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Thread: Crossfitters--Need Advice (HELP: Learned Fear of Box Jumps) page

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    diene's Avatar
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    Crossfitters--Need Advice (HELP: Learned Fear of Box Jumps)

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    My experience with box jumps is very strange. When I was first exposed to box jumps during the on-ramp sessions, I had no trouble starting. I got on the box right away and survived all on-ramps sessions with box jumps without getting injured. Then I started regular crossfit, and we didn't do box jumps for a while. I developed a fear of them for no reason. I got myself to overcome this by doing a few every so often.

    Then I got injured because I wasn't paying attention one time and fell over the box. I banged my knee. It hurt but wasn't serious or anything. I recovered from this psychologically. But then I got injured again. Banged my shin this time (the normal way people get injured on box jumps). And I developed a fear of box jumps again!

    Now, it's a lot worse. The thing with box jumps is that if you're afraid of them, it actually makes it easier to get injured because of the mental block (thinking you can't get on the box makes it more likely that you won't make it). So I got injured a third time because I was scared. That, of course, just reinforced my fear, and now I'm even more scared. Just thinking about box jumps right now (sitting at work) makes my adrenaline spike (yes, I can tell, I can feel it).

    I can still do them when I have to, but I'm SOOO scared now, it's not even fun anymore. And that's sad because I actually really like box jumps. I can't tell myself that it's an irrational fear because it's completely rational.

    Does anyone have any advice for me on how to attenuate this learned fear? Should I keep trying to make myself do it, or give myself a break for a while? (The last time I got injured on them was last Wednesday.)

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    I was a high jumper in track and had this problem. I ended up focused on the color of the bar. Only blue bar hurt you, doh.

    You may be able to find something special to focus on... It's THAT box, not THIS box. I dunno if that's an approved sports psychology technique (I would be so interested to learn if it is!) but it worked for me when I was psycho.
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    The best advise I can give, is to start with a shorter box, until you get your nerve back up.
    Once it becomes "easy" to do, say, 20+ consecutively, then move to a slightly larger box and so on.

    Making sure you keep your feet under (or slightly in front) of you, will help.
    Other than that, don't "focus" on the edge. If you're going to look at the box, look at the center or far edge (farthest away from you). The body has a natural tendency to go where it's pointed.

    HTH

    OD

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    Yeah...
    I used to have a fear of jumping anything over 3' on a horse. And I'd do dumb shit in front of a 3' jump due to fear. This has carried over to box jumps....LOL, the 2" difference between 18" and 20" does me in.....The key is to get bored, perfect form, move up again.

    So, go back to the box jump height that is stupid easy for you. Use that until you feel like it's a stupid waste of time. Then find a box 2" bigger. Use that until you feel it is a stupid waste of time. If it is kind of scary, set it next to the easy jump and if you get unglued or nervous, jump the low box to get confidence back, then hop on the higher box. Repeat until you are where you want to be.

    It takes time to restore confidence and it can be frustrating to know you can do something, but you are too scared. It just is a factor of time.

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    Tell your box to buy you one of these.

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    diene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loafingcactus View Post
    I was a high jumper in track and had this problem. I ended up focused on the color of the bar. Only blue bar hurt you, doh.

    You may be able to find something special to focus on... It's THAT box, not THIS box. I dunno if that's an approved sports psychology technique (I would be so interested to learn if it is!) but it worked for me when I was psycho.
    Hmmm...not sure if that would work for me. The boxes kinda all look the same so I'm not even sure which ones hurt me. Since I've been injured three times already, and we only have maybe 7 boxes, I think there's a good chance that most of them have hurt me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Off Duty View Post
    The best advise I can give, is to start with a shorter box, until you get your nerve back up.
    Once it becomes "easy" to do, say, 20+ consecutively, then move to a slightly larger box and so on.

    Making sure you keep your feet under (or slightly in front) of you, will help.
    Other than that, don't "focus" on the edge. If you're going to look at the box, look at the center or far edge (farthest away from you). The body has a natural tendency to go where it's pointed.

    HTH

    OD
    How did you know that I often look at the edge? I'll be sure to look at the center of the box from now on (that is, if I ever manage to convince myself to do another one).

    Quote Originally Posted by magnolia1973 View Post
    Yeah...
    I used to have a fear of jumping anything over 3' on a horse. And I'd do dumb shit in front of a 3' jump due to fear. This has carried over to box jumps....LOL, the 2" difference between 18" and 20" does me in.....The key is to get bored, perfect form, move up again.

    So, go back to the box jump height that is stupid easy for you. Use that until you feel like it's a stupid waste of time. Then find a box 2" bigger. Use that until you feel it is a stupid waste of time. If it is kind of scary, set it next to the easy jump and if you get unglued or nervous, jump the low box to get confidence back, then hop on the higher box. Repeat until you are where you want to be.

    It takes time to restore confidence and it can be frustrating to know you can do something, but you are too scared. It just is a factor of time.
    We don't really have smaller boxes. Our smallest one is 20". People who can't get on the box just use stacked weights. Maybe I'll try those, or maybe I'll just practice at my globo gym. They have smaller boxes that are padded like the ones lorichka linked to.

    The crazy thing about the globo gym is that I've never seen anyone use those boxes in a normal way. Either women step up and down them, or some guy stacks them all up to a ridiculous height and then jumps on them from a running leap. It must not hurt much when you miss on those because I've watched him miss a bunch of times and he didn't seem to be in pain at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by lorichka6 View Post
    Tell your box to buy you one of these.
    Haha! Yeah, right. I wish.

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    At a CF box I go to occasionally there are 2 things that may help:
    -- Stack up the tumbling pads to the same height. My gym has a competitive college gymnast in there as well as 3-4 guys that do MMA practice, so we have enough to stack 7 feet high. I am assuming most gyms have enough for 20 inches.
    -- Ticker tape. We have a lot of that really thin yellow tape they use for races lying around. I know a woman that stands up two barbells (locks the weight in with a clip) and creates a sort of limbo line to jump over.

    Either way, you don't bite it if you don't make the jump. I use the ticker tape myself to do the real high stuff.

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    If you ain't bleeding you ain't training!!! Bwarrrr!


    haha... just kidding. I actually have no use for plyometric work for anyone that's not in athletic competition, but if you REALLY wanna get back to it then don't give yourself a whole week to contemplate it. Get right back on the horse so to speak. Your going to be tentative at first, but that's a good thing. Good reflex to make sure you are paying attention this time. Only repetition will cure you of your fear. Just work for quality repetition.

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    I too ripped my shin on the box last year. Talk about a blood bath, yeesh...

    Learning to accept a longer time/fewer rounds for a WOD that involves jumps was the only way to proceed for me. My new gym only has those plastic, round edged steps, like for step aerobics, so adjusting the height is up to me. Did your trainers offer any alternatives to box jumps? Like step ups or lateral jumps? You could maybe pepper in a few box jumps if the alternatives are feeling too easy.

    And maybe I'm talking crazy here, but would shin guards be okay to wear? I say wear whatever PPE you need to safely get though a WOD, and screw the haters/pretentious purists.
    “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Rumi

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    This might sound silly but if shin injuries are the main fear (and hell yes they hurt) then go buy some soccer shinguards. (Just saw the poster above said the same thing.)

    I can't imagine anyone in the box having a problem with it.
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