Box Squat Exercise

Box Squat:



The box squat is an exercise that helps develop strength and power in the upper and lower leg muscles including the quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. In our experience, working with people who have knee pain, the box squat can be an effective exercise to work the legs, while avoiding putting too much stress on the knee joints. We have worked with clients who have had knee surgeries, arthritis, and inflammation; and the box squat has proven to be a great tool to avoid aggravating the knees when exercising the legs. There are some key points to follow when teaching and performing the box squat:

  • Squat to a box height that has you squat to parallel or slightly above parallel
  • Keep an upright torso when descending/ascending
  • Brace the midline (tight core to protect the spine)
  • Keep a “vertical” shin
  • Weight in the heels throughout the movement
  • “Disengage” the quad muscles and pause briefly on top of the box
  • Stand to extension at the hips and knees and squeeze the glutes
  • Keep the weight light enough to maintain the proper position

Read More How to Do Box Step Ups

The box squat is a great tool for increasing leg strength and helping with avoiding stress on the knees, while still working the legs. The box squat provides an automatic depth indicator and allows you to sit back further than a free squat. This will help to reduce stress on the knees. The box squat includes a pause, which breaks up the stretch-shortening cycle (eccentric and concentric contractions). When performing box squats, focus on the proper positioning and prioritize movement quality over heavier loads.


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