From my research, both exercises - box jump/vertical jump and the stair climber - generally activate the same type of muscle regions (legs as well as core) on top of strengthening the cardiovascular system. Besides box jumps being an explosive movement are there any other additive benefits of box jumping over the stair climber? What are some alternative exercises to these exercises since they both seem to be pretty harsh on the knee joints?

  • 1
    Properly done, neither one should be harsh on the knees. Don't confuse bad form with a bad exercise. :)
    – JohnP
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 17:00
  • @JohnP - "Don't confuse bad form with a bad exercise." - That's a very nice and concise way of putting it. I'm stealing it and using it in the future to save myself a few sentences. :)
    – Alec
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 17:04
  • @Alec No problem, steal away. :)
    – JohnP
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 17:06
  • @JohnP how is the constant pounding of one jumping off and onto something not harsh the knees? Especially at 3 to 4 feet. Initially, one’s knees have to absorb a great amount of force before the energy can be dispersed throughout the body and into the ground.
    – Lawleyenda
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 16:15
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    @Lawleyenda anything over 18 ish inches you should not be jumping off the box, it places way too much strain on achilles/knees. Box jumps shouldn't be used in a fast repetition, conditioning type workout. And jumping for height (i.e. 50" box jumps) doesn't do more for someone than a properly executed box jump (In almost all cases). A box jump height should be just a little below your max jump height. Landing on the box should not be done in a full squat position.
    – JohnP
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 16:37

2 Answers 2


There are different ideas about jumping exercises. I cannot show any references right now, but some people believe doing explosive work increases explosiveness; whereas some people only believe that increasing strength is the only way to increase explosiveness.

I believe that one should work out as needed. For example, do you need to do box jumps? Do you need jumping in your daily life? Do you need to get better at jumping and jumping higher? If not, I do not believe that doing box jumps would bring you extra benefit than regular strength training.

However, the risk of injury is higher with jumping, which means you need to be more careful with it.


Explosiveness= strength+ speed

Speed is all about type II muscle fibers and strength is about progressive overload. Using weights trains both type I and type II muscle fibers, higher intensity trains both in a collective manner and high volume trains both in a cumulative manner.

Training for endurance or strength will passively improve your explosiveness and speed, many olympic runners use weights to train increase their speed.

If you want to jump higher normal weight training or calisthenics are enough, if you really want an incredibly elite level jump then treat jumping as a skill.

To get better at a skill you practice it more.

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