Sometimes the simplest bits of kit are the best. The plyo box offers complete versatility. And you don’t need a user manual to navigate it.
Whether you’re looking to try something new, or are confined to a corner of the gym with only this piece of equipment at your feet, there’s a lot you can do with it. Here’s our run down of what the plyo box is and all the plyo box exercises you can do for an effective full body workout.
What is the plyo box?
The plyo box is a nickname for the plyometric box. Plyometric meaning ‘jump training’, where you’re exerting maximum amounts of force in very short intervals of time. Think explosive exercises like squat jumps and jump lunges. The plyo box is a humble bit of kit that can help you perform lots of these high intensity movements. Although, it doesn’t have to be used for plyometric exercises only. There are lots of different types of box exercises you can do.
It is, quite literally, a box. A large, stable, square or rectangular box, that allows you to jump on and off it in various formats.
What exercises can you do with a plyo box?
Here’s the interesting stuff. You can easily create a full body workout using the plyo box alone. Rapid intervals and high intensity structures work best for this type of workout, as you’ll be using your body weight as the resistance for most of the movements.
In the nature of the short and sharp, let’s get straight into it.
Box jumps (burpee box jumps)
Box jumps get their name from the plyo box. The most common use for this bit of kit is the box jump. An explosive exercise that will engage all of your core and lower body muscles. A few of these will definitely get you into the anaerobic zone.
Start with your feet shoulder width apart. Stabilise yourself first. Squat down to build momentum, then in one explosive movement, drive up from the heels, engaging your core, quads and glutes, and jump onto the box. Step down slowly and start again.
There’s room to take it even further. The burpee box jump involves performing the push up part of the burpee on the floor or with your hands on the box. You then return to standing and finish the movement with a box jump. Plyometrics at their most intense.
Bulgarian split squats
Known for being a leg burner, the Bulgarian split squat isn’t typically a plyometric exercise, but it can be used as part of a full body workout and uses the plyo box for support.
You start standing with one leg behind you, the top of the foot resting on the plyo box. From there, bend the front leg into a lunge type position, making sure the knees don’t go over the toes. Push back up and return to standing. Don’t forget to swap sides.
Push up variations
The plyo box can be used to support a push up if you’re not quite keen on the full thing. By placing your hands on the plyo box, you can make the exercise slightly easier. It’s called the incline push up.
Alternatively, if the standard push up is too easy for you, the decline version sees you put your feet on the box and your hands on the floor, shifting more weight into your upper body and making the movement much harder.
Step downs are a unilateral exercise that let you work one leg at a time. Start facing the box and place on foot onto the surface of it. Engage your core and use your lower body to push your self up so that your other foot can be place on the box. However, avoid putting the foot down in order to keep the tension in your muscles. Swap over after about 10-15 reps.
You can shift the focus of the exercise and the muscle engaged by doing the exercise laterally too. In this version, you’ll start with the box to your side rather than facing it.
Calf raises are an isolated exercise that target muscles in the lower leg. You can do these on the edge of the plyo box as part of a wider routine if you’re looking to develop strength and endurance here.
Dips are an effective way to target the triceps at the back of the upper arm. Get into position by sitting with your back against the box and your feet flat on the floor. Place the palms of your hands on the box behind you. Lift yourself up so that your arms are straight and your glutes come off the floor.
Then dip, by bending the elbows and keeping your weight in your upper body. Your body should lower down as you do. Don’t collapse your weight on the floor but keep the tension in your arms as you continue to raise and lower yourself up and down.
Elevated glute bridge
The glute bridge is typically done on the floor, but by elevating your feet and placing them on the box, you can target your hamstrings a little more.
From the starting position, push your hips forward so your glutes come off the ground and your body forms a straight line. Lower down again. Don’t collapse your weight on the floor, but keep the muscle engaged by hovering above it.
A high tempo exercise that will deliver on the cardio portion of your work out. Face the box and alternating your feet, tap your toes on the edge of the box. If you feel like an amateur footballer in training, you’re doing it right.
This is another cardio based exercise that will definitely get your heart rate up. Starting from side on to the box, step onto it laterally, then bring the other foot up too. From the top of the box, step down again to the opposite side of it. Speed this up and continue to those reps.
When you piece all these exercises together, you’ve got yourself an interval style, full body workout with one simple piece of equipment. The plyometrics box gives you a fuss free way to get a workout in. Make things even easier for yourself and use a Hussle pass to get access to any gym nearby. Pick a pass, search the map, and go. No contract, no additional costs. Your box workout awaits.