You’ve seen them in different fitness locations: these boxes. They can be tall, short, solid or a simple metal frame. But what are these things you’re seeing everywhere and how in the world do you use them?
They’re called plyometrics boxes, or plyo boxes for short. These great pieces of equipment help you to utilize your own bodyweight and modify workouts to make them target different muscles, and even make them easier to complete physically if you have a condition holding you back.
By adding the requirement to step up onto an object in order to complete a lunge, let’s say, you add in your own bodyweight to make the exercise more difficult and improving your balance. Plus, the upward propulsion adds cardio to the overall workout that you were maybe missing out on.
There are other benefits to the plyo box besides difficulty levels. If you’re someone that is new to fitness, the box is for you, too! By using the box you help switch up your routine so your muscles don’t become used to the same workouts every day. And, if you have anything physical holding you back from different workouts, like for example, if you are unable to bend over to do a push-up, then the box allows you to get into the proper position without having to get all the way on the ground.
Fit Body Boot Camp loves to utilize the plyo box into workouts, and if you have one at home, here are some great exercises you can do.
LEG PULL IN
Sit on top of the box with your legs hanging off the edge. Place both arms on either side of the plyo and brace yourself using the edges. Now, raise your legs off of the ground and lay yourself as straight as possible, keeping your core tight. Bring your knees and chest together, breathing in, before returning to the rest position. Repeat.
ALTERNATING BOX STEP UPS
Stand in front of the plyo box; it can be as tall or short as you are comfortable with. Using one leg, step up onto the box and bring the opposite knee up to your chest, pumping your arms in sync with the movements. Step off the box and repeat with alternating legs.
Stand in front of the box with both feet on the ground. Using your arms for momentum, jump up onto the box into a squat position. Hold for a moment, and then jump back down, making sure to bend the knees to prevent injury.
BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUAT
Stand on your right foot and place your left foot on the plyo box behind you. Using your core to stay balanced, lower yourself into a one-legged squat, bending your left knee towards the ground. Repeat with opposite leg.
Stand on the left side of the box, preferably a shorter one until you are more comfortable with the exercise. Enter the squat position and jump over the box to land on both feet on the right side. Go back and forth as rapidly as possible, making sure to clear the box and keep the knees bent to avoid injury.
LATERAL STEP UP
Start on the side of the box. Step up with your left leg, standing so your right leg is slightly bent and hanging over the edge. Step back down and repeat. After 10 repetitions switch sides and complete with the right leg.
Place both feet on the box and then enter the push-up position. Lower yourself to the ground slowly and keep your core tight, making sure to breathe properly through the exercise, in as you lower yourself and out as you push back up.
SINGLE LEG JUMPS
Stand in front of the box. Bend your left leg up so that you are balancing on your right one, using your core and glutes to stay balanced. Use your right leg to jump up onto the box, making sure to bend the knee to prevent injury. Jump back into the starting position and complete 10 repetitions. Switch legs and repeat.
Sit on the floor with the plyo box behind you. Place your hands on the box and raise yourself up until your arms are straight with your legs extended in front of you. Slowly bend your elbows and lower yourself down until your butt is almost touching the ground and then push yourself back up. Be sure to breathe in on the extension and out on the bend.
If you’re interested in learning more about plyo boxes, head over to Fit Body Boot Camp, we can show you how it’s done!