Performing box jumps challenge the body’s ability to stabilize the joints through movement. This is crucial for any athlete especially runners. When training Vincent, Roger Adams, NAC Master Personal Trainer, uses a programming method that includes six or so variations of a sequence of jumps, mixing both ballistic and plyometric exercises. Both of these movements utilize the stretch shortening cycle (image below) which is an eccentric contraction (lengthening of a muscle) followed by an immediate concentric contraction (shortening of a muscle).
The backwards roll (demonstrated in the video below) encourages core activation and gives the athlete no option but to start the jump from a low squat with proper knee and hip flexion. Minimal use of the arms asks for more control and balance through the lower body. Landing on a bigger box makes the athlete land on the forefeet and in a second low squat position with a full stand and extension at the top to complete the move.