If you’re looking for a high-intensity workout to shake you out of the doldrums, give this dead lift-box jump superset workout a try and make the most out of a short period of time.

This dead lift-box jump superset workout consists of a set of 10-repetitions in the dead lift immediately followed by 10 box jumps, and after a two minute rest you repeat this superset.  Ideally, 4 supersets should be what you shoot for.  This is a great workout for personal trainers to implement with their clients – if they’ve already been working with plyos – or for weekend warriors who have experience performing box jumps and other advanced plyometric exercises.

Anyone who works with a personal trainer should definitely ask their trainer to incorporate box jumps in their routine, as plyometrics are a great training method that can help people of all ages and ability levels.

The key to getting the most out of this kind of workout is to select the proper amount of weight for the dead lifts and height for the box jumps.  If you are a regular dead lifter, you should be able to perform sets of 10-repetitions with a weight equal to your body weight.  If you have experience with plyometrics and box jumping and are over 5’ 8” you should be able to perform the jumps onto at least a 20-inch box. At 6’ 1” I used a 28-inch box this week, which is probably just about at the safe height limit for me.  At my age I don’t need to go and hurt myself, so while I probably could have handled 30-32-inches for the jumps, I let discretion be the better part of valor.  Size matters, but only to a point.

When trying to determine the proper height for box jumps, use a box that requires almost 100% effort to get up on.  I know this sounds non-specific – it is non-specific – but you have to develop a feel for jumping that only comes from experience.  That being said, this workout is designed to push you, so keep that in mind.  The bottom line is that if you’re experienced with plyos you can push yourself a little harder than should the “plyo noob.”

Performing supersets in this manner doesn’t mean form goes out the window and that you can rush through the workout without regard for proper techniques.  Take your time and use proper form for the dead lifts and – even though you are going fast – do not get sloppy with the box jumps.  Make sure that you utilize proper jumping technique; full arm swing, bend at the knees and minimize bend at the waist during take off, fully keep knees from buckling inward and fully extend at the ankles, knees and hips.

It is important to keep your landing mechanics solid as well, making sure not to land leaning forward, with knees buckling inward and weight on the balls of the feet.  Maintain balance while taking care not to bend too much at the knees and waist, with weight balanced evenly throughout the foot.  What you do need to do quickly is safely step off of the box, reset and continue with the set of jumps.  It is hard work to do this quickly and properly. But if you can’t move fast through a complete range of motion and maintain control, then you aren’t getting the most out of your training sessions.

The dead lift-box jump superset is really not for beginners or for people who are inexperienced in the ways of plyometrics.  But for those folks who work with a personal trainer or who are knowledgeable enough to be able to perform these movements on their own, this is a very efficient and effective workout.


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