Box Squatting The Right Way

How can I improve my squat? How can I run faster and jump higher? How can I improve my athletic ability? The answer to all of these questions; box squatting. Executing a proper box squat can help to eliminate any weaknesses in the squat while keeping the knees safe and building the proper muscles.


To execute a box squat, we set up the exact same way we do for a regular squat. If you read my last article you’ll remember our checklist of lining up the bar, keeping the back tight, bracing the abs, etc. Once in position we sit BACK onto the box. Leading by pushing our glutes back and knees pushing out, and arching your back we sit on a box and come to a resting position. It is important to push your hips back as far back as possible to limit the distance to get to parallel. This strengthens the hamstrings and activates the glutes as well. At this point we push our knees out as we stand up off of the box as we do in a normal squat. One important thing to keep in mind when box squatting is to keep our shin angle as vertical as possible.

The beautiful thing about box squatting is that we can modify it to target any weaknesses in your squat.

  • For weak hips use a box below parallel and a wider stance

  • For a weak lower back use a box below parallel and a narrow stance

  • For weak quads use a parallel box

If any additional sticking points are identified, put the box in that position. For example if you struggle at 3 inches above parallel, use a box that is 3 inches above parallel.

So next time you want a little variety in your squat training, throw a box under you and take a seat. The carry-over to regular squats may just surprise you. Box squatting isn't just for athletes and powerlifters. Average people just looking to improve their fitness will see the benefits as well. So next time you’re at Body Elite, throw in some variety and ask to box squat!

Sean Willitts