Plyometric boxes in gym and training centers are most notably used for plyometric movements, but there are a variety of other strength training exercises that utilize the box as well making the Elev8 a must-have for gym owners. It’s easy-to-adjust pin release system makes it extremely versatile as a tool for functional performance. We’ve come up with a solid list of 10 basic exercises to rotate that will be sure to get you the most use out of your plyo box.
This is a beginner exercise that virtually everyone new to strength training will be able to accomplish. Step up and onto the platform with one leg then bring the other leg up and stand. Step down one leg at a time and then repeat with the opposite leg raising first. Increasing the height of the box will increase the difficulty of the exercise. Step ups can be accomplished by stepping frontwards, laterally (side-step up), and also by adding weights. Carrying dumbbells, sandbags, or kettlebells will add to the difficulty and intensity of this movement.
Similar to the step up is a step over. The same movement applies with the one leg raised first and having the second leg follow, but by standing laterally next to the box and stepping onto and over the box. Adding the step-down movement to the other side of the box completes the step over movement. Similarly, adding weight to the exercise increases difficulty and muscle strength.
Perhaps the most used movement for plyometrics using a box, the box jump is a staple exercise for athletes. Standing in front of the adjustable plyometric box, crouch and jump with as much explosive force as possible landing with both feet onto the box top. Raising the height of the Elev8 box will increase the challenge and develop the power needed for higher jumps.
For any of the above movements incorporating burpees after each jump or step is performed will add to the intensity level in between each rep or set. Adding burpees to your workout is excellent for developing stamina.
Lateral Box Shuffle
With the box set to a lower height setting, start by standing laterally next to the box with one foot in the center of the box surface, and the other on the ground. Jumping from a starting squat position, exchange the center placement on the box with your alternative leg and land the other to the opposite side of the box on the floor. This “skating” movement will repeat with each leg being raised as quickly as possible. Aim for speed and explosive strength.
The plyo box can be used to either increase or decrease the difficulty of performing push-ups. Where bodyweight may either be too challenging for one individual or causing a plateau in athletic performance for another, using the Elev8 box in either scenario will help relieve these problems.
Assisted Push Ups
If a standard push up cannot be completed or a number of sets cannot be completed, using a plyo box for an elevated chest position will make the push-up movement much easier.
Similarly, if continued sets of standard push ups are not as challenging for an athlete and difficulty needs to be increased, using a plyo box with feet raised on the box surface and push up position is slanted downward will achieve this.
Variations in difficulty with mountain climbers can be done with a plyo box as well. This movement is accomplished by having hands planted forward on the floor and with legs starting in a bear crawl position. Bring one leg up to have the knee meet the elbow in front then in one movement, alternate the positions of the legs making a “climbing” motion.
Assisted Mountain Climbers
Using the plyo box again to help assist the movement, hands should be placed on the box surface and feet should be on the floor. Having an elevated chest will make the movement easier.
Elevated Mountain Climbers
With hands placed on the floor and feet on the surface of the box, the movement becomes more challenging to complete.
Although running taps are a simple movement, raising the height of the Elev8 box will make this much more challenging. Imagine running in place with high knees, but making sure with each leg raised, that foot should touch or tap the top of the box.
Bulgarian Split Squats
Bulgarian split squats are an excellent way to increase muscle strength and size. This movement is done with a single leg squat having one leg remaining on the box extended behind them. While the single leg is extended and resting on the box, the other is stretched out in front on the floor. The split squat explains just that, squatting while having the legs split. This is usually done with added weights such as dumbbells.
Glute Bridges (Best with a Bench)
Glute Bridges are usually done while lying with your back on the floor and feet placed flat near your glutes then raising your bottom up from the floor while leaving your shoulders on the ground. Increase the difficulty of your glute bridges by using an 8th Day Performance plyo box or connect two plyo boxes and add the bench pad overtop to use as a platform for placing your head and shoulders on, then raise your glutes up creating a 90 degree angle with your knees.
Similarly, you can lay on the floor in the same position as a standard glute bridges workout, but add the Elev8 box in front of you for your feet to stay on with heel contact only. Raise your glutes from the floor but with the added elevation from the box added. You may also alternate with single leg movements as well by having one leg raised up or resting your foot over your other leg’s knee.
Plyo boxes really do offer so many variations of stretches and exercises possible for athletes and coaches. Having a box that is easy to adjust is even more valuable since it can increase or decrease the level of difficulty to match where the athlete is in their training.