Plyometrics are in, people, and we are here for it.
Improving your power, strength, speed, and agility is what we need to bring our fitness programs to next-level fantastic.
The good news is that plyometrics uses medicine balls, pull-up bars, and boxes to engage your muscles using forceful movements.
If you’re familiar with plyometrics, you might know a lot of the basics and have incredibly toned legs to show for it.
We’re here to help you get some plyo box exercises going to add some variety to your training. Let’s go through it all and have you performing box jumps by the end of this article.
What is plyometrics?
If the term plyometrics is foreign to you, have no fear. We are always here to educate and provide you with new ways to challenge your body.
Plyometrics is propelling your body with quick, explosive movements that engage muscles for increased dynamic strength, agility, and speed. This training helps to build muscle mass and tone.
While resistance training brings significant muscle mass, plyometric training can too, but provides more toning than bodybuilding that you might achieve with weights.
Things like box jumps, kicking, and sprinting are some examples. Upper body plyometrics is also essential to engage the shoulders, chest, biceps, and triceps.
Plyo push-ups (clap push-ups), chest passes with medicine balls, and plyo pull-ups are just a few of the exercises that will power that upper body.
At the end of the day, plyometrics provides you with new ways to enhance your fitness routine.
Plyo Box Exercises – Are they worth it?
The plyo box is an excellent addition to your plyometrics training program.
There are a variety of exercises that you can perform with a plyo box and they help as you progress to more advanced plyometrics.
Exercises like the plyo push-up, pistol squat, and handstand push-ups can seem daunting at first. However, using a plyo box might be exactly what you need to build progression to all of those exercises.
For a pistol squat, placing the box behind you and then squatting helps you gain the strength and balance that you need to perform an accurate pistol squat later.
Once you can do it with the plyo box, remove it and you are ready to squat to the floor.
When it comes to plyo push-ups (clap push-ups), placing a plyo box under your feet at an incline can help you work up to the force needed to push up into a clap.
Handstand push-ups might seem impossible until you practice using a plyo box.
Kneeling on the box and hanging your head over the edge with your hands placed on the floor a little further than shoulder-width apart works the same muscles as a handstand push-up.
Height of a Plyo Box
People sometimes use a bench to compensate for the fact that they don’t have a plyo box. We strongly recommend not doing that.
Plyo boxes are a certain height and weight to ensure they can withstand being jumped on. A bench could be the wrong height or unstable and result in an injury.
Plyo boxes range in height depending on your size and skill level. They can be 16 inches to 36 inches tall.
Someone shorter or more inexperienced would benefit from a 16-inch box or 20-24 inch box, depending on their height.
Crossfit workouts use many plyo boxes, and they are usually somewhere between 24 to 30 inches in height.
For those who are more advanced, a 36-inch plyo box would be correct for you.
Best Plyo Box Exercises
When it comes to plyo box exercises, there is a wide range of options available, which makes them highly versatile for your workouts.
Let’s find out which exercises are the best when it comes to plyo boxes.
If you are wondering, there are several different kinds of box jumps you can do. A box jump can be done without or without weights.
A lateral box jump begins with you standing on top of the box. Use both legs as you propel yourself off the box to one side, landing in a squat with both feet on the floor.
Propel yourself back onto the box and then reverse to jump down to the other side. Rotational box jumps start with you standing on the ground with the box to your left side.
As you propel yourself up in the air with both legs, rotate your body in midair and jump onto the box with both feet.
As you jump off the box, rotate again back to your original position.
Think we’re done with box jumps? Don’t run away too fast.
There is more box jumping to be had. Burpee box jumps sounds like too much fun. It’s a combination of a burpee and a box jump all in one.
Perform your burpee by bending your knees and placing your hands on the ground. Jump back into a push-up position and perform your push-up.
Jump your feet back to the starting position, but propel yourself onto the box with both feet as you stand up.
Jump back away from the box and do it all again. That heart rate will be soaring with this exercise.
Our final box jump is the single-leg jump. Before you say “no way,” we guarantee that with patience, practice, and progression (the three P’s), you will do this in no time.
Stand with the box right in front of you and lift one leg off the ground. Bend your supporting leg and propel your arms back as you jump onto the box with one leg.
Step down from the box and try it all over again. Easy enough, right?
As with a box jump, step-ups are plentiful. These exercises can be done with or without weights.
The step-up with reverse lunge starts with you on the floor facing the box. Step up with your left foot on the box.
Bring your right leg up and lift your knee. Place the right foot back down on the floor and as your left foot comes off the box, bring it back into a deep lunge.
Return to starting position and repeat. Switch to the other side after about ten reps.
The step-up with hop seems quite simple, but it sneaks up on you. It works the quadriceps exceptionally well.
Step up on the plyo box with one foot and as you start to stand on it, hop, bringing your other leg up with a bent knee. Come back down to starting position and repeat.
Lateral step-ups involve standing to the side of the step with your right shoulder facing the box and your left foot placed on it.
Begin in a squat position and drive your body up until your other leg is parallel to the foot on the box. Come back down to start and try again.
It’s essential to keep your feet next to each other and not let your heels come off the box or floor.
Step up and step down is exactly as it states. Step up on the plyo box with your right foot, and then bring your left foot to the box.
Step down with your left foot and then your right foot. Now alternate everything to the other side.
Step up with your left foot, then your right. Then step down with your right foot first and then your left foot.
Bulgarian Split Squats
We don’t know about you, but we love the name of this squat. To start, place your toes on a plyo box behind you with a bent knee. Slowly lower down into a squat.
Make sure you lower straight down to the floor, keeping the front knee from going over the toes. Go as far as you can until the knee of the foot on the box almost touches the floor and then rise.
Repeat for an intense Bulgarian split squat that works the quads, glutes, and hamstrings. Weights are optional on this exercise.
The upper body plyometric training is here with a shoulder push-up.
Place both of your feet on the box and put your hands on the floor so that your body makes a V-shape. Slowly bend your elbows and push up.
While this works your triceps and pecs, it also engages your deltoids in your shoulders. This is a great way to get the muscles working that are involved in handstand push-ups.
Get your dips in with some more upper body exercises. Walk your feet away from the box and bend your knees slightly.
Place your hands on the plyo box with the fingers facing the same way you are. Bend your elbow and dip your body down and back up. This is excellent for the triceps.
Toe taps are exactly what they sound like.
Jump from one foot to the other and each time you switch, tap your toe on the top of the plyo box. The momentum gets that heart rate soaring.
Elevated Glute Bridge
If you’ve done a glute bridge on the ground, you are halfway there.
The difference with an elevated glute bridge is your feet are elevated onto the plyo box as you lift your glutes to the ceiling while lying on your back.
Keeping the toes lifted creates more work for the calf muscles too. Weights are optional on this exercise.
Plyometric Box Exercises Done
You did it. You are now a pro when it comes to plyometric box exercises.
This piece of equipment allows you to work the entire body. The box is versatile for your fitness routine, from upper body exercises to core work to excellent leg work.
Find the box workout that is the best for you. Use explosive power to jump onto the box or power through some shoulder push-ups.
Either way, your body will thank you. Begin toning in 3, 2, 1 go!