Step Down or Rebound || Coach Tim Garland

With the CrossFit Open just a few weeks away, our last few articles have focused on mindset and integrity in training. Applying those principles, I’d like to focus on a single movement often in the Open. The box jump.

The box jump is an expression of power and control of our body-weight. The explosive strength required, as well as stamina when performed at high volume, is not for everyone.  An alternative to this movement is the step-up. While the step-up does not have the same explosive strength demands, it can be a safer movement, especially when considering the urge to “rebound” from a box jump.  Some of us are new to this realm of exercise, so let’s define ‘rebound’ within the context of a box jump.

Rebound- rēˌbound
*to bounce back through the air after hitting a hard surface or object*

So, the next question…how do you determine if you should rebound?

It is probably best for the majority of the general population of group class folks to go ahead and step off of the box. The demands placed on the Achilles tendon, thus risk for injury, are not worth the reward. Rebounding should be left for those that make training a top tier priority. This means they are recovering with the best of the best, by keeping incredible sleep hygiene, eating to replenish for their body type and workload demands, and taking care of their bodies with a complete soft tissue regimen.

So, you are not an elite athlete and do not know where to begin with taking care of/troubleshooting your body. Below are three examples of soft tissue work that you can implement, if you are not already doing so,
that will aid the likes of running, double-unders, and of course…box jumps.


Foam rolling the lower portion of your calf. You can also use a kettlebell or even barbell if you find that you need a bit more pressure. Simple place the lower portion of your calf on the object of choice, then work through some extension/flexion of the ankle, and even clockwise/counterclockwise rotations.

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Using a band below the ankle joint itself, elevate the ball of your foot and drive your heel toward the floor while simultaneously pushing your shin toward the top of your foot.

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Working off of a box, place a ball in the belly of the muscle on your shin and gently apply pressure. Here, as with the foam roller in #1, you can work through flexion/extension of the ankle while slowly working your way up (or down) the front of the shin. Please don’t place the ball on the bone itself, remember we are working the soft tissue!

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Try these out. Not sure if you are doing them correctly? Ask a coach, they are there to help!

Stay Safe and Healthy,