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Old 12-09-2014, 11:01 AM   #1
Scott Simmonds
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Box Jump Safety

I'm working on risk management suggestions for preventing injuries. Box jumps are a source of a fair number of incidents. While most are minor (or to ego alone) I have heard of some bad accidents.

Anyone have suggestions as to pragmatic suggestions to prevent crashes?

Is a class rule of full-foot contact with the box helpful?

Do coaches watch athletes and call them off box-jumps when the jumps get sketchy?

Spotters for when someone is getting over a certain height?

I'm not trying to take box jumps out of the box but to consider some pragmatic safety considerations that might prevent a blood stain or two.
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Old 12-09-2014, 01:43 PM   #2
Sean Dunston
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Re: Box Jump Safety

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Originally Posted by Scott Simmonds View Post
I'm working on risk management suggestions for preventing injuries. Box jumps are a source of a fair number of incidents. While most are minor (or to ego alone) I have heard of some bad accidents.

Anyone have suggestions as to pragmatic suggestions to prevent crashes?

Is a class rule of full-foot contact with the box helpful?

Do coaches watch athletes and call them off box-jumps when the jumps get sketchy?

Spotters for when someone is getting over a certain height?

I'm not trying to take box jumps out of the box but to consider some pragmatic safety considerations that might prevent a blood stain or two.
what is the context here? 20" box jumps during a metcon like FGB? Max height box jumps? I'm not sure "spotters" are feasible if the box jump in question is a part of a metcon.
When we used to do max height box jumps at my gym, we had spotters, and tended to only have one athlete working at a time.
I have switched to max distance broad jumps. It still tests explosiveness from a stand still and eliminates much of the risk.
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Old 12-09-2014, 06:40 PM   #3
Shawn M Wilson
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Re: Box Jump Safety

I have a soft plyo box coming from mdusa.

Outside of that like Sean said there is only so much you can do to prevent risks...

A friend of mine who is in amazing shape tore his Achilles during the last open. Nothing like box jumps and deadlifts...

Another buddy slipped during a metcon and raked his shin all the way down to the bone. 9 inches of nasty nasty Ick for a long time and a scar...

I prefer not using them in high reps and being on the safer side. When doing max height I prefer tires or bumper plates vs a wooden box.

I agree on broad jumps also. It's what I make my two younger boys do now until the soft plyo comes in. We also do step downs vs bounding.
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Old 12-09-2014, 11:34 PM   #4
Alex Burden
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Re: Box Jump Safety

I thought CF was about scaling!

So if you are not comfortable or can't box jump to the correct level then scale down to a lower box until that person feels comfortable.

On the other side of things... if you are in the middle of a WOD and you are tired then there is always a risk.

If someone is afraid of scratching their shin then a pair of long socks will help..

But you can say the same thing for almost anything within CF... risks and getting hurt.. Sorry to say there is only so much anyone can do!
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Old 12-10-2014, 08:46 AM   #5
Tighe Crovetti
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Re: Box Jump Safety

Shin guards?
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Old 12-10-2014, 09:24 AM   #6
Luke Sirakos
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Re: Box Jump Safety

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Originally Posted by Tighe Crovetti View Post
Shin guards?
After seeing the recent box jump fail video making the rounds a cup might be in order too
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Old 12-10-2014, 01:33 PM   #7
Michael Cook
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Re: Box Jump Safety

Here are a few suggestions:

No running + box jump workouts when it is wet or raining outside.

Require or recommend step-downs vs. bounding box jumps for most athletes.

Standing Broad jump or vertical leap or jump over pvc instead of max height box jump.

Spotters for max height box jump if you really want to do that.
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Old 12-17-2014, 12:20 PM   #8
Jason Senn
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Re: Box Jump Safety

How do you spot for a max height box jump?
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Old 12-17-2014, 02:32 PM   #9
Miles Roberts
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Re: Box Jump Safety

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How do you spot for a max height box jump?
Don't. In my opinion anyway. That sounds like a good way for 2 or 3 people to get hurt instead of just 1.
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Old 12-17-2014, 05:08 PM   #10
Christopher Morris
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Re: Box Jump Safety

The two most common box jump injuries are shin scrapes and achilles tears. Prevent these injuries by understanding how they happen.

Shin scrapes happen in an instant. Too fast for a spotter to be helpful. The injury has happened before they can react and intervene. If your toe doesn't clear the corner of the box, the shin may contact the corner of the box.

Shin scrapes are prevented by box design and wardrobe. Soft plyo boxes are a great idea, like the box used at Regionals this year (wfs), or the MDUSA box mentioned.

My plyo boxes are built following the CrossFit journal instructions (wfs); a 10 degree slope and a rubber top. On a missed jump the 10 degree slope directs the shin away from the box edge. You may still hit it, but the scrape is minimized. I can't imagine it's possible to get a 9" scrape with this design. Injuries are more like a 1/2" spot if they happen at all. I trimmed the rubber at a 45 degree angle to deflect impacts.

Hopefully your athletes have long socks ready in their gym bag for rope climbs, deadlifts, and box jumps. Or put out a message on Facebook: "Bring your socks for box jumps today!"

A shin scrape is a low risk with an angled box and rubber top while wearing long socks.

Achilles tears: personally I only do step down. If you tear an achilles it happens on the rebound at the bottom. The achilles tear doesn't correlate to fitness level; it can happen to top athletes just as it can to less fit athletes. A step down slows down the rebound and lowers your achilles risk. I'm not a competitive CrossFitter, so the 2 seconds I'll loose over 10 box jumps is not a big deal.

Rebounding box jumps shouldn't be done at excessive height. If you're rebounding at the bottom, lower your height. Jamie Hagiya (a very fit athlete) got an achilles tear in the NPGL doing rebound jumps at 30".

I don't think a full-foot-on-the-box rule helps prevent these injuries. It will prevent you from falling off the box, but it won't prevent tears or shin scrapes. Shin scrapes may be more likely if you're concentrating on getting that full foot onto the box, i.e. it has further to move forward once it clears the corner.

Max height box jumps shouldn't be done near a wall. Allow plenty of space around the box, and put down a fall mat, just behind the jumping position. That way they can jump off the firm ground, but if they fall on their back or butt, the mat will cushion their fall.
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