You may realize that plyo box workouts can offer you impressive benefits but what are some plyo box exercises you can do?
A plyo box, also known as a jump box or step box, is simply a box that is strong enough to deal with jump exercises. You can however use this box for other types of exercises that work a wide variety of muscles and fitness components.
The recommended height for your plyo box varies from exercise to exercise and individual to individual. You can also do most of these exercises on platforms at a similar height as a plyo box.
A quality plyo box should be able to deal with your weight during these exercises but double-check to avoid any accidents. Also make sure the box stands on a stable and non-slippery surface.
That being said here are 10 plyo box exercises for everyone from beginners to people with a lot of resistance training experience. You can start with these examples and think of new ones yourself.
1. Box jump
The box jump is one of the most popular exercises for using the plyo box. This exercise is generally done to improve jump height. To do a box jump take the following steps:
- Stand upright in front of the box with your feet at shoulder-width.
- Bend into about a quarter squat while you swing your arms back.
- Swing your arms to the front again and at the same time jump forward on top of the box. When landing you want to have your knees more or less at the quarter squat again. If you are squatted lower, this may be a sign the box is too high for your current jump level.
Make sure you pay attention to using the right technique to avoid any injuries. For box jumps it is also smart to start with a low height and build up from there. Being too optimistic about your capabilities can be especially punishing when doing box jumps.
2. Box step up
The next exercise involves a lot less injury risk while still offering you the opportunity for a good workout. To do a box step up take the following steps:
- Stand upright in front of the box with your feet at shoulder-width.
- Raise one foot and put it on the surface of the plyo box. Make sure your sole is entirely on the box.
- Raise your body by exerting pressure with the leg of the foot that is on the plyo box.
- Put your second foot next to the other one.
- Step down with the first foot.
- Step down with the second foot.
- Do a repetition with the other foot first.
The box step up is mainly for engaging your leg muscles.
3. Incline and decline pushups
Pushups are one of the most popular exercises out there. You can do them in different ways to make them more or less challenging and to make them target different muscles. A plyo box makes it easier to do these variations. To do an incline pushup take the following steps:
- Put your hands about shoulder-width apart on the plyo box. Your arms start stretched.
- Move your feet back until your body is in a straight line and your arms are at a 90-degree angle to your body.
- Slowly fold your arms at your elbows until your face is close to the box. Your upper arms should be at an angle of about 45 degrees to your sides. Another way to put it is if someone is looking down at you from above your arms should make an arrow, not a T.
- Stretch your arms again until you are back in the position from the second step.
Incline pushups are easier to do than regular pushups since less of your body weight rests on your arms. Due to the different angle, incline pushups are also more focused on your lower chest muscles than regular pushups.
On the other hand, you can also use a plyo box to do decline pushups. For these, your feet rest on the plyo box and your hands on the ground. Doing pushups this way makes them more challenging and more focused on your upper shoulder muscles.
4. Box dips
- Stand in front of the plyo box with your back towards it.
- Put your hands on the edge of the plyo box shoulder-width apart. Shift your weight so that your arms mostly carry it. Keep your arms stretched.
- Slowly bend your elbows until they are at a 90-degree angle. When lowering your body keep it just in front of the plyo box. Make sure your arms do as much of the work as possible.
- Raise your body back into the position of step two in a controlled motion.
The box dip is a great alternative if regular dips are currently too challenging because your legs inevitably carry part of your body weight. Just like the original version, box dips help you work out your tricep muscles.
5. Box squats
Another exercise you can combine with a plyo box is the box squat. To do a box squat take the following steps:
- Stand in front of the plyo box with your back towards it. Your feet should be at about shoulder-width.
- Slowly lower your hips by bending your knees until you sit down on the box. You will likely have to bend forward for balance but keep your back in a straight line throughout the movement.
- Pause a second or two on the plyo box.
- Push yourself up again into starting position.
By doing squats this way you avoid using momentum or bounce to push yourself up.
6. Box burpees
Burpees are the next exercise you can do with the help of a plyo box. To do a box burpee take the following steps:
- Start from a standing position facing toward the box with some room between you and the box.
- Squat down and place your hands flat on the ground.
- Kick back your feet so you are in a plank position. Your arms should be stretched.
- Lower your body by folding your elbows until your face is close to the floor. Your arms should be at an angle of about 45 degrees to your sides during this movement. Also make sure you keep your back straight.
- Push yourself back into a plank position by stretching your arms.
- Return to your previous squat position by kicking your feet to the front again.
- Jump up on the plyo box with the help of your legs and arm momentum.
- Jump back down.
In simple words you can describe the box burpee as a combination of a pushup, box jump and squat.
7. Bulgarian split squat
By making good use of the plyo box you can make a regular squat more challenging which allows you to build more muscle. To do a Bulgarian split squat take the following steps:
- Stand in front of the plyo box with your back towards it. Keep about half a leg distance between you and the box.
- Move one leg back and put the foot of this side on the plyo box. The top of your foot should lean on the plyo box surface.
- Slowly lower your hips by bending the knee of your stretched leg until your hip is at about the height of your knee of the previously stretched leg. Use your arms for balance if needed.
- Push yourself up again into the position of step 2.
Don’t forget to do a set of repetitions balancing on the leg of the other side to keep your muscle distribution balanced.
8. Pike pushups
The plyo box also makes it easier to do pike pushups which are a type of pushup that focuses on your upper lateral deltoids, also known as your shoulder muscles. To do a pike pushup with the help of a plyo box take the following steps:
- Get into a position with your back toward the plyo box right in front of it and your hand palms on the ground.
- Put your feet on the plyo box while keeping your hands in the same position.
- Make sure your upper body is more or less in a straight line and pointing somewhere between vertically and a very steep angle to the ground. Your arms should be slightly less than stretched.
- Slowly move your upper body downward by folding your elbows until your head hovers just above the ground.
- Move your body back up into the position of step 3 in a controlled motion.
Pike pushups are not the most beginner-friendly exercise out there. Make sure your arm strength and balancing skills are at a sufficient level. If needed ask help from someone to stand next to you to help out if you lose your balance, better safe than sorry.
9. Box calf raises
Make sure your plyo box is stable enough and your shoe soles non-slippery enough for this next exercise to avoid any injuries. To do a calf raise with the help of a plyo box take the following steps:
- Stand on the edge of the plyo box. The ball of your feet (the front part of your feet) should be on the edge of the plyo box, your heels should hover in the air.
- Lower your body as far as possible while keeping your feet in the same position.
- Raise your body as far as possible again keeping your feet in the same position.
As the name implies this plyo box exercise is for training your calf muscles.
10. Box glute bridges
For box glute bridges you want a low to medium plyo box. To do a box glute bridge take the following steps:
- Lie down on the floor on your back, put your heels on the ply box, and bend your knees to a 90-degree angle. Your heels should be the only contact point with the surface of the plyo box. Your arms can rest on the ground at your sides for extra balance.
- Slowly raise your hips off the ground until your body is in more or less a straight line from your knees to your head.
- Lower your hips back into starting position in a controlled motion.
Box glute bridges help you work out your glutes and core muscles.