When you look at a plyo box, what exercise do you think of?
Odds are, you envision box jumps.
And maybe step ups. But let’s be honest: Nobody wants a bulky piece of equipment that you can only do one or two things with. It’s understandable how you could — box jumps are great for building explosive power and training your fast-twitch muscles — but this particular piece of equipment has so much more to offer.
“A plyo box can be incredibly versatile,” Adam Rosante, C.P.T., tells Menshealth.com. “Beyond box jumps, you can use it to get in a total-body workout, even if you have no other equipment.”
That’s pretty key because, in both your workouts and your life, variety matters. “It’s important to prevent injuries and plateaus,” Rosante says. Not to mention that switching up your routine helps to stave off boredom; hopefully keeping you from using your plyo box as a gym chair to park on while scrolling through Instagram, he adds.
If you don’t already own one, Rosante suggests a versatile foam box like this one from Rogue, since you can position it at three different heights (20, 24, and 30 inches).
Foam can be gentler on your joints and will save your shins if you accidentally catch your toe on a jump. You shouldn’t use a foam box on a smooth floor, though (think wood, tile, or smooth concrete), as it needs some grip to avoid slipping out from under you. If that’s the only surface area you have, he suggests a wooden box like this one from Rep Fitness.
To break free of the standard box jump doldrums, Rosante compiled the circuit below to serve as a full workout you can do using just the platform. You can also choose to incorporate some of the moves into your own routine, à la carte style. If you go with the former, perform the exercises back-to-back for the prescribed number of reps, with as little rest as possible between moves while still being able to maintain good form. Rest 45 seconds between rounds; complete 4 total rounds.
The Plyo Box Workout
Feet Elevated Hip Thrusts
4 rounds of 20 reps
*Perform on a box.
Feet Elevated Pushups
4 rounds of 15 to 20 reps
*Perform on a box.
Bulgarian Split Squats
4 rounds of 12 to 15 reps, each leg
*Perform on a box. Weight optional.
4 rounds, holding each position for 20 seconds
4 rounds of 10 jumps from each direction
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