Strength And Conditioning

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Published: 2021-01-22
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John Graham, Senior Network Administrator in Network Development at St Luke’s University Health Network demonstrates how to perform box step-up.


Building up your thighs is essential to improving an athlete’s ability to run and jump, two critical skills in numerous sports. Additionally, research has demonstrated that the development of muscle mass in the thighs correlates to increased power in sports.

Performing a box step-up exercise is a great way to improve your thigh power, strength and endurance. In a box step-up, you will predominantly be using the Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Gluteals and Abdominals.

When performing a box step-up exercise, the athlete will step up and place the whole foot firmly on top of the box. Using the lead leg, the athlete will push up onto the box. All weight should be maintained on the lead leg and the use of the trail leg should be minimized during the step-up. The athlete should envision driving the lead leg down through the box. Maintain erect position with square hips. The lead leg should extend fully. The trail leg follows, and the knee on the trail leg is lifted to hip height and the foot even and in front of the lead knee.

By performing the box step-up, athletes are not only strengthening critical muscle groups needed to run & jump in sports, but also balance and stability and learning how to push off the ball of their foot to maximize power in their lower body when moving in sports.