Is a box jump the same as vertical jump is a question that has an answer that differentiates the two exercise forms via a thin line.
While both these exercise forms are quite similar (as they prompt you to jump high in the air), both have clear-cut differences as well.
The biggest differentiating factor is the movement itself. While a vertical jump aims at you reaching maximum height (that is measured by your finger-tips) a box jump is no means of measuring your maximum jump.
There are many more such differences that we shall discuss as the write-up proceeds.
In this article, I shall be discussing the relationship between box jumps and vertical jumps. The major differences shall also be talked about. The idea here is to never leave any stone un-turned when it comes to getting your facts right.
So, here goes:
>>> Click Here to Learn the Inside Secret to Increase Your Vertical Jump by at Least 10 Inches in Days <<<
Is a Box Jump the Same as a Vertical Jump Article Contents:
1) What is a Vertical Jump?
2) How do You Perform a Vertical Jump?
3) What are the Different Types of Vertical Jumps?
4) What is a Box Jump?
5) How do You Perform a Box Jump?
6) What are the Different Types of Box Jumps?
7) What are the Advantages of Performing Vertical Jumps?
8) What are the Advantages of Performing Box Jumps?
9) Vertical Jump Vs Box Jump – Final Words
What is a Vertical Jump?
Also known as a Sargent Jump, a vertical jump is a means of measuring the athletic ability of an individual. While this jump-form is popular in sporting activities (such as basketball and volleyball), it is also widely used by a layman (aspiring to develop an athletic body) as well.
When you are into sporting activities such as volleyball, swimming, high jump or even basketball then, explosive power is what determines your outcome as a successful or average player. Vertical jumps tend to calculate that ‘explosive element’ in a sportsperson.
>>> When you perform a vertical jump, you stand at one position (next to a wall).
>>> Your feet are placed shoulder width apart. You then crouch low and then, push your body high in the air.
>>> Explosive energy is generated in the lower body and then, transferred to the upper body via your upwards arm movement.
>>> Extend your ‘good’ arm and touch the wall with your fingertips.
>>> Assuming that the tips of your finger are smeared with chalk, the highest touch-point on the wall is counted as your vertical jump.
There are several variations of a vertical jump. We shall discuss this under the next sub-heading.
How do You Perform a Vertical Jump?
Nowadays there are several variations to the traditional Sargent’s Jump. The ideology and the purpose however remains the same (no matter which jump style you choose).
It is done (vertical jump) to measure the level of endurance your central nervous system possesses. It is also performed to measure your level of explosive potential.
Here is how it is done:
@ The measurement is done via a subtraction mechanism.
@ The athlete is first asked to stand next to a wall.
@ His fingers shall be laced with chalk.
@ He needs to now stretch his good arm upwards and touch the wall. The highest point of contact is termed as the ‘standing reach’.
@ Now, the athlete crouches (knees slightly bent) and jumps high in the air. While propelling upwards, his fingertips touch the wall at the highest point.
@ The highest point of contact is termed as your ‘jump reach’.
@ To measure your vertical leap, your ‘jump reach’ is subtracted from your ‘standing reach’. The end result is your vertical jump.
What are the Different Types of Vertical Jumps?
While the Sargent Jump was considered as the ideal form of measuring and performing your vertical jump, variations to the same have occurred with changing times.
Here are the top ways in which vertical jump is performed and measured nowadays:
The Sargent Jump:
This is perhaps the oldest and the first official form of vertical jump coined in the year 1921. It is named after Dudley Allen Sargent. He coined this jump to measure the explosive power as well as the cardiovascular ability of an individual.
The Jumping Form:
The jump is started from a static posture wherein the knees of the athlete are slightly bent. The dominant arm of the athlete is pushed high in the air while the other remains static (by the side of the body).
The athlete stands against a wall. The fingertips of his dominant arm are marked with a chalk. Using his/her legs and hips, the athlete pushes the body upwards (vertically).
The dominant arm is extended to allow the fingertips to touch the wall at the highest point. The point wherein the fingertips of the athlete meet the wall is termed as the highest point of contact.
The athlete then stands straight against the wall and extends his dominant arm vertically. Assuming that his fingertips are laced with chalk, he/she marks the highest point of contact on the wall (in a standing position).
The Final Result:
In order to determine the vertical jump, the highest point of contact (while jumping) is subtracted with the highest point of contact (while standing). The end result is the athlete’s vertical jump.
Counter Movement Vertical Jump:
This is yet another type of vertical jump, which is almost similar to the Sargent Jump. Nonetheless, the difference lies in the hand movement. The rest is almost the same.
The Jumping Form:
The athlete stands on his two feet with his knees slightly bent. His arms are by his side and bent in a push-through manner. The athlete pushes his body upwards using the arms as a propeller.
While pushing the body upwards, he touches the wall with his fingertips (of the dominant arm) at the highest point. The propelling motion of your arms tends to allow you to jump higher than the Sargent variant.
I personally feel that the counter movement vertical jump is the ‘real deal’ in analyzing the athletic potential in an individual. In fact, it enables you to determine your explosive capabilities as well as your flexibility.
Not to forget, this type of jump (counter movement) also analyzes your nervous system efficiently.
The counter movement vertical jump is a movement that can be considered an instinctive reaction to an explosive movement. It does not feel enacted in any which way. In my opinion, it is the best way to measure the vertical jump of an individual.
The Final Result:
The measurement process is the same. The highest counter movement point of contact is subtracted by the athlete’s highest point of reach (from a standing position). The end result is termed as the vertical jump.
Running Vertical Jump:
The last and final form of vertical jump is one that involves a natural run-up. Over here, the athlete tends to take a short run-up and then jumps high (in the air) to measure the highest point of contact.
The Jumping Form:
In this particular form of performing a vertical jump, the concerned athlete is permitted to take a short run-up. When the athlete reaches the last step, he/she leaps high in the air.
The dominant arm is raised high in the air and the highest point of contact (via the fingertips) is measured. You may use a Vert machine or a wall for the same.
While this type of vertical jump may not be officially recognized by various athletic organizations worldwide, it is a great way to measure the natural explosive capability of an athlete.
The Final Result:
Once again, the vertical jump measurement of a run-up based form is similar to that of a Sargent Jump or a Counter Movement vertical jump. The highest point of contact is subtracted from the standing reach of an athlete. The end result is your vertical jump.
What is a Box Jump?
When you talk of box jumps then, the image of your favorite YouTubers and fitness models becomes the highlight of your thought process. The only piece of equipment needed here is a box or boxes of varying heights.
The image often revolves around slim and fit athletes jumping onto a box and then, touching down smoothly. Basically, this form of exercise requires you to jump off the floor and onto the top of a box.
You are supposed to touch down onto the box’s top with both your feet. After a split second, you need to come back down to the starting position. This action is to be repeated as many times as you possibly can.
Targets Various Muscle Groups:
Apparently, box jumps have become popular owing to their ability to speed-up your metabolism. So, you end up losing extra body fat at warp speed.
Box jumps are also supposed to improve your muscle strength and explosive capabilities. When you perform box jumps, the muscles of your lower body are engaged to their maximum capacity.
When you perform this plyometric movement, you shall experience stimulation in your glutes, hamstrings, calves, quadriceps and even the feet. Your shoulders and arms too are engaged to a great extent.
How do You Perform a Box Jump?
>>> You need to place your body close to the box. You should not be more than 12 inches and less than 6 inches from the box. So, somewhere in between (such as 8 inches) makes good sense.
>>> Placing your feet shoulder width apart, bend your knees slightly. This helps your body come in a crouching stance, ready to spring forward or upwards (vertical).
>>> Your hips should be pushed back as far as possible without arching your back. Your arms should be by your side and positioned as though ready for a swing.
>>> Push your body upwards and towards the box. The momentum should be such that your hips and glutes thrust you upwards. Your arms act as a propeller and balancing mechanisms.
>>> Propelling your feet towards the top of the box, pause (for a second) when your feet touch the top. Then, jump right down. Repeat this process until you are tired.
Expert Tip: While touching the top of the box, your legs should be at right angles to the ground. The 90 degree bend should be via the knee. Your feet should always be shoulder width apart.
What are the Different Types of Box Jumps?
Unlike a vertical jump, box jumps are performed in various forms. In a nutshell, there are several variations to a box jump. Most of these are based on the individual needs of the concerned person.
Once again, do remember that this is a plyometric exercise form. So, you need to keep in mind the fitness goals of the concerned athlete. Based on this, a box jump is diversified with regards to its approach.
Squatting Box Jump:
This is the most basic form of squat jump. You can perform this jump using both counter movement as well as a stationary position. The ‘follow through’ is the same.
You jump high in the air allowing your thigh and hips to feel the stretch. The pause at the top of the box is not more than a second. Thereafter, you jump down to the ground (starting position).
Box Jumps without using Counter Movement:
In this form of box jumps, you need to jump onto the box without swinging your arms. So, the movement is more or less static in nature.
You jump and position your feet onto the box. This posture resembles a seated position. So, you basically squat on the box for a second with your arms pinned by your side.
Once the ‘pause period’ is over with, you need to get back to the starting position. Once again, the use of arms is completely negated. They conveniently rest by your sides.
Box Jump while Performing Burpees:
This is yet another variation to your traditional box jumps. Here, you need to perform a burpee exercise form. The only variation is when you lift your body for performing a jump.
Instead of jumping high in the air (after performing the push-up), you need to jump on top of a box. This is a counter movement jump that involves the use of your arms (swinging motion).
You can do as many repetitions as your body permits. This form of box jumps not only strengthens your upper and lower body but also improves your cardio-vascular system.
Side by Side Box Jumps:
In this type of box jumps, you have two boxes lined side by side. The distance between the two boxes is a few feet. You stand in the middle of the two boxes.
Using either static or counter movement, you jump onto the first box and then get back to the ground. When you are back to the starting position, you jump again to the box that is placed on the other side.
The idea to perform these box jumps is to develop explosive power, speed, stamina and agility. It is helpful for sportsmen that require such attributes while playing their chosen sport (such as baseball, basketball, football, volleyball, field hockey etc.)
Box Jumps with Weighted Ankle Straps:
Yet another variation to the traditional box jump is one that has weights attached to your lower body. Basically, you attach a weighted belt to your ankles and then jump up on the box.
Over here, you make use of counter movement. Static movement is not suggested or recommended here. So, the form is similar to a normal squat jump.
Choose your ankle weight as per your personal capability. Ideally, you should be able to perform 8 to 10 repetitions using the chosen weight. It is great for developing your thigh and calf muscles. Weighted jumps also improve your cardiovascular system.
What are the Advantages of Performing Vertical Jumps?
When you indulge in vertical jumps, you tend to activate primarily the fast twitch (and a wee bit of the slow twitch) muscle fibers. This helps in improving your explosive force considerably.
Here are some more of its benefits:
Your Muscle Power Increases:
The fast twitch fibers in your thigh, calf, hip and lower back area tend to get activated the most when you opt for vertical jumps. It helps increase lean muscle mass in your lower body. Vertical jumps also help you increase your muscle power.
Helps Lean Muscle Mass Development:
It takes about 30 seconds (on an average) for you to complete a vertical jump. This is considered to be an ideal time to tear muscle fibers.
These (torn muscle fibers) are then re-built via high quality nutrients (lean protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats). The end result is a lean and more muscular physique.
Improves the Body’s Mechanical Movement:
The motion and the function of the mechanical parts in the human body are highly compromised. This is also true with the skeletal structure.
Basically, the joint and muscular functionality of the human body is often compromised (owing to our sedentary lifestyle).
This is improved dramatically when you indulge in vertical jumps. When you jump high in the air, the mechanical movement of various muscle groups in your body is improved.
Great for Basketball and Volleyball:
Vertical jumps are supposed to enable you to excel in your chosen sporting activities. You do really well in basketball, volleyball, high jump, long jump etc.
The explosive power that is developed by vertical jumps allows an athlete to improve his/her performance at the field. So, you can easily hope to beat your nearest competition by simply doing vertical jumps regularly.
Keeps Your Body in Good Shape:
Vertical jump is an explosive movement. It involves your entire body, which is why it is ideally suited for people who wish to lose extra body fat fast. By speeding up your metabolism, vertical jumping helps you achieve this aim.
Makes Your Muscles and Joints Stronger:
Vertical jump training tends to improve your body’s bio-mechanics. It also improves the flexibility and strength of your joints and tendons. The end result is a stronger and more flexible body that is capable of withstanding rough movements easily.
What are the Advantages of Performing Box Jumps?
When you perform box jumps, you are engaging both the lower as well as the upper body effectively. As it is a plyometric movement, box jumps are safe and relatively an injury-free exercise form.
It helps strengthen your body and also helps it become explosive in nature.
Here are some of the benefits attached to performing box jumps:
Increased Bone Mass:
Women have been known to lose out on their bone mass at a rapid pace when they are in their mid-forties. This leads to osteoporosis and arthritis.
Box jumps help improve bone mass production by lightly impacting your joints, tendons and connective tissues. The increased blood flow caused by box jumps nourishes your bones and retains their natural mineral composition.
Improves Your Hip Flexion:
Rigid and stiff hips are quite common these days. As you grow older, the stiffness tends to increase dramatically. Box jumps are performed in such a manner that they allow hip flexion.
In fact, box jumps also encourage hip extension. The end result is a flexible hip that is capable of withstanding the workload of a hectic lifestyle.
Reduces Your Blood Pressure:
When you indulge in box jumps, your muscles are fed with extra oxygen. This improves your cardiovascular system and improves blood flow.
The end result of this is lowered blood pressure levels. In fact, your heart muscles are also improved as they are forced to work harder than usual.
Fun Filled Activity that keeps Stress at Bay:
Besides helping you lose extra body fat, box jumps are also an entertaining activity. It is a great way to kill time in a positive note. You become fit and tend to avoid indulging in negative activities such as alcohol and cigarettes.
Vertical Jump Vs Box Jump – Final Words
When it comes to vertical jumps vs box jumps then, both are effective in helping you become more athletic. Nonetheless, the manner in which both exercises are performed is quite different from one another.
For a starter, there is no need for any sort of measurement while indulging in box jumps. Moreover, you do not need to extend your ‘good arm’ high in the air or rub chalk onto your fingertips.
More or less, both are great exercise forms for developing explosive strength and power. They do develop muscles of the lower body yet, they affect your central nervous system in vastly different ways.
With all this being said, if you wish to excel in any sporting activity then, including both box jumps and vertical jumps (into your workout routine) is a wise decision indeed.