Rebounding Box Jumps

Just incase you didn’t know, just 14 weeks ago I completely ruptured my achilles doing rebounding box jumps.  It was on the 28th rep of the filthy fifty.  I hadn’t done any box jumps yet during the week, I had no calf or achilles soreness and did a full complete warmup like any other day.

I had heard rumors and rumblings about the rebounding box jump and the risk of achilles rupture, but like any other competitive athlete I had the ‘that’s never going to happen to me’ mentality, until IT DID!

When it first happened there were a few posts and blogs written about people using me as the example of how risky rebounding box jumps are.  I was PISSED to say the least, but I was also emotionally charged from being set back.  Now that 14 weeks have passed and I’ve had time to let go of the anger of the injury and share my story I have  much different feeling.

I would agree with everyone that sited me as the example of the rebounding box jumps risk.  Why?  Because in just a what seemed like forever but is really short 14 weeks I’ve had 8 people reach out to me for guidance and support because they had just ruptured their achilles rebounding on box jumps.

Now maybe it’s like a Volkswagon.  You never see any and then you buy one and you see them every where. But for me it’s a powerful statistic that so many have reached out me in such a short time.  I know you’ll have a hard time convincing me that I or any of my athletes should be rebounding.  Yes, it’s slightly faster, but at what risk?

I know I have implemented a STRICT step down policy at Coca.  It’s my job as a coach to keep my athletes safe and probably more so that I don’t want anyone to have to go through what I did.  I know they could rupture it running, jumping off the pullup bar, walking etc, but I don’t want to increase their chances by letting them rebound.

You have to decided what’s best for you and your athletes.  But for me and my athletes we’ll be stepping down under the Coca roof.  We’ll just be getting really effing good at everything else so that a few second loss will be made up else where.

14 thoughts on “Rebounding Box Jumps

  1. Kate, You asked for my info on how the “rebounding” went in 12.3. I completed 305 total reps in the wod (8rds + 15 box jumps + 2 push press). My calves were pretty sore going into it from the week’s earlier wods. The rebounding went fine although the Achilles were tight aka sore come Sunday morning and I opted out of my (somewhat) normal 5-10 mile trail run. I agree with most of your assertions in your blog entry. I would not recommend rebounding to almost anyone. I leave it open for experienced CFers (2+years of extensive training) or people that have a well-established gymnastics or endurance athlete background. Side-note: in addition to the Achilles issue, I did hear people complain about their knees and calves hurting if they did rebound or even jump down from the box.

    Thanks for the “good luck at your own risk” messages. See you soon!

  2. I ruptured my achilles doing that wod. I certainly was not expecting it and wish I stuck with step downs. Surgery Thursday, your blog and story have been inspiring. Thank you.

  3. Linda – so sorry to hear about your rupture. If there’s anything I can do let me know. It sucks, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel….. scouts honor!

  4. Just an FYI – I did 12.3 stepping down largely in part because of your injury and posts. I always used to do box jumps with rebounding, but honestly, I know I’m not getting into regionals based on my box jumping prowess.

    Thanks for posting your follow-up thoughts, +1 for KK!

  5. I would like to offer pubic props to you for stepping up (or stepping down) and changing her gym’s policy on box jumps following your achilles rupture. I know that you took a lot of shit when you were injured, but I think the important piece is to learn from your mistakes. Most people know that I don’t allow people do jump down from box jumps at my gym nor do I allow box jumps for time. Same as my no kipping policy. I fucked up, and I learned from my mistake. Maybe more people will be smart enough to make this change before they or their athletes are unnecessarily injured. I may not agree with everything that you say or do, and I am certainly not “go-go-CrossFit” in any way, but I liked this a lot.

  6. Thanks Tamara- I NEVER claim to know it all or be the best, but after having an additional 6 people email after completing 12.3 and rupturing their achilles it only confirmed that we dont’ need to be jumping down at Coca. It’s all about learning and adapting.

  7. Kate,

    As you are a respected name in the community, thanks for publishing this. What we ultimately need is some real studies on the forces generated and whether cases like yours are a statistical anomaly, or in fact are indicators of a risky movement. There is huge magic to plyometric training done at the right intensity and frequency, but with any movement, there are also costs. As coaches, we need to make sure that we understand our clients and their goals and present to them an accurate cost/benefit picture. For the average mother/father with the goal of being able to keep up with their kids, those re-bounding box jumps have a lot higher cost compared to hobbling around on crutches at the little league soccer game or climbing up the stairs at their office on crutches.

    I also implemented the no-rebounding rule at my gym very shortly after seeing your story. If I were training some legitimate games athletes, I may massage that policy for the sake of specificity.

  8. Great article…we all learn from each other, mostly through our mistakes. Too many peeps in CF are over-reaching into the unsafe zone due to inflated egos and unrealistic expectations. Kudos for taking your situation and using it to protect any and all that your reach encompasses, even if it meant swallowing a bit of a chunky pride sandwich!
    Keep on keepin on!!

  9. Just read your blog. And I am sitting on my couch waiting for surgery on my ruptured achilles tendon after blowing it out on box jumps. Just reading your blog made me smile because you sound like a coach who really cares about your clients. Can you tell me about your recovery? Did you have surgery? Was it painful? Thanks!

  10. Paula – so sorry to hear about your tear, I feel your pain. Email me directly at or call me at 440.724.6587 I’m more than happy to talk shop with you. I had surgery 6 1/2 months ago and am doing GREAT! I’m already running and doing 12″ box jumps. It’s a slow recovery in that you can’t force it or speed it up. You have to wait for the surgery to scar over and hold before you can really start using it.

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