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17 Plyometric Box Exercises you need to be doing

17 Plyometric Box Exercises you need to be doing

Are you new to plyometric exercises? Or are you looking for new ways to use your plyometric box? Today we discuss the basics like - what is plyometrics, what exactly are plyometric boxes, and what exercises should I do with plyo boxes?

To do this, we enlisted the help of the wonderful team from Zion Fitness. Fitness trainers Lachlan & Bree are going to show you how to use plyometric boxes to perform box jump exercises, box step up exercises, box push ups exercies plus a huge range of other movements you may not have considered.

Owner / Head Coach - Zion Fitness

Lachlan Bisshop

Coach Lockie has been involved in health and fitness since the young age of 12. He spent the next 14 years learning from the best in multiple disciplines; including bodybuilding, rehabilitation, strength and conditioning and track and field, in an attempt to bring a holistic approach to his clients training.

Trainer - Zion Fitness

BREE WESTBLADE

Coach Bree played representative hockey for over 10 years before discovering Crossfit while trying to regain strength and fitness after an injury. Her passion for health and fitness flourished, as did her desire to teach and mentor others, often going out of her way to assist members outside of class times with both gym and personal struggles.


Lets get started

WHAT IS PLYOMETRICS?

Plyometric exercises, otherwise known as plyo exercises or jump training, is a type of training that focuses on building explosive power - that is, moving a muscle from extension to contraction in a rapid, repetitive behaviour.

A simple example of explosive movement is when a person performs a jump from the ground up to a step. This requires explosive power, beginning with a set-up where legs bend and muscles contract, followed by a fast extension of the leg muscles resulting in the jump up to a step.

Plyometric exercises takes advantage of repetitive jumping, stepping, scrambling and other short movements, usually over a box or platform which provides the challenge.

WHAT IS A PLYOMETRIC BOX?

A plyometric box, otherwise know as a plyo box or jump box, is a box or platform used to perform exercises. Plyo boxes come in different sizes, shapes and types, but most are simple rectangle box shape made from durable and high strength materials. Commonly they are made from high strength wood, but could be foam covered, or even be made from a steel frame. Whatever the mateial, we are going to be jumping all over them, its going to take a beating, so make sure your plyo box is high quality and reinforced.

CAN I USE A PLYO BOX FOR OTHER EXERCISES?

Yes! Plyometric boxes can be used for much more than jump box exercises. A plyo box can also be used to support and assist an impressive range of strength, conditioning and movement exercises. So, lets get started!

Beginner plyometric BOX exercises

1. Low box step up

  • Stand in front of box.
  • Use even weight distribution across your whole foot
  • Step up onto box with one foot. Keep knees inline direct over feet.
  • Hips remain level over feet.
  • Step backwards, control your descent back to the ground.
Equipment Used: PLYOMETRIC BOX - FOAM (3pk)
 

2. Lateral Box Step Up

  • Stand to the rear and to one side of the plyo box
  • Raise the inner knee to place your foot on the box. Your knee should be approx 90 degrees bend. Adjust box height if angles are not 90 degrees
  • Keep even weight over your foot, stand up on a single leg on the ploy box.
  • Knee to remain directly over foot, dont allow to extend forward or to the side
  • Controlled slow descent to the ground and step off the plyo box
  • Move to opposite side and repeat with other leg
  • Add hand weights to increase difficulty
Equipment Used: Plyometric box - STEEL

3. Box PUSH UP

  • Arms outstretched, hands on the top corner of the box shoulder width apart. Lachlan's Tip: Bring hands closer together for a tricep workout, or further apart of anterior shoulder and chest muscle workout. 
  • Lower torso to box by bending elbows. Dont allow your elbows to flare outwards more then 45 degrees as you lower down.
  • Drive back up to a straight arm position to complete the push up, keeping back core and legs locket and straight.
  • Repeat
  • Use shorter box heights to increase difficulty, or taller box heights to reduce difficulty.

4. Box DIP

  • Facing away from the plyo box, place your hands on the box behind you at shoulders width.
  • Straighten legs, heels on the floor, toes in the air and legs at 45 degrees angle to your hips. Your arms will now be supporting your weight.
  • Dip butt towards the ground, dont allow shoulders to shrug. Keep them low.
  • Slowly bend at elbow and descend down the plyo box in a straight line. Do not drop away from the box towards your feet. Stay close to the box
  • Bend elbows to 90 degrees, the drive arms back up following the same vertical line to straight elbow position.
  • Repeat.

Bree's Tip: If straight legs is too difficult, bring your feet closer to the plyo box for an easier workout

Create midline stability for peripheral mobility
Lachlan Bisshop, Zion Fitnes

INTERMEDIATE plyometric BOX exercises

1. Box SQUAT

  • Prepare a barbell with a low comfortable weight.
  • Use a plyo box height that allows you to sit on the box with legs at a 90 degrees
  • Start standing, with bar on shoulders, place feet outside hip width in a squat stance toes slightly pointed out.
  • Pull belly in to stabilise, engage glutes, sit down in a slow controlled descent and rock back into a natural spine position.
  • To raise up, slowly lean forward and engage glutes to drive upwards into stand.

Lachlan's tip: Avoid using a forward rocking motion to gain momentum in the lift - you'll be cheating yourself!

Equipment Used: Plyometric box - STEEL

2. Bulgarian split squat

  • Position one leg in line with your hip, the other bent back with top of foot supported on the plyo box
  • Dip towards the ground, allowing the rear knee to drop towards the ground. Front knee should remain in place, descend to a 90 degree angle.
  • Raise back up pushing through the front leg until leading leg is straight.
  • Swap legs and repeat.
  • For advanced exercise lean chest forward to activate the glutes as well

Lachlan's tip: The leading leg is the worked leg in this exercise. The rear leg provides stability not power. Avoid hips sliding forwards or backwards - maintain a vertical line in your hips.

3. Box JUMP UP

  • Stand approx 30cm in front of box, feet hip width apart.
  • Push butt back, bend legs and draw arms behind the body
  • Quickly stand up by driving legs away from the floor, and swing arms up in front of your chest
  • As you launch tuck legs up with wide feet, land level
  • Bend knees as you land to absorb impact
  • Step backwards 1 foot at a time off box to ground.
  • Repeat.

4. Box JUMP OVER

  • Stand in front of box at a distance you are comfortable to easily jump all the way over the box. Consider height and distance.
  • Take one stride step back away from the box.
  • Step forward into your launch position. When both legs meet, drive upwards into a forward jump.
  • Swing arms in front of your chest to create momentum and help with balance
  • Tuck your feet and legs under your butt to clear the box.
  • Once the box is cleared begin to extend both legs and feet to the ground. Once you make impact, bend knees to absorb.
  • Take one step away from the box, turn to face the box.
  • Repeat.

5. Burpee Box Jump

  • Start two steps away from the plyo box.
  • Drop into a burpee, your head coming close to the plyo box when you descend to the ground.
  • Push out of the burpee into a stand, maintain your momentum into a jump
  • Jump onto the box, landing steady with flat feet and stand up.
  • Step backwards off the plyo box, then drop into another burpee and repeat box jump.
Equipment Used: Plyometric Box - WOD PRO

6. Burpee Box Jump Over

  • Start two steps away from the plyo box.
  • Drop into a burpee, your head coming close to the plyo box when you descend to the ground.
  • Push out of the burpee into a stand, maintain your momentum into a jump
  • Jump onto the box, landing with a 45 degree swivel in a squat position
  • Jump off the far side of the box, continuing your swivel to land facing the plyo box.
  • Drop into another burpee, then repeat your box jump over.
Equipment Used: Plyometric Box - WOD PRO
As you launch, tuck legs up with wide, level feet. Bend kness as you land to absorb impact
Lachlan Bisshop, Zion Fitnes

ADVANCED plyometric BOX exercises

1. Hand stand Push Up

  • Start position kneel on top of plyo box, reach your hands to the ground.
  • Raise knees away from the box to lock out straight legs.
  • Feet and legs together, hips suspended over shoulders, bend arms to lower head to lightly touch ground.
  • Pushing back up through the arms, maintain hips over shoulders until your legs are 90 degrees to your hips.

Bree's Tip: Your hands should be between your head and the box as you dip to the ground.

2. Hand Stand Push Up VARIATION

  • Try this variation as an easier introduction to the above hand stand push up
  • Start position kneel on top of plyo box, reach your hands to the ground.
  • Feet and legs together, bent knees on the box and feet hovering 10cm above the box.
  • Hips suspended over shoulders, bend arms to lower head to lightly touch ground.
  • Pushing back up through the arms, maintain hips over shoulders until arms are fully extended.
  • Repeat

3. BARBELL HIP THRUST

  • Sit with back against a low plyo box. Roll a loaded barbell over your legs up to your hips. Start with light weights
  • Setup with bottom of shoulder blades pressing into the plyo box, barbell on hips, legs together and get tucked up towards butt.
  • Begin by squeezing butt, drive heels into ground and thrust butt up to the sky
  • Rotate shoulder up onto the box, so you are pressing shoulders downwards to the ground for stability.
  • Slow controlled lower butt and hips back to the ground
  • Repeat.

Bree's Tip: Use a barbell pad for more comfort on your pelvic bone from the barbell weight.

4. Sandbag box Jump Over + BURPEE VARIATION

  • Set a sandbag between you and a tall plyo box
  • Lower hips to the ground to grasp the sandbag, press through the legs and pull the sandbag to the chest
  • Use explosive power to stand up and lift the bag to the centre of the plyo box.
  • Push the bag over the far side of the plyo box
  • Scramble over the plyo box by jumping up with hands pressed into the box, locked out elbows and ticket legs under arms onto box.
  • Move off the box to the far side, turn to face box.
  • Repeat.
  • To increase difficulty, add a burpee after lifting the sandbag and before climbing the plyo box

Lachlans's Tip: To easily pick up a heavy sandbag, scoop your fingers under as far as you can, one side at a time. Keep scooping left side then right and continue until you have a good grasp under the sandbag

5. Extreme Box Jump

  • Safety Note! Only perform extreme box jumps with a secured plyo box stack
  • Mark a jump launch position approx 50cm away from the box stack. Exact position will be determined by your own comfort.
  • Take 2-3 large strides back away from the launch position.
  • Gain forward momentum with 2-3 large strides towards box
  • Hit your launch position with two feet coming together with slightly bent knees.
  • Begin to swing your arms up towards your head and explosively launch through the legs upwards.
  • Use your arm swing to gain momentum upwards
  • After launch, tuck your knees up to your chest. Extend arms in front of your body for balance.
  • Once feet make contact with the box, stand up through the legs to stabilise.
  • Dismount by squatting down and use arms to lower yourself back to ground.
Equipment Used: PLYOMETRIC BOX - FOAM (3pk)
 

6. Box Jump Up

  • Position plyo box under a pull up bar. Use a height that allows you to perform a small jump to pull your chin just above the bar.
  • Using a controlled slow descent, drop down and allow your arms to hang extended to full length.
  • Bend your knees to keep your feet connected with the plyo box.
  • Pull up through the arms and jump up into a chin up to repeat, coming back down in another controlled decent.

Bree's Tip: The strength is gained in the controlled lowering of this movement, not the upwards jumping movement.

7. Box MUSCLE UP

  • Position plyo box under a pull up bar. Use a height that allows you to perform a small jump to pull your chin just above the bar.
  • Start standing with arms locked out gripping the bar
  • Sweep through under the bar to gain some momentum. Toes stay in contact with plyo box to prevent sweeping too far.
  • On the return sweep, push down on the bar and slight jump with feet to launch directly upwards.
  • Continue to push down through bar until arms are locked out and you are suspended above the bar.
  • Pause slightly before a controlled lowering straight down onto the plyo box and prepare for a new sweep to repeat.

Thats all we have for our guide to using plyometric boxes. If you found this useful or want to know more, take a look at our range of plyometric boxes and get in touch with the incredibly athletic & wonderfully friendly team at Zion Fitness for further instruction and training. And dont forget to follow @zionfitness_ to see the latest from team Zion.

USED WITH PLYOMETRIC BOX EXERCISES

RUBBER HEX DUMBBELLS
BARBELL (BEARING) - 20KG
COMPETITION BUMPER PLATE 20kg (PAIR)
STRONGMAN SANDBAG

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