Ever since my CrossFit days, I’ve loved a bit of the plyometric box, or plyo box as it is sometimes fondly referred to, action. These days, I mostly live vicariously through teaching at Gymbox when sometimes I get there early enough to scour the gym floor for the plyo box, so I can roll it (the thing is heavy) into the studio for an epic MetCon class. When Mirafit got in touch about a potential collaboration I decided there was no time like the present to fill the living room of my flat with my very own box and then share some awesome plyometric box exercises that are not your typical box jump.
The Plyometric Box Step Up
Because every exercise using the box doesn’t have to be explosive! For a basic step up you just do what it says on the tin… step onto the box and step back off. In a recent F45 class I took part in, we did steps ups with a barbell racked in back rack position. Killer! So the options are there to use no equipment to whatever equipment you have – kettlebells, dumbbells, tins of beans! And if you don’t have a plyo box… dammit, use a bench or a chair (just make sure it’s secure and won’t move).
RELATED: You need to check out Sarah’s post which answers the question about whether the step-up is the best lower body exercise you can do!
The Elevated Glute Bridge
Because your glutes are lazy. Yes, this is highly probable. We spend so much time seated with our glutes switched off that activating them when we need them most is tough!
You might be familiar with a regular glute bridge when you have your feet on the floor so this is another variation. You can add weight / resistance if you don’t find it challenging or even opt for single leg repetitions. Eventually you can flip it around and put your back on the plyo box with a barbell / weight on your hips to increase the burn even more!
The Mirafit 3In1 Soft Plyo Jump Box
When I was taking a look around the Mirafit site there were a few different variations of boxes available. I’ve used the wooden ones in Crossfit and I could do without scraping my knee on one of those to be honest. This version is soft but don’t be fooled… it’s hella heavy and durable!
Shop The Kit:
You get 3 jump heights with it so it’s suitable for lots of different moves and various levels: 20″, 24″ and 30″. At £149.95 it’s not cheap but I’m pretty sure it’ll last for like, forever?! Plus it’s pretty versatile… now I don’t need to think about packing up my flat with a bench and can do my chest presses without knocking my elbows on the ground.
The Pistol Squat
Or single leg box squat if we want to be exact. An actual pistol squat is an advanced exercise that I used to be able to do! These days, I probably need to regress it a bit to build the strength back up and that’s where the plyometric box comes in for this exercise.
Firstly, I love a single leg exercise like this because it stops your strong leg compensating for your weaker leg therefore helping to balance out strength which can contribute to lessening the risk of injury. We want that right?!
Use the plyo box to practice the lowering phase by tapping your butt on the box before driving back up to the start position. Start with the 30″ then lower to 24″ then 20″ then one day you might not even need the box! The very bottom of a pistol squat (past where the box allows you to go) requires a fair bit of mobility especially in your ankles so that’s something you might want to add to your “must work on” list.
Your Low Impact Plyometric Box Workout
All of the exercises in this post are low impact so they’re perfect for looking after your joints. This short round would be perfect pre run or ride to activate your glutes and improve your efficiency:
- Step ups, 20 reps each leg, 3 sets
- Elevated glute bridges, 8-12 reps, 3 sets
- Pistol Squats, 8-12 reps each leg, 3 sets
Are you a fan of the plyo box too?! What are your favourite plyometric box exercises?!
p.s Safety always comes first. If you are new to exercise ensure you seek advice from your GP. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids, wear appropriate clothing and carry out drills in a suitable space. Technique is paramount, and nothing should hurt. Should you experience pain, discomfort, nausea, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath etc, STOP and consult your GP.