Burning Legs with the Box Step-Up


The box step-up is a lower body exercise where the athlete stands in front of a box and then proceeds to step up onto the box one leg at a time. Once standing fully upright on the box with hips open, the athlete then steps down one foot at a time to complete the rep. The box step up is often used as a scaled version for completing a box jump and is a great exercise that will engage the butt, front of legs, and back of legs as it is completed.

Watch the video clip below for a full explanation of technique, tips and tricks for performing the movement with efficiency, as well as precautions for staying safe.


  1. Stand Up Fully: Often the box step-up is incorporated into various workouts where speed is of the essence, and sometimes athletes will therefore rush the movement and not complete a proper box step-up. To complete the box step-up, you must stand fully upright on top of the box. So, slow down and focus on fully opening the hips once you’re on top of the box before you step back down onto the ground.

  2. Create a Rhythm: It can become tedious and easy to lose count of your reps when you’re stepping up and down repetitively. It can also be quite easy to trip or get a toe caught as you are stepping up and down. Think about creating a rhythm in your head for you to follow with each step so that you not only create a more smooth transition between reps, but you also alternate legs properly so that both legs are getting a workout with the movement.

  3. Scale Height: Depending on your mobility and strength, you can scale the height of the box you use for the box step-up. Be sure to consider the type of workout you’re doing and whether the goal is increased strength or speed. This should inform your decision on box height so that you can complete the workout while still working toward greater results in your ability to perform the movement.

  4. Weighted Variation: Weighted box step-ups are also used in various workouts and require you to hold onto a kettle bell or another form of weight as you complete the step-up. This extra weight will make it harder to move smoothly up and down from the box and often causes the athlete to hunch forward. Focus on keeping your torso upright and fully opening your hips at the top to prevent back injury.

QUESTIONS: Ready to get started, or curious to learn more about how Fierce Play can help you meet your health and wellness goals? Contact us for more information. Also feel free to check out more of our videos series to learn how to perform the basics with solid form and efficiency.


Fierce Play’s Metabolic Conditioning Series focuses on proper technique, as well as tips & tricks, to master some of the foundational movements that will be integrated into many of the workouts you will perform. Start your next workout with the confidence and skills to do the movement safely and effectively.


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Mark Mancuso started his fitness journey while enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Like most individuals, at first, he only focused on bodybuilding type workouts. Mark learned quickly that focusing just on the aesthetics of the body would get you only so far. In 2013, Mark found out about Crossfit and fell in love with everything that it stood for.

In June of 2015, Mark was Honorably Discharged from the Marine Corps and returned from his duty station in Okinawa, Japan to his home in Maple Grove, MN. Not having any formal coaching in Crossfit he was on a mission to find a Crossfit Box to call home. Fierce Play welcomed him with open arms, and he hasn’t looked back. Mark obtained his Level One Crossfit certification in November 2015 and plans to add additional certifications in the future. He also intends to compete in a variety of Crossfit competitions as opportunities arise.


CrossFit Level 1 Certification


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Jeff Birthler has a contagious passion for fitness. He graduated and obtained a personal training certificate from the National Personal Training Institute in 2010. On his way, he discovered and fell in love with CrossFit. Jeff hasn’t stopped learning, and still seeks a well-rounded education within the health domain, going beyond physical facets. He has trained clients at several corporate gyms, including Fitness 19 and LA Fitness, as he established a plan for his own gym.

Fierce Play was established in 2012 in a 500 sq. ft. garage. After a few moves and upgrades, it now has a permanent, 4800 sq. ft. location in Maple Grove. Jeff calls it “home”.


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