August 19, 2011
August 24, 2011

Sunday was a plyo-box filled funfest. In fact, the only thing we didn’t do in class was go crawling underneath the boxes.

6 x 3 Seated Box Jumps

A quick review on performing the seated box jump: Start in a seated position where the tops of your thighs are at or just below parallel (the easiest way to do this is by starting with a 12″ or 18″ box and then adjust the height with bumper plates if needed). To initiate, lift your feet off the ground while leaning back slightly, and then quickly rock forward, slam your feet down, and explode off the box into a full vertical jump onto the other box. Remember to land light, absorbing your landing with soft knees.

When last we talked about seated box jumps back in July, we mentioned that “[t]he requirements of seated box jumps are a great tool for bettering any squat,” especially “the need to gather maximum tension in a low squat position before explosively driving upwards.” To drive home that point, Sunday’s programming followed seated box jumps with box squats.

Strength 1:
6 x 3 Box Squats

Technique is the most important factor in squatting big weights. If you’re training with bad technique then it doesn’t matter what supplemental exercises you use or how many sets or reps you perform. Your squat will only go so far and then get stuck.

That’s the start to an article by Dave Tate on box squatting that we linked to back in April. Dave goes on to say:

I feel the box squat is the best way to train the squat, period. The form is the same as the regular squat but with the added bonus of being able to develop explosive strength. The box squat also places all the stress directly on all the squatting muscles.

If you have a few minutes, go read the article – it’s a little too long to copy and past directly into the blog, but it will really help you (A) understand why we do box squats, and (B) better understand how to do them.

Strength 2:
2 x 3-5 Manual GH Raises

Owing to the size of class on Sunday, these were done as ‘assisted’ with a partner pinning the feet down.

Partner Met-Con:
5 x 5 Burpees & 10 Push Press / Plank Hold

As programmed, P1 does 5 burpees and 10 DB push press while P2 holds a static plank position. When P1 finishes, the two switch places. This continues until both partners have completed 5 full rounds.

Stretching: ITB, Thighs, and Glutes

After a long lower body beat-down like that, stretching is essential. We started by stretching the IT Band by leaning against the wall, outside leg over the inside leg, and driving the hip towards the ground. After that, everyone hit the floor for a static spider lunge, taking the elbow to the inside of the forward foot. That was followed immediately by a 3-Point pigeon stretch: in the classic pigeon pose, start by turning your torso towards your knee and then lean down, pressing the belly button towards the knee. After ~15-20″, come up, take a deep breath, and then lean down towards the middle of the shin (straight ahead). After ~20-30″, come up, take a deep breath, and then turn the body towards your foot and, again, lean down, driving the belly button towards the foot and hold anywhere from 30″ to a 1′. This last position will be the most difficult, and probably uncomfortable, but will really work on the outer hips and glutes.

Awesome, awesome work. DC got hit with some great thunderstorms yesterday – I hope everyone was somewhere cool and dry and took appropriate action becoming a serious storm like that: napping.



  1. Julia says:

    Great explanation – thanks, Chris.

    I’ve been getting well-acquainted with box squats, and seated box jumps have become a familiar exercise. But yesterday was the first time that I worked the two in succession (having missed some classes that included both, I think), and hey! – it really, really made sense.

  2. Scott says:

    Intense workout. It was good to see everybody after being out of town for a week.

  3. Andraea says:

    Damn it, I always miss box squat days! Hopefully one of these times I’ll be in class for them.

  4. Tom Brose says:

    Great writeup from Chris, hopefully the reasoning behind this workout is a little clearer. Really important to focus on driving the knees out (you may think you are but almost everyone needs to push out harder).

    The seated box squat is great neurological prep for the explosive nature of the box squat. Even at max weight, the intent is to drive up dynamically.

    Nice to a few of the Furies back in class. We’ll definitely have to take CFDC out to support them this season, although it won’t be as fun with Dre and Brenna coaching, not on the field (although Dre still may make an someone cry).

    Nice job on the partner metcon, with Paul and newcomer Tim hammering it out in under six minutes. Nice way to avoid the plank time…do the rest faster.

  5. Steph says:

    Really enjoyed class and the post-class stretching.

    I worked with Joanne and Karan (sp?) on the box squats. I tried not to think about how much weight was on the bar and mostly added weight by how I felt. The last set was 117lbs. I’m not sure how much more weight I could’ve added while still being able to get back up with good form.

    I’m interested to know how much everyone else’s box squat numbers are compared to their regular squat numbers, keep in mind good form? I feel there’s a bigger tendency to not go to parallel, whether intentionally or unknowingly, on regular squats. Tom and Chris, in theory, are you supposed to be able to squat the same weight for box squats and regular squats? I read the Tate article but didn’t see a clear answer for that, so I’m asking.

    Worked with Karan (sp?) on the metcon and it killed me! The 3rd and 4th round of planks were the worst! I used 20lb dbs and the push presses felt heavy from round 2. Great metcon though!

    Thanks for the post workout stretching session, Chris! I don’t always remember to (more like I’m always too lazy to) stretch after a workout, so having to do it in class helps. I am getting better at forcing myself to stretch or do more yoga though as I notice how much more pain I sometimes experience in/around my hip if I don’t stretch after an intense workout.

    Looking forward to Tuesday!

  6. edgy reggie says:

    Sorry that I missed this class; it looked as if it was a lot of fun (and hard work).

    I do love box squats; however, I need to take it a bit easy (with respect to CrossFit) since I will competing this Saturday at Ft. Detrick (Frederick), MD.

    I’m looking forward to Tuesday’s and Thursday’s classes…even if I am not going all out. 🙂

  7. Mark Minukas says:

    I liked the combo of box jumps and squats. I certainly felt the work in the glutes and hams – especially since I was keeping the weight lower…I could focus on form.

    Great stretches at the end. Let’s do more!!

  8. Stohlman says:

    CRAP I had to help my friend move in and missed the seated box jumps again!!!