limitless.
Here are some benefits of plyometric boxes:
Open to any level
The anti-slip plyometric jump box and its simplicity make it a versatile accessory, it can be used by weightlifters with exercises such as weighted step-ups and hip thrusts. On the other side of the spectrum, practitioners of callisthenics can use the box (and its varying heights) as a platform to jump on or practice single-leg squats on.
Even somebody who is brand new to exercise can do something as simple as stepping up onto the box and back down again. The plyometric jump box caters for all. It is only limited by your imagination.
The simplicity of this equipment also makes it accessible to those suffering from injuries, whether you are wearing a foot brace, or knee support brace, or any kind of joint support. We do recommend consulting your doctor beforehand just in case.
Because of the Anti-slip feature on the surfaces of the box, you can rest assured that it won’t slip whilst using it, due to its weight, it will take a significant force to move it whilst it is flat across the floor. Because its anti-slip properties cover the whole box, even when jumping onto it, (whilst wearing footwear) you will not slip.
How to do a box jump
Firstly begin with a height you are comfortable with (increasing it as you get more comfortable) this exercise is the most simple but is very taxing the longer you do it. Stand around a foot away from the box, using both of your feet, and jump onto the box, making sure your feet are together and you aren’t ‘stepping’ onto the box.
There are many cardio exercises available to do in conjunction with the plyometric jump box, as a beginner the options we have shared with you are more than enough to get your heart rate up and sweating!
Squats are a basic essential for anyone on their fitness journey, they are known to train your lower body and core. It can be done with dumbbells, kettlebells, or a barbell and even with just your body weight. For now, we will cover how to do the traditional squat with your own body weight.
- Start with your feet facing forward and shoulder-width apart (bring in on out depending on your comfort)
- Place your hands by the side of your head or hold them out directly in front of you
- Breathe in, brace your core
- Whilst keeping your back straight, bring yourself down by bending your knees (you may hear a few cracks, don’t worry about it!)
- Go to the lowest position you can that doesn’t give you any sharp pains (this will vary with everyone)
- Hold this position if you can, a couple of seconds is fine
- Bring yourself back to the starting position whilst keeping your back straight and exhaling.
So now we know a little about squats, as well as box jumps, are box jumps as good as squats?
Are box jumps as good as squats?
The answer is not as simple as a yes or no. It is completely subjective to what your goals are for training. Box jumps can be a great method for developing explosive power, doing cardio or developing your coordination.
Whereas squats (especially weighted squats) will help you gain muscle mass but not necessarily help you develop the same explosive power you can get from a box jump. There are different types of squats you can do. Take a look and see which one works best for you.
So rather than asking which exercise is better, it is more helpful to know what outcome you are looking for and choose your exercise routine accordingly.
That being said, there is no reason why both exercises can’t be done, however, to get the best results from both, we would recommend alternating between them as opposed to doing them during the same session.
At Sporteq, we want to make sure everyone trains safely, which is why we highly recommend that if you are completely new to exercising, using a professional personal trainer is the best step in ensuring you exercise correctly, without creating or aggravating any injuries.
With that being said, we understand not everybody can access professional training and can only exercise at home, so when it comes to safely using a Plyometric jump box or squatting, it is important to:
This can take the form of jogging, walking fast, skipping, shadow boxing, or anything that is strenuous, but not to a degree where you are too tired after it. The function of warming up amongst other reasons is to get the blood flowing into your muscles, reducing the possibility of injury or strain during training.
Wear the right gear
Wearing clothing that does not restrict movement, is breathable and comfortable for you, and will make your workout easier for you, this is the case for footwear too. Trainers are the safest option, whereas formal shoes or flip-flops could result in you either getting blisters or slipping.
Be mindful of injuries
Exercising whilst having an injury can make the injury worse, and hamper the effectiveness of your training. Sometimes you are able to train when in recovery from an injury, but this varies from person to person, and injury to injury. In regards to the Plyometric Jump Box, having knee pain could hamper your training with the box, therefore correct safety measures, like wearing a knee brace can make all the difference.
It is always good practice to do some dynamic active stretching before training. After the training session, doing PNF or Static stretching is also beneficial, stretching lengthens the muscles and increases their flexibility. Additional benefits of stretching include reducing the risk of injury.
Get comfortable with the equipment
Simply put, this means knowing how the box feels to you, is it too high? Too low? Do you feel more comfortable with it against a wall, or in the middle of an open space? Is your footwear slippery against the surface of the box?
This also applies to squatting too, listen to your body, if your feet are uncomfortable when squatting, try a different foot position, or try without your trainers.
All of these questions are vital in ensuring you train to the best of your ability, whilst remaining safe and avoiding possible injury.
Start your fitness journey with Sporteq
In this blog, we hope to have explained and addressed ‘Are box jumps as good as squats?’ whilst showing you the information needed to impact your fitness journey in the best possible way. The team at Sporteq are always here to help. If you would like to contact us via email, click the link here.
You can call us at 0161 354 2579
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