In the third installment of our lower body stabilization series of exercise tutorials, we feature the DB Side Box Step Up.
This exercise is, again, rather basic in terms of complexity of movement, but it forms an integral part of building lower body structural balance and integrity.
The target muscle groups are the quads, hamstrings and glutes, as well as building the stabilizing abilities of the core/midsection and the vastus medialus obliques (VMO). Another added benefit of this exercise is that it challenges the proprioceptive abilities of the athlete and helps them develop balance through a unilateral exercise.
For strikers and grapplers alike, this exercise will help iron out any strength discrepancies between left and right sides of the body, as well as potentiate greater strength gains in the more advanced phases of strength training to come.
In terms of specificity for fighting, this exercise has a low degree of 'carry-over' or transmutation into the fight sports. However, in terms of building a base of strength for longevity and joint integrity, this exercise should not be overlooked.
Be sure to not 'push off' with the non-working leg, we want to target only the working leg, or the leg which pushes off the box. If you are seeing excessive pushing off with the non-working leg, regress to a lighter weight or a lower box.
Brace the midsection/abdominals for each rep and stay tight through the core throughout each set. One last tip, keep your eyes focused on a single 'focal point' throughout each set. This will help keep from losing balance due to the correlation between the visual cortex and proprioceptive abilities.
Special thanks to Unknown coach Nadia Piazza, Unknown sponsored MMA athlete Yvonne Molala Chow, and videographer Teresa McNair.