10 Exercises to Blast Fat Using Plyo Boxes
Looking to lose a bit of weight, but don’t have a lot of space for exercise equipment in your home? Want to get fitter, but feel like you don’t have enough time to commit to a gym membership? Or perhaps you just don’t feel comfortable working out when people are looking.
Maybe you are just tired of running, don’t find jumping ropes all that fun, and are looking for something to get you out of your exercise rut.
We’ve all been there – doing the same routine over and over again, not really enjoying it anymore, but not knowing where to turn to next.
Enter the plyo box – proof that you can have an excellent fat burning workout without too much fancy equipment.
All you need is a set of these boxes, and you will be good to go.
Plyo boxes are a great way to add some variety to your routine, are practically indestructible, and will open up entirely new avenues of exercise you have not thought of previously.
You can have an entire functional workout with one piece of equipment, and burn fat, strengthen your muscles and feel better about yourself afterwards.
A couple of important things to bear in mind before we jump into the exercises themselves (pun intended):
The box set you use needs to be stable and sturdy. Don’t try fashioning one yourself from just about any piece of wood – if the box can’t hold your weight or is liable to shift, you can seriously hurt yourself.
As with any other piece of equipment, you need to start somewhere – and that place needs to be adequate to your current level of fitness.
The 10 exercises we have listed here are suitable for both beginners and more advanced fitness enthusiasts – you can adjust them to your own strength levels, weight, mood, time of day, and every other variable that affects your performance.
Still not convinced you to need to add a plyo box to your weekly routine? Here are some highlights about the box you need to know:
· It helps you burn calories
· Improves your strength and reflexes
· Works on your entire body (not just your legs!)
· Increases your explosiveness and betters your jump
· Improves your balance and coordination
· You can do it anywhere, at any time, no bulky equipment needed
Still with us? Great! Here are your 10 core plyo box exercises:
1. Box step-up
This is an excellent exercise that will engage your legs and glutes and is a staple in any plyo box routine.
What to do: Place one foot on the box while the other remains on the ground. Make sure your entire foot is securely on the box. Pull your body up through the heel of your upper foot. Return to the starting position.
How many to do: If you are a beginner, aim to repeat the exercise for 1 minute, then rest for 30 seconds.
How to make it harder: Use a lightweight to increase difficulty. Alternately, you can add a jump in the mix – jump when you are all the way up on the box (this is now called a single leg box hop, in case you were curious).
2. Basic box jump
A simple box jump will be an excellent addition to any routine. It will boost your leg strength, improve your speed and agility, and will also get your heart rate up.
What to do: Stand facing the box, with your feet hip-distance apart. Jump onto the box, landing with your knees bent. Step back down into the starting position.
How many to do: For beginners, 1 minute will be just about enough (and might seem like an eternity). Rest for 30 seconds.
How to make it harder: Choose a taller box. Or you can decrease the time you spend on the ground, and jump back up as soon as you land.
3. Box push up
This is your regular push up, with the added benefit of the box. It mostly works your chest, shoulders and triceps.
What to do: Place your hands on the box as you would do on the ground when doing a push up. Do said push up. Repeat. Repeat again.
How many to do: Try doing push ups for 30 seconds, then rest for 30.
How to make it harder: Push yourself away from the box when you come out of a push up. You can also add in a clap if you want to make it much harder.
Variation: You can also place your feet on the box, and your hands on the ground, and do push ups that way.
4. Box dips
This exercise is a great way to work your triceps, chest, shoulders and abs. Please bear in mind that you need to warm up before you start doing it, to avoid injury.
What to do: Turn your back to the box, and place your palms at the very edge, on the sides of the box. Not on the side that is right behind you, mind you. Your fingers should be pointing outwards, shoulders down and back. Don’t let your shoulders drop, and don’t let your elbows wiggle. Lower yourself down, with your glutes nearly touching the floor. Try not to move any other parts of your body. Strengthen your arms and return to the starting position.
How many to do: Yet again, 1 minute of dips + 30 seconds of rest will be just right.
How to make it harder: Placing your feet further from the box will make it harder. Placing them on another box will make it harder still. Adding a weight to the exercise will definitely make it a challenge.
5. Lateral box shuffle
A very dynamic exercise that will make any routine more efficient (and more fun). Depending on the height of the box, you can make it more or less intense.
What to do: Start with one foot on the box, standing to its side. Jump to the side, so that the foot that was on the box is now on the floor, and vice versa. Repeat.
How many to do: 1 minute is your goal still, with 30 seconds of rest.
How to make it harder: Apart from increasing the height of the box, you can also include arm movements to make it more difficult. Swinging your arms will certainly add another component to think about to the routine.
6. Depth jump
An excellent choice to increase the explosiveness of your legs and improve your jumps.
What to do: Stand on the box with both feet. Step off the box (moving forwards, not backwards) and absorb the landing with bent feet. Jump up into the air and land with your knees bent.
How many to do: 1 minute + 30 seconds of rest. As per usual.
How to make it harder: Choose a box that is over 40 inches tall and you will definitely be challenging yourself.
7. Depth to sprint
This is a variation of the above exercise, so the only thing you are actually changing is swapping the jump for a short sprint.
What to do: Like above, stand on the box with both feet, step off, and when you land, instead of jumping, launch into a short sprint.
How many to do: A minute for the exercise and 30 seconds for resting. Do bear in mind that this one might take it out of you a bit more.
How to make it harder: A taller box will do the trick here as well.
Or the burpee box jump, this is an excellent (and rather popular even without the box) exercise to get your fitness levels up. It is quite demanding, and you should exercise some caution. It will engage your glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, triceps, biceps, chest and abs – in other words, your entire body.
Your mind might be the one to give up before your body here – so try to push through and focus on the movement as much as you can. It might take you a while to get into this one, but once you do, you will love it!
What to do: Stand in front of the box, legs hip-distance apart. Place your hands on the box, shoulder-width apart, push up position. Do the actual push up, and as you come out of it, pull your legs under, to where your hands were a second ago. From there, jump onto the box. Jump down. Good job, that counts as one. Now do it again.
How many to do: A minute will suffice yet again, and you can add in a minute of rest as well.
How to make it harder: The burpee is hard enough in itself, but if you really want to make it even harder, you can try raising your knees as high as you can when you jump.
9. Box mountain climbers
A dynamic exercise that will be a joy to do after the burpee. Well, anything will be a joy after the burpee.
You will mostly be engaging your core here, and will definitely feel the burn, even though the exercise seems simple.
What to do: Place your hands on the box, push up position, body straight. Lift your right leg off the floor, pull it towards your chest, then place it back on the ground. Do the same with your left leg.
How many to do: 1 minute + 30 seconds of rest, you know the drill.
How to make it harder: You can switch things up in a number of ways: knees to the side, pulling them towards your elbow or your shoulder. However, the hardest thing you can do is place your feet on the box, and your arms on the floor, and do a mountain climber that way.
10. Lateral twist hop
An interesting exercise that will engage your legs, glutes, calves and core and which demands a fair bit of coordination. It’s a bit like the box jump, but with a twist (pun intended, right).
What to do: As with the box jump, you are standing next to the box and jumping onto it. However, you are not facing it, rather standing next to it, and twisting your body to jump up.
How many to do: A minute and 30 to rest, again.
How to make it harder: Increasing the height of the box will do the trick, as will raising your knees higher.
Bonus exercise: Box march
Now that you are tired and pumped after all this jumping, how about a neat little cardio exercise to wind things down?
The box march might look easy, but it is in fact not – but don’t let that scare you.
How to do it: Stand in front of the box, one foot on its edge. Switch legs. You are essentially running in place, touching the edge of the box with alternating feet.
How many to do: A minute will be great. And rest for 30.
How to make it harder: Speeding it up will be just about all you need to do.
If you want to enhance any of these exercises, even more, you can also add a weighted vest to the mix. This exercise accessory can be adjusted in terms of weight (you can make it as heavy as you want and need to) and will add extra pounds to your bodyweight. It is also a much better option than using free weights, as the vest adheres to your body, while the weights will necessarily keep your hands busy and compromise your balance.
There you have it! 10 plyo box exercises to burn fat you can do at home, in the park, on the beach, wherever and whenever you want. Do try not to do them in your flat if you live anywhere above the ground floor – your neighbours might not take to your fitness plan very kindly.
Remember to adjust each exercise to your own levels of strength and endurance. You don’t have to do a minute if it’s too hard. As you become fitter and stronger, you don’t have to increase the duration – you will naturally be increasing your reps per exercise.
Have fun with your new plyo box, and let us know how you get on with it!