10 Best Box Jump Alternative Exercises

Box Jump Alternative

Do you love a good challenge? I know I do. That’s one of the primary reasons I workout. There’s nothing I love more than pushing my body and seeing just how far I can go or how much I can succeed. A bit of a challenge now and then is a good thing! If you’re into challenging exercises, box jumps have your name written all over them!

Box jumps are a plyometric move where you jump from the floor onto an elevated surface – typically a box. For those who are unfamiliar, plyometrics is a type of exercise training that uses speed and force of different movements to build muscle power. Some plyometric exercises you might be familiar with are plyo pushups, alternating split jumps, jump squats or long jumps. Adding plyometric training into your workout regimen will help improve your physical performance and your ability to do other activities.

A box jump is a killer lower body exercise that puts an emphasis on working the glutes, calves, quads and hamstrings. Not to mention, this exercise is versatile. You can adjust it to fit your exercise goals and to your personal fitness level. Personal trainer, Joe Spraggan, stated: “The beauty of box jumps is that you can adjust the height of the box so you can use it for a wide variety of fitness goals. So you can build explosive power and speed using a high box for low reps, or use a lower height to work on foot speed and improve cardio endurance with higher-rep sets.

Whether you are an intermediate level or a seasoned fitness expert, box jumps may be worth adding to your workout schedule. Like with every exercise, you can tailor it to fit your experience level and still reap the rewards that come alongside this exercise. If you don’t think you’re quite ready for box jumps, there are several box jump alternative exercises you can try out!

How to do Box Jumps

Now that I’ve gotten your attention regarding box jumps, here’s how to do them:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your box placed one step in front of you.
  • Bend your knees slightly, raising your arms behind you.
  • Use the momentum from the squat position and swinging your arms forward to drive yourself up as you jump onto the box.
  • Land soft on the box and keep a slight bend in the knees.
  • Step back down and repeat for your desired number of reps.

Be sure to avoid common mistakes like choosing a box that’s too high, landing incorrectly and jumping off the box.

Benefits of Box Jumps

Box Jump Alternative

Box jumps truly offer a load of benefits that range from cardiovascular to strength training. Benefits of box jumps include:

  • Increases your power, strength, speed and explosiveness
  • Increases your vertical jump range
  • Increases your calorie burn
  • Targets and strengthens the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves

Why Box Jump Alternative Exercises?

Box jumps are an intermediate to expert level exercise that requires a bit of strength and stamina. Of course, I understand that not everyone may have a box to use in order to do this exercise. And if you’re just getting started with your fitness journey, box jumps may not be in your wheelhouse yet. Luckily, there are box jump alternative exercises that you can do to help you build your muscles, burn calories, and increase your fitness level.

Step Ups

Box Jump Alternative

Step-ups are one of my favorite box jump alternative exercises, and if I’m being honest, it’s my go-to! If box jumps are a bit too challenging or if you’re needing something with less impact on the joints, I can do step-ups on the stairs or using a box or bench. Here’s how to do them:

  • Stand tall with your arms down by your side and put your left foot on the box so that your hip, knee and ankle are bent at 90 degrees.
  • Keep your chest lifted and shoulders back, push your body up with your left leg until it’s extended completely straight. Be sure to keep the right foot elevated.
  • Pause at the top, then return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side and continue to alternative throughout your desired number of reps.


Another great box jump alternative is lunges. You can perform lunges with body weight or dumbbells. Here’s how to do them:

  • Start in a standing position.
  • Step forward with your right foot until your leg reaches a 90-degree angle.
  • Lift your reg leg and return to the starting position
  • Repeat for your desired number of reps, then do the left side. You can also alternate between each leg.

Bodyweight Squats

Box Jump Alternative

Bodyweight squats are another box jump alternative that is worth adding to your workout. I love alternating bodyweight squats with weighted squats throughout the week in order to switch things up. Here’s how to do bodyweight squats:

  • Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and turn your toes slightly out.
  • Slowly bend your knees and drop the hips to lower your body. Be sure not to arch your back when bending.
  • Pause for a moment at the bottom of the squat and push up back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for your desired number of reps.

Squat Push Press

A squash push press is another one of my favorite go-to box jump alternative exercises. This is a great full-body killer that I highly recommend trying. Here’s how:

  • Stand in an upright position with your feet shoulders-distance apart holding a pair of dumbbells in each hand by your shoulders.
  • Keeping your back flat and core engaged, push your hips back and bend your knees, lowering to a partial squat position.
  • Push up with your legs and press the dumbbells over your shoulders.
  • Lower the weights back to your starting position and repeat.

Tuck Jumps

Box Jump Alternative

Tuck jumps are another box jump alternative that is a surefire way to spice up your workout. This exercise will scorch calories and help to build strength throughout the lower body. Here’s how to do tuck jumps:

  • Start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Slightly bend your knees and extend the arms out at shoulder height, elbows bent and palms facing the floor.
  • Jump straight up, lifting the knees to touch the hands.
  • Land softly, keeping the knees bent and repeat.

Squat Jumps

Have you ever performed an exercise that gets your heart rate pumping? Squat jumps will definitely do that. Here’s how to do this box jump alternative:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Start by doing a regular squat, keep the core engaged, and jump explosively.
  • When you land, lower back into the squat position. This is one repetition. Repeat for your desired number of reps.

Trap Bar Deadlift

Box Jump Alternative

Trap bar deadlifts is a box jump alternative exercise that will help increase your strength and power. Here’s how to perform a trap bar deadlift:

  • Start with your feet hip-distance apart and toes pointed forward.
  • Squeeze the trap bar as you pull your shoulder blades down your back. Push down onto the floor with your legs and keep the chest lifted.
  • Stand in a vertical position, keeping the pelvis neutralized and squeeze the glutes at the top.
  • Lower back down and repeat.

Trap Bar Jump

Trap bar jumps are an explosive box jump alternative. If you’re up to a challenge, then you should give these a shot. Here’s how to do a trap bar jump:

  • Start with your feet hip-distance apart and toes pointed forward.
  • Squeeze the trap bar as you pull your shoulder blades down your back. Push down onto the floor with your legs and keep the chest lifted.
  • Jump explosively as high as you can. Be sure to keep your arms straight and avoid pulling up with your hands.
  • Land softly on the balls of your feet, keep the hips back, back flat and prevent the knees from collapsing.
  • Reset and repeat the exercise.

Broad Jump

Number nine on our list of box jump alternative exercises is the broad jump. Broad jumps primarily target the quads, calves, hamstrings and hip flexors. Here’s how to do broad jumps:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms in the air.
  • Begin the exercise by swinging your arms back behind your body as you bend your knees and push your hips back.
  • Swing your arms forward as you drive your feet into the ground, push the hips forward and explode forward off the ground.
  • Land on your feet and drop back down into the starting position.
  • Repeat for your desired number of reps.

Pistol Squat

Box Jump Alternative

Last but most certainly not least is the pistol squat. This box jump alternative will not only increase the strength in your lower body, but will challenge your balance and stability. Here’s how to do pistol squats:

  • Start in a standing position with your feet together and parallel.
  • Extend one leg in front of you as straight as possible and hover the heel off the floor.
  • Raise your arms straight out in front of you.
  • Keep the core engaged, your spine straight, and start bending your standing leg to lower your body while keeping the extended leg in front of you.
  • Bend your standing knee as far as you can with the goal of getting your extended leg parallel to the floor. Once you have reached your lowest possible point, straighten your standing leg and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat for your desired number of reps and then alternate to the other leg.


Photo of author

Gabrielle McNair

I am obsessed with all things related to fitness and personal health. Outside of that, I enjoy spending time with my husband, being outdoors and traveling.

5 Ways To Become a Certified Personal Trainer

What Is Slow Flow Yoga? (And 10 Reasons You Should Do It)