Outside The Box

Get a leg up on your competition by incorporating a box workout into your training regimen.

Many athletes worry that leg exercises can cause back and knee injuries and result in tremendous muscle soreness after training. Before these worries have you skipping out on leg day, keep in mind that the legs are an opportune area to pack on muscle and improve performance, speed, and jumping ability, while decreasing the risk of injury. Although squats and dead lifts can produce size and strength, there are other leg exercises that need to be mixed into your workout. If you have a box and are looking to break with convention, you have everything your need for a new leg routine that will re-energize you on the path to power, injury prevention, and results.


Begin with one foot on the floor and one foot on the box. Without using assistance from the foot on the floor, step onto the box. Perform 10 repetitions on each leg for 3 sets. Focus on the 2-3 second lowering phase for each rep. Grab a pair of dumbbells for extra resistance.


Begin by facing the box in the squat position with both your arms in the air. Swing your arms down as you jump up onto the box. Step down under control and repeat for 3 sets of 10 reps.


Stand parallel to the box with your right foot on top of the box and your left foot on the floor to the left side of the box. Push off your left foot laterally, so that your left foot lands on top of the box and your right foot lands on the floor to the right side of the box. Repeat this sequence back and fourth for 3 sets of 20 reps.


Begin lying on your back with your heels on the box and your knees slightly bent. Press your heels into the box and lift your hips off the ground. Lower your hips under control, and perform 3 sets of 10 reps.

Martin Rooney is a pioneer of strength and conditioning for MMA. For over a decade, Rooney has prepared hundreds of fighters for the UFC, Pride, ADCC, IFL, and the Olympics, including multiple UFC, Pride FC, and IFL champions. His website is trainingforwarriors.com.

Warrior Cardio

If you are interested in using more circuits in your training, check out Martin Rooney’s new book Warrior Cardio. The 416-page, full-color training manual is available for sale online and wherever books are sold.

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