“Plyometric movements like box jumps develop your power and speed,” says The Biggest Loser trainer Steve ‘Commando’ Willis. “They’re also a great way to get your ‘happy hormones’ or endorphins flowing.” Box jumps are just one of the many exercises featured in Commando Steve’s awesome new book Get Commando Fit (Hachette; $29.99) which has just been released today. Full of inspiration and motivation, the four-week functional fitness workout program is perfect for those wanting to kickstart their fitness. Or anyone in an exercise rut. It also features some serious yummy healthy recipes as well! To celebrate the release of Get Commando Fit we asked Commando Steve to give us the lowdown on how to perform the perfect box jump.
“If you’ve never done one before, choose the smallest sized box to start with, and work your way up to using the larger boxes,” says Commando Steve. “Women should aim to end up using the 50cm boxes and men the 60cm. You can practise the steps without a box to gain confidence.”
“Stand with the box about 30 cm in front of you. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart and the weight in your heels. Your chest should be up, eyes forward and your core activated.”
“Push your hips back to descend and swing your arms backward at the same time to build momentum. Explode up through your lower body, fully extending your hips, knees and ankles, and swinging your arms forward. Land on the box in a partial squat position, and then stand tall. Return to starting position by jumping backwards off the box – beginners can step down, if required.”
“Throughout, keep your chest up and your eyes facing ahead and your feet strong. When jumping and landing, make sure your knees don’t collapse in – if they do, focus on pushing knees outwards. Maintain midline – don’t allow it to round over.”