The box jump, like the battle rope or the tyre flip, is an exercise not popular with the masses.

To lug a rarely used box from the corner of the gym and launch yourself onto it, repeatedly, is an act of defiance that speaks of a high-performance mindset. That, or the leg press is busy.

Either way, box jumps aren’t just a good way to draw attention to yourself; done right, they activate the nervous system for gains in strength and size.

While box jumps alone aren’t going to give you legs like Chris Hoy, performing them regularly – and even as a warm-up exercise before you get into your heavy lifting – will fire up your nervous system and stimulate the fast-twitch muscles neglected with low-intensity weightlifting.

The result? You’ll not only be able to lift more, but you will also stimulate more muscle growth during each workout.

Before your next lower-body workout, kick things off with 2-3 sets x 5 reps of box jumps – on a box that’s around knee height (or a height that’s going to fire up your legs without completely exhausting you).

RELATED: 5 of the Best Plyometric Exercises for Explosive Power

How to box jump safely and effectively:

  1. Stand just in front of a box with feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Swing arms and hinge hips back with a tall chest, flat back, and engaged core.
  3. Swing arms forward, using momentum to jump up and slightly forward, landing softly with both feet completely on the box.
  4. Stand up, locking out your knees and extending your hips.
  5. Carefully step back down to the ground.