How to Properly Perform Box Squats

How to Properly Perform Box Squats

Variety in your workout routine can always be a good thing. Plus, it can be nice to switch things up and get out of the same old routine.

No matter what your goal is, changing up your training routine every 1-2 months can be beneficial to keep you progressing.

On top of that, doing the same exercises over and over again can get pretty boring. Let’s use your leg workouts as an example.

For the most part, most leg days include exercises like squats, lunges, and even deadlifts. However, there are many more exercises that can be great for training your legs.

One of my favorites as of recently has been box squats. If you’re curious about what this exercise is and how it can help you, stick around! I’ll run you through exactly how to do box squats and why they can be beneficial to add to your next leg workout.

What Are Box Squats?

So what exactly are box squats? They are a squat variation that includes using a box or a bench.

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Box squats can help you accomplish a number of things. They can help you add more weight to your squats, break through plateaus, and build muscle and strength in your legs.

Box squats can also help you improve the portion of your squat that happens to be the most challenging.

Truthfully, they come with a wide variety of potential benefits. Let’s spend some time talking about those benefits and how you can use box squats to your advantage.

First though, we’ll discuss the muscles involved in a box squat.

What Muscles Do Box Squats Work?

The box squat can be great for targeting your glutes specifically. At the same time, they will also work your hamstrings, quads, core, and the muscles in your shins.

Something that I like a lot about box squats is that you can use the box like a safety net. They can help make sure that you are comfortable with whatever weight you are shooting for with your squat.

So, if you are working on building stronger legs, then box squats are a great movement for you to use!

How To Do Box Squats

If you’ve ever squatted before, I’m sure you have a good idea in your mind about what a box squat may look like. If you’re picturing squatting down to sit on a box … you are 100% correct.

The setup for this is going to be very similar to that of a traditional barbell squat. The biggest difference is that you are going to have a plyo box or bench behind you.

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Find a rack, a barbell, some weights, and a plyo box or bench to set behind the rack. Before you get started though, test the height of the box to make sure your thighs end up parallel to the floor when you sit on it.

Set the rack up so the barbell is at mid-chest height. Grab the bar with your hands just outside of shoulder width and step underneath the bar to place it on your upper back or traps.

Take a few steps behind you out toward the box, making sure you will be seated on the box when you squat down. Trust me when I say, you don’t want to mess this part up!

Push your hips back and slowly descend into a squat as you keep your chest high and core tight. Keep descending into the squat until you are seated on the box directly behind you.

As you prepare to lift yourself off the box, drive your heels into the ground. Squeeze your glutes, drive your hips forward, and exhale as you stand upright with the bar. This is one rep.

You may repeat this as many times as needed to fit your specific program.

What Are The Benefits of Box Squats?

There are a number of things that box squats can really help out with. To keep the list concise, here are some of the most important things box squats can help out with…

Box Squats Can Help Encourage Proper Squat Form

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Whether you are just beginning your fitness journey, or you are working up to hit a new one-rep-max, box squats can be great. They can help you focus on your squat form as you start to add more weight to the bar.

This is often because of the sense of security that a box can bring you. Not only will it keep you from falling, but it will also give you a good base of support as you begin to lift the weight back up.

Box Squats Can Help Build Awareness of Squat Depth

A lot of people struggle to get their knees to 90 degrees on their squats. This is where box squats can be especially helpful. They can help keep you comfortable as you work to develop your squat depth.

This will not only keep you safe, but also help you get low enough to make your squats as effective as possible.

Box Squats Can Help You Get Stronger at the Bottom of Your Squat

When it comes to squatting, it’s important to be strong and explosive at the bottom of your squat. I don’t think any of us want to squat down with a bunch of weight on our back, then fall over or not be able to stand back up with it! This is another way box squats can really shine.

Box squats allow you to work on your explosive strength when coming out of a squat. Sitting on the box eliminates the momentum you can use to quickly spring yourself out of a squat, making it more difficult.

At the same time, this is why it’s a great way to work on that explosive strength. The box squat forces you to engage your whole lower body to get yourself back up to finish a rep.

Box Squats Can Help You Work Toward a PR

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Because of the fact that box squats can help you get stronger at the bottom of your squat, they can help you overcome strength plateaus.

For example, if your PR (personal record) on back squat is 250 lbs (that’s awesome!) and you want to keep that moving upward … you can program heavier box squats to keep progressing.

Using these in your programming for 4-6 weeks can make a big difference. Am I guaranteeing that you will increase your squat? No ... there are a lot of factors you have to consider to make progress with your strength. However, I have personally seen this happen in my own journey and in other people’s journeys too!

One Last Thing That You Don’t Want To Miss

Box squats are a great exercise to use in so many different ways. As I stated above, they are great to help improve your squat, build strength, or even teach the different parts of your body to work together more efficiently.

Even though there are so many benefits that can come from doing box squats, they are not going to completely change your results alone.

If you are working toward a specific fitness goal like gaining muscle, losing weight, or just living a healthier life … box squats alone can only do so much.

To see the best results possible, you’ll want to make sure every aspect of your exercise and nutrition are dialed in.

If you’re looking for more exercises, need help with nutrition, or are just struggling to see the results you’re after … that’s where we can help!

In fact, that’s why we developed the best all-in-one tool for your health and fitness goals, called the 1st Phorm App.

The app features a full library of different workout programs and exercises that can help you on your journey. Not only that, but it also includes:

• 1-on-1 messaging with your own certified advisor
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• A culture and community of accountability and support

… and much more! If you’re ready to earn amazing results, just download the 1st Phorm App to get started today.

If you have any other questions in the meantime, reach out to us!

Our team of NASM Certified Personal Trainers and Certified Nutrition Coaches is always happy to help out. Just give us a call at 1-800-409-9732 or shoot us an email at anytime.

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