Plyometric training is a great way to develop explosive power and increase your vertical jump. Plyo box exercises are especially important in the training for specific sports, such as basketball and athletics.
However, the reason we love the plyo box is that it has applications far beyond just plyometrics. It's such a versatile tool to have in the gym so we've tried to include a variety of movements in our top five, some are easy, others are much more challenging.
1. Box Jumps
Box jumps are a simple and effective movement. Simply stand with your feet shoulder width apart bend your knees and jump up onto the box. Either step or hop back down and repeat. For proper plyometric training you should jump back down and repeat the full movement as fast as possible, minimising the static time between landing and exploding upwards again.
Box jumps are great because there are plenty of progressions you can make to increase the intensity or difficulty.
2. Burpee Box Jumps
The burpee box jump is a brilliant addition to any HIIT circuit, WOD or cardio session and is just one of those exercises you always dread. Burpee box jumps combine the classic burpee with a standard box jump. Perform a burpee like you normally would, but when you spring out of the tuck position, jump up onto the box. Hop back down and repeat - remembering to include the press up at the bottom!
3. Decline Press Ups
Press ups are another staple exercise for any chest work out however, a good way to focus the movement more towards the upper chest muscles and shoulders is to perform a decline press up. Simply place your feet on a box and perform a press up keeping your hands roughly shoulder width apart. The higher off the ground the feet are raised, the greater the resistance and activation of the upper chest/shoulder muscles.
4. Reverse Lunges
The reverse lunge is a great exercise to incorporate into a leg workout, just to add some variety or to mix up your routine. It mainly focuses the exertion on the quadriceps but also engages the hip flexors, glutes and hamstrings. To perform the exercise start on top of the box, feet shoulder width apart then step off the box backwards while lowering your body into a lunge. Return to the start position, then repeat with the alternate leg.
5. Weighted Step Ups
Weighted step ups are another good leg movement to perform using a plyo box. To start with you'll need a weighted vest, a barbell on your shoulders, a pair of dumbbells held by your sides or some other kind of additional weight. Step up on to the box making sure that it's high enough to force a full range of motion, extending the leg fully. Then step back off the box and repeat using alternate legs. Try to avoid jumping up using the trail leg, use the leading leg to lift your full bodyweight up onto the box.
Want to Learn More? Watch Our Instructional Video!