If you’re tackling box jumps as a beginner, then you’re likely playing around with different heights. Smart move! This absolutely requires a little trial and error. Maybe you end up starting with something far more modest, so that you can get comfortable and gain confidence. Eventually, you’ll be able to reach greater heights — literally!

Let’s talk about box jump height standards.

Box Jump Height Standards for Training, WODs, and Competition

Your standard plyometric box can be set in three different ways to give you three different box jump heights. The three heights are:

  • 51 cm/20 in
  • 61 cm/24 in
  • 76 cm/30 in

Now, if we’re talking about something like the CrossFit Open or Games, they usually say to refer to the box jump height standard for your specific division. Men and women could have different standards, as could age groups. Typically, women use 51 cm/20 in and men use 61 cm/24 in. (Remember that if you’re participating in the Open, you can always scale to make the WOD more appropriate for you.)

Whether you’re competing or getting in your daily sweat sesh, which box jump height is going to be best for you?

If you’re newer to the movement — or, if you’re warming up — we usually suggest you start with the lowest height. This is one of the best box jump tips we can give you. This is partly to get your body ready, yes. But it’s also to help you build confidence. One of the biggest hurdles athletes face with box jumps is the fear of missing the box and experiencing a gnarly shin injury.

So, start small and focus on baby steps! From here, it really depends on you and your programming.

athlete performing box jumps

What if I Want a Height That’s in Between the Typical Box Jump Height Standards?

Great question! What if you’re not quite ready for 30 inches but 24 inches is getting too easy? A simple way to scale up is to add a thin weightlifting plate — like 10 or 15 pounds. This will give you another couple of inches (roughly) as you work your way up to the next standard height.

You can scale down, too! If you’re not ready for 20 inches yes — which is totally okay — some box sets are actually steps, not boxes. And they typically come with steps that are much lower to the ground.

If you don’t have this type of setup, then try stacking plates! One 45-pound plate might be all you need to start getting comfortable with the movement and gain confidence. But of course, you can stake any combination of plates that you deem suitable. Just be sure that anytime you’re stacking plates, you make sure they’re secure first. Typically, if you’re using more than one, you want to put the heaviest plate on top so that it weighs down all the others.

Box jumps are a total-body movement you can’t live without. And now that you know the common box jump height standards — and how to scale them — you’re ready to dive in! Stock up on all the gear you’ll need and shop with The WOD Life today.