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View Full Version : Is there a reason I should change out of weightlifting shoes for box jumps?


Fernando Mendoza
11-13-2010, 08:23 AM
Recently I've added box jumps to my programming. I was performing some yesterday and one of the gym staff (who's competent in weightlifting and has actually competed) came up to me just as I had finished my first set of box jumps and told me that I should change out of my weightlifting shoes (e.g. wear running shoes) when I do them. The reasoning was that on jumping back down (e.g. going back to the ground), I could potentially hurt my knees. Her reasoning was the lack of cushioning the sole of the shoe gives. I responded to her when I land I give my knees slack so I end up half or even full squatting when I land. She then retorted that I may save my knees with that approach, but my hips would get the brunt of any injury that would occur.

The reason I ask is that I think she's full of shit in this case (I just continued on my way with the box jumps). I kind of compromised my routine based on her advice, by putting my hands on the box, to enable me to climb down the box (it was more of a little leap, but with my hands on the box, to land on the balls of my feet more easily). But I think in principle she's going overboard and nothing horrible will happen.

Am I wrong on this one? Should I switch to running shoes for box jumping?

Emily Mattes
11-13-2010, 02:34 PM
I'd agree with her. Not to mention sneakers allow you to land and jump more naturally (without the heel in the way) and you won't be wearing out your lifting shoes on things that aren't lifting. I only wear mine on the platform and walking to and from the squat rack, they're not meant for dynamic/conditioning/whatever work.

Fernando Mendoza
11-13-2010, 05:32 PM
I'd agree with her. Not to mention sneakers allow you to land and jump more naturally (without the heel in the way) and you won't be wearing out your lifting shoes on things that aren't lifting. I only wear mine on the platform and walking to and from the squat rack, they're not meant for dynamic/conditioning/whatever work.

Hi Emily, appreciate the response. Based on your response I assume you carry two pairs of shoes to the gym if you have lifting and jumping activities scheduled on the same day? I figure I might get used to doing it, given that I got used to bringing my chalk everywhere else (except the gym I'm at now, which provides it's own chalk for members). Where I'm coming from is that I generally just wear one pair, my lifting shoes, right now - from the locker to the gym, and back. I've seen other people change shoes at the platform, but I've always been under the impression that is excessively protective behaviour for a pair of shoes that get whacked 4-5 times a week. Either way, potentially now I've got to buy new shoes. Do you know what type of running shoes would be good to support (and withstand I guess) jumping activities?

Garrett Smith
11-13-2010, 07:56 PM
Doing high rep box jumps with jumping down is bad for your knees regardless of which shoes you wear.

Fernando Mendoza
11-14-2010, 09:24 AM
Doing high rep box jumps with jumping down is bad for your knees regardless of which shoes you wear.

Thanks for the advice Garrett. Piecing together the advice I've been given so far, I'm going to do the following on Friday:
- maintain the 5sx3r box jumps
- jump up to the box, but sit down and climb back down to the floor, for each rep.
- no change in footwear.

That should allow me to do the reps on the box jumps, but prevent a knee injury ticking timebomb from exploding. From your experience, is that a sound plan?

Garrett Smith
11-14-2010, 12:31 PM
Do what you like. Just remember, everyone's knees were fine before they went bad. Gravity is a bitch, and as most people get older, they wish there weren't as many miles on their knees. Running down stairs and high reps of jumping down from boxes takes a lot more than it gives.

On second thought, maybe you should try your box jumps with a weighted vest.

Jay Ashman
11-14-2010, 12:55 PM
depth jumps off a 36" box with a weighted vest perhaps? That's good for the knees I hear.

Grissim Connery
11-14-2010, 01:20 PM
i don't do box jumps much right now, but generally i just wore my vibrams when i focused on them. it does give you a lot of room between your heel and the floor to try and buffer the blow, but your actual foot can get sore.

i bet in the long run though, it would turn out bad....

if i incorporate box jumps now, i generally do them for height. as a result, i come down slow rather than jump down like you were talkin about.

if you're doing them for reps for conditioning or what not, you could try subbing in bodyweight squats to stop the repeated blow.

Fernando Mendoza
11-14-2010, 02:32 PM
Guys, I'm talking about jumping high ONTO boxes, not depth jumps - even I can see the problems doing depth jumps with any shoe. Box jumps are you jump up not down. That's how I understand box jumps in common parlance here.

Thanks Grissim for you response. Looks like communication's a real problem here.

Jeroen Verwichte
11-15-2010, 11:13 AM
my coach told me it was to protect your wl shoes against quicker decay of the shoe. (if you jump back down)

Gant Grimes
11-17-2010, 07:32 AM
Recently I've added box jumps to my programming.

This is the decision that should have been debated, not choice of footwear.

Andrew Wilson
11-17-2010, 01:11 PM
Guys, I'm talking about jumping high ONTO boxes, not depth jumps - even I can see the problems doing depth jumps with any shoe. Box jumps are you jump up not down. That's how I understand box jumps in common parlance here.

Thanks Grissim for you response. Looks like communication's a real problem here.

Fernando, is any particular training effect you're looking into in being the reason for doing the box jumps? Bounds or repeated standing vertical jumps are more effective, they are also heavily dependent on reps, the landing, and other training you are active in.

Garrett Smith
11-17-2010, 01:19 PM
There was some miscommunication, I apologize for my part. Jumping high onto boxes, good. Jumping down from high boxes, bad. High-rep box jumps a la CF style, well, start saving up for some sort of knee surgery in the future.

Generally, I try to wear my OL shoes as little as possible when not actually lifting. I have seen pictures of Aimee Anaya doing jumps to a high box in her OL shoes though, cover of a PMenu actually...

Troy Kerr
11-17-2010, 09:10 PM
I wear inov-8's most of the time and have use those and my lifting shoes for high box jumps. They give me a feel of a stable platform as opposed to thick running shoes, but since i got my inov-8s they are thin enough to get the same effect.

John Alston
11-18-2010, 06:06 AM
Yeah but how do you guys tie them? Single or double knot? Velcro first or after lacing? Socks pulled high or left around ankle? So many options.

Grissim Connery
11-18-2010, 06:37 AM
so i'm a pretty white guy, but i do ok with box jumps by yanking my knees to my ears if i can get them there. my vertical leap is probably not as great, but then again i've never tested it. is there really a tight, recommended form for box jumps, or is it just a "get up there" kinda mentality?

Jarod Barker
11-18-2010, 12:58 PM
so i'm a pretty white guy, but i do ok with box jumps by yanking my knees to my ears if i can get them there. my vertical leap is probably not as great, but then again i've never tested it. is there really a tight, recommended form for box jumps, or is it just a "get up there" kinda mentality?

Very true, I think people tend to box jumps with "get up there" mentality where they're just pulling their legs up, but I have always tried to emphasize full extension when doing box jumps to try to reinforce hip extension.

This is another reason why I have altered how I train and how I train others, I prefer to focus on the vertical leap because it really does require full extension and you can't cheat it by pulling your legs up fast.

On a side note, Andrew, I'm disappointed you changed your avatar, I really liked that last one :cool:

Jay Ashman
11-18-2010, 04:35 PM
why is this discussion even happening?

who cares how you jump up, as long as both feet hit at the same time and you don't jump down.

Just get the hell up, land, and step down.

anything else is retarded....

Andrew Wilson
11-18-2010, 04:47 PM
On a side note, Andrew, I'm disappointed you changed your avatar, I really liked that last one :cool:

hahaha! me too (http://img28.imageshack.us/img28/7947/yelenaisinbayeva5.jpg)

Andrew Wilson
11-18-2010, 04:51 PM
why is this discussion even happening?

who cares how you jump up, as long as both feet hit at the same time and you don't jump down.

Just get the hell up, land, and step down.

anything else is retarded....

But what if we have to jump over multiple midgets in an unknown and unknowable situation at complex quantities of intensity

Matt Cricchio
11-18-2010, 05:28 PM
But what if we have to jump over multiple midgets in an unknown and unknowable situation at complex quantities of intensity

Why is this dude still allowed to post?

Jarod Barker
11-19-2010, 01:12 PM
Why is this dude still allowed to post?

It's all in fun. We all drank the kool aid at one point, now it's just a friendly joke.:cool:

Anyways, Andrew knows his shit, just check out the thread on triple extension. Or check out the link in his signature, tons of great posts. Not to mention, his avatar rocks!

Emily Mattes
11-19-2010, 10:49 PM
Hi Emily, appreciate the response. Based on your response I assume you carry two pairs of shoes to the gym if you have lifting and jumping activities scheduled on the same day? I figure I might get used to doing it, given that I got used to bringing my chalk everywhere else (except the gym I'm at now, which provides it's own chalk for members). Where I'm coming from is that I generally just wear one pair, my lifting shoes, right now - from the locker to the gym, and back. I've seen other people change shoes at the platform, but I've always been under the impression that is excessively protective behaviour for a pair of shoes that get whacked 4-5 times a week. Either way, potentially now I've got to buy new shoes. Do you know what type of running shoes would be good to support (and withstand I guess) jumping activities?

Ha, I bring 2-4 pairs to the gym, depending on what I'm doing:
Oly shoes - Oly lifting & squats, stone loading, axle/log work

Hi-top Converse knock-offs - Most other lifting including box squats, sometimes dynamic outdoor work like sled pulling and whatnot

Onitsuka Tigers - Jumping, sprinting, dynamic work

Hiking boots - Heavy strongman outdoor work, yoke, keg carries, heavy sled pulls (these have better tread)

The Converse and Tigers are somewhat interchangeable for some exercises though I stick with the Converse for box squats, and the Tigers for sprint work. I generally don't do more than three pairs in a workout, and that's usually my event days as they're 3-4 hours long and cover a lot of different lifting ground.

EDIT: Reading this, it all sounds ridiculous but is pretty par for the course for the strongmen who train at my gym. The only pair of shoes I've bought recently are the Converse ones, everything else is 2-3+ years old.

Brian M Smith
01-14-2011, 06:47 AM
I would think doing olympic lifts in your wl shoes is probably the most stress they see, no?

The polish team did box jumps in their shoes w/o problems (at 2:11) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TU7bEr1ZyuQ