How to Bench Jump
Exercise Families: Cardio
Trainer: Ashley Steele
Place a workout bench, a 6-12" raised platform, or box on the floor 3-6" in front of your feet on a non-slip surface. Stand with your feet hip-width apart or closer, arms by your sides. Pull your shoulders down and back and engage your core to stabilize your spine.
Begin your downward phase by first shifting your hips backward then slowly moving downward to create a hinge-like movement at your knees. Continue to lower yourself until you feel your heels about to lift off the floor. Angle your torso slightly forward, bending at the hips, keep your head facing the bench or platform and position your arms where comfortable or where they offer the greatest degree of balance support.
Without pause, explode upwards through your lower extremity while swinging your arms forward and jumping onto the top of the raised bench, platform or box, pushing and extending your ankles, knees, and hips simultaneously. As you jump into the air, keep your feet level with each other and parallel with the floor.
The most important components of the landing phase on a raised platform or box are correct foot position and avoiding excessive forward movement in your lower extremity which places additional stresses upon your knees.
Land softly, your trunk inclined forward, rolling backward quickly towards the heels to create a level foot, parallel with the surface. Keep your core muscles engaged, stiffening your torso to protect your spine. Always push your hips backward and drop your hips to absorb the jumping forces.
Be sure to drive your elbow behind you as you squat, then as you jump, reach your arms overhead as high as possible. Avoid locking your knees and quads on your landing as this may lead to potential knee injuries.
You should feel this exercise working your hips, knees, and ankles. Learn first how to squat and perform regular squat jumps before attempting to perform bench or box jumps. The height of the platform/box should not exceed your vertical jump height. Bench Jumps are a great way to burn calories, elevate your heart rate and work your total body.