Effective exercise engages the body as well as the mind. To meet fitness goals, you need motivation, and finding the right activity to suit not only your experience level but also your personality is important. We introduced this idea of intuitive fitness here and here.
Plyometrics is not as complex as the name might suggest. It involves jump training with short bursts of maximum effort in a short period of time to increase power. Plyometrics is great for muscle strength, improving flexibility, and functional strength in a number of sports. It’s also enjoyable and can be incorporated into a wide variety of exercises.
So, where do boxes come in? Well, box jumps are a great exercise to ensure you get the most out of a plyometrics regime. Plyo boxes or jump boxes as they are sometimes known, give you a target height for jumps. Intuitive fitness call for variation and a plyo box is a versatile piece of equipment. Step ups, glute bridges, and tricep dips are just some of the exercises made possible by a jump box.
We’ve taken a look at the very best that the market has to offer so you can dip, jump, and climb your way to your specific fitness goals.
The keys to a good plyometric box are quality, safety, and durability. The j/fit plyo box set offers all of these things to ensure you can get the most out of your workout. The set of four boxes offers the opportunity for you to progress as you gain confidence and experience and also makes this product easy to store.
The heavy-duty steel construction offers a solid platform for you to execute your box jumps or any other exercises. From a safety perspective, stability is paramount, and this is ensured through the non-slip rubber stoppers which stop the box sliding along the ground and the grippy platform which allows you to land with ease. These boxes are available individually or in a set so depending on your needs there is a product that is right for you.
For those who are more budget conscious, a jump box is still a viable piece of equipment as shown by this high quality, low-cost wooden plyo box from Yes4All. This plyo box offers a more traditional shape as well as a wooden finish. It’s versatile and easy to assemble and all for a great price.
The reinforced wood material is sturdy and offers a non-slip surface for you to land your jumps and perform your exercises. With an ergonomic handle this product is also easy to transport so you can take it to the gym or outdoors to keep your workouts fun, varied, and engaging. With just one box you’ll also be able to achieve different jump heights because of the dimensions. Turning the box on a particular side will change the height so you can progress your exercises.
Best Runner Up
Just missing out on the top spot is this wooden jump box from synergee which offers supreme support and a premium non-slip surface. This product guarantees quality but maintains excellent usability with predrilled holes for easy assembly and a handle for easy transportation.
This product is suitable for a wide range of customers with the ability to support 450lbs of weight which comes from the reinforced support, stopping the wood from bending. With ¾” plywood you can train worry free and concentrate on your fitness goals. This box also utilises its dimensions to afford suitors the opportunity to progress to different heights.
Best Under 70
For some people a soft plyo box is more suitable. If you are relatively new to plyometrics or box jumping, then a more forgiving material can be reassuring. You won’t sacrifice on grip either with a PVC surface that offers more traction than wooden alternatives. You’ll also get fantastic durability from good quality materials, so you’ll get good value and a relatively low upfront cost.
This product caters for user weights up to 440lbs, so you don’t have to worry about safety. The foam exterior is great for protecting your shins and also your joints as it provides shock absorption when landing from jumps. Just like the other options you can switch between three different heights to get the most out of your workouts.
Best for Small Spaces
Finally, we come to the product that makes space saving a priority. While not technically a plyo box or a jump box, this stepper allows you to perform all the same movements without needing a large amount of space for storage. It’s still possible to get an excellent workout with this small yet powerful piece of equipment which is adjustable between 4 and 8 inches.
You’ll also get all the stability and grip as you would in a plyo box with non-slip grip on the bottom and top of the stepper. As well as being easy to store it’s easy to transport, you can take it to the park, the gym, or to the office to get a good workout in on the go or wherever you are. It’s also very reasonably priced and the most affordable of all the products listed. If you are a beginner or someone who needs to be space conscious with their home gym equipment, then this is an excellent product and one you should certainly consider.
What Height Plyo Box Should I Get?
The answer to this question depends on a few different variables, each of which you will need to take into consideration when you make a purchase. Your experience, space, and how you will be using the product will all have a bearing on which height and size will suit you best.
Inevitably, those with more experience in strength training won’t want the same height plyo box as complete beginners. If you are an absolute beginner then start off with a smaller box and consider investing in a product that allows you to change the height of your box jumps over time, that way you’ll get the most value out of your new purchase. If you are an experienced participant in plyometric exercises, then you probably have a rough idea of your jump height.
Before you make your purchase be sure to map out your space. Make sure you’ve got enough room to perform the exercises that you want to. It’s also important to measure the height of your ceiling to make sure you have enough room to jump onto your plyo box and stand up. If this isn’t possible then it might be worth investing in a product that is suitable for use outside, that way you’ll have the freedom and confidence to achieve your next PB.
Before choosing the height for your plyo box you need to also consider the exercises you want to do. Certain heights will allow you to perform particular movements, for example a box that isn’t tall enough won’t give you good range of motion during tricep dips. Pick a height that will allow you to perform a range of exercises, a varied fitness routine will keep you interested and help you make maximum progress.
A 16” plyo box is a good place to start for a beginner, from there you can make your way up to more challenging heights. The standard dimensions of plyo boxes used in cross fit is 20” x 24” x 30”. If you’ve encountered this height before then you’ll have a good idea of where your ability stacks up compared to these heights. The key is to start small, perfect the form and then progress gradually.
What Can I Use Instead of a Plyo Box?
For anyone who doesn’t want to invest in a purpose built plyo box it’s still possible to perform exercises based on things you might be able to find in the house, gym, or perhaps you want to try and make your own.
The first step of your staircase can be a great workout tool. Whether it’s single leg squats, calf raises, or jumps, stairs are a great starting point and don’t require you to part with your hard earned cash. Be conscious of safety on stairs, trying to jump up multiple stairs does present some dangers. Ensure you are wearing the correct footwear and that the surface will give you enough grip before you start.
If you are at the gym and there is no plyo box for you to get jumping, then there are some alternatives. Gym benches are often a good height, although be considerate of other gym users who may want to use the equipment next for its intended purpose. Again, the appropriate footwear is important and make sure you have enough ceiling space. Nothing ruins a PB like a bump on the head!
Despite their versatility, plyo boxes are basic objects which means it’s certainly possible to build your own if you want to do some DIY. Make sure you have good quality materials and you properly test your box before using it, a bit of sanding and a coat of varnish not only stops splinters but also provides good grip.
How Many Days a Week Should you do Plyometrics?
Plyometrics aren’t exercises that you should be doing every day and you should leave at least two days for recovery in between each session. The nature of the workout is that it’s very short and intense in order to improve your explosive power, therefore you’ll need a good amount of time to recover.
If you want to focus on plyometrics then three workouts a week is a good target, but you can also use box jumps as part of your intuitive fitness program. It’s an exercise that you can easily dip in and out of as well as being able to do it indoors, outdoors, or at the gym depending on your preference.