Want to level up your speed and power in the gym? Become more athletic? Here’s just some of the benefits of training with plyo boxes.
Plyometric boxes are a simple and effective addition to your training routine.
Although plyo boxes are most often used for box jumps, like other pieces of strength training equipment, such as adjustable weight benches, kettlebells, medicine balls, or trap/hex bars, they can be exceptionally multi-functional.
Here is a breakdown of just some of the benefits of working out with plyo boxes.
Increase vertical jump. For athletes who need to be able to leap, jump, and otherwise explode, plyo boxes are a no-brainer. Boxes give you feedback into how high you are jumping. There’s something insanely motivating about getting to add another 6” to the stack of boxes you are jumping onto. There is a caveat to the improved vertical jump, however. You should be jumping so that the box challenges your leap, not your hip flexibility.
Lessens load on the body. Unlike jumping straight up and down, plyo boxes lessen the musculoskeletal impact by removing the drop part of jumping. With box jumps, there is just a soft landing at the top of the jump, making it a low-impact form of ballistic training. Whether you are doing squat jumps, single leg box jumps, or lateral jumps, subtracting a impactful landing is good news.
Improve power and explosiveness. It’s not just athletes who want to be more powerful and explosive. Gymgoers and weekend warriors enjoy being able to propel their body in an explosive and dynamic manner. Try contrast training with heavy squats and box squats and the explosive nature of the box jump will carry over to a more powerful squat.
Pistol-squat progressions. The pistol squat is a great exercise and also a diagnostic tool for strength coaches to test the range of motion of an athlete or gymgoer. I’ve always used plyo boxes—as they are usually higher than a regular flat bench—in the early stages of the pistol squat progression.
Easily adjustable. Boxes are adjustable and versatile with resistance. The most obvious form of resistance—gravity—comes in stacking the box higher. Instead of jumping onto a 20” box, you jump onto a 24” box. Additionally,
More than box jumps. Although box jumps are the preferred plyo exercise with boxes, there is an endless variety of jumps and step-ups you can do. Weighted step-ups, either with a barbell, dumbbells, or a weighted vest, are a favorite. Use the box to do burpees. Depth jumps. Lateral step overs.
Perfect for home gyms. While power racks, barbells, and weight benches get all of the attention when it comes to building an epic home gym, a plyo box is just as versatile, compact, and portable. “Box” isn’t always the right word to use. Some plyo boxes are rectangular-shaped, giving you three different height options, and there are even adjustable plyo boxes, giving you a multitude of height options with a small footprint.
Plyo boxes – Where to Buy
There are a TON of different plyo boxes on the market.
Over the past couple of years we have seen people flocking to stock up on home gym equipment, and this explosion in demand has meant there are a lot of new players in the fitness gear market.
- See also: I recently did a round-up of the best plyometric boxes for home gyms. You can check out my favorite plyo boxes and key features of each here.
This is GREAT news for consumers—competition means more options and competitive pricing.
Here are a couple quick looks at some of the best ones out there.
Rogue Foam Plyo Boxes. Available in a range of sizes, from 6” to 24” (and also in sets of 3 or 4 boxes), Rogue’s foam boxes attach easily and are perfect for soft landings and portability.
Synergee Non-Slip Wooden Plyometric Box. Made of plywood, but with a PVC shell, this box, rated for up to 450-lbs of weight, gives you grip on landing and won’t slip around on the floor.
Stamina X Adjustable Height Plyo Box. This thing is an absolute tank. Easily adjustable from 12” to 24”, with a rubber-coated platform for landing grip, its ideal for home gyms short on space.