Compared to state-of-the-art home gyms or high-end treadmills and ellipticals, a modest box might not seem up to snuff. However, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover or workout equipment by its complexity.
A plyo box is actually one of the most handy and versatile tools to have around your home gym — but not just any old box will do. You need something well crafted, balanced, and adjustable.
You need a plyo box.
What Is a Plyo Box?
Also known as jump training, plyometrics — or “plyo” for short — are exercises in which movements of fluctuating speed and force cause your muscles to repeatedly lengthen and then shrink. Over time, this both improves muscle tension and builds power.
Plyometric exercises are especially helpful for high impact sports or any activity that includes explosive movements, and they also have proven rehabilitative benefits.
That said, plyometric exercises can be executed by fitness-lovers of any age and level to build strength, balance, agility, and power.
The best part is, you can achieve all of this with just one piece of equipment.
Wooden vs. Soft Plyo Boxes
Plyo boxes come in different shapes and sizes, but they are typically either wooden or soft on the outside.
Wooden plyo boxes are simple, cost-effective, and can help you achieve that trendy home gym aesthetic — especially this one that comes with a beautiful bamboo finish.
However, if you’re anticipating pushing your limits on box jumps and potentially getting a scrape or two on your shins, a soft plyo box might be the best option. They have all the sturdiness of wooden plyo boxes, but are surrounded by a cushiony material to save you some scrapes and Band-Aids.
How to Use a Plyo Box
There are heaps of exercises you can do with a plyo box — here are a few:
- Box Jumps
- Calf Raises
- Burpee Jumps
- Tricep Dips
- Lateral Step Overs
You can easily integrate any of the above into your existing workout or combine a few to form a personalized plyo box workout plan. Once you learn the ropes, you can try a full workout routine that integrates eight different plyo box exercises into a single plyometrics exercise session.
Plyo Box for Beginners
For those who are new to the plyo box, a great exercise to begin with is lateral step overs. Here’s the sequence:
- Stand to the side of your plyo box
- Step onto the box with the leg nearest to the box
- Bring your other leg up to stand on the box
- Step down to other side of the box with your first leg
- Bring the other leg down
- Repeat steps 1 - 5 going in the other direction, increasing your speed each time
By targeting the glutes and quads, lateral step overs increase lower-body strength and power.
Whether you’re looking for a new way to train, crossfit exercises you can do at home, or a way to declutter your home gym, there are many reasons to get your hands on a plyometric box. Get jumping, and get explosive!