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Our team of Archon fitness professionals understand that workouts can get boring. When you’re working out consistently, variety is the name of the game. One way to spice up your workout is to add the plyo box at the gym and at home.
With a variety of exercises, all at different levels and strengths, you’ll be pleased to know that plyo is about more than just jumping!
Consider adding the soft plyo box to your workout menu. Our Archon Fitness enthusiasts can promise you won’t get bored easily once you incorporate soft plyo boxes into your regular routine.
Plyo Box Basics
Plyometrics, or jump training, focuses on building your innate explosive power – that means moving a muscle from an extension to a contraction in a quick, repetitive motion.
An example of plyometrics is when a person jumps from the ground up to a step. A successful jump takes a burst of power, and that’s precisely what plyometric training builds on.
The plyo box or jump box is the exercise equipment that most folks use to perform plyometric exercises.
Plyo boxes come in lots of different shapes and sizes. Some are made of wood and look like shipping boxes. Others are made of steel and look like kitchen or workshop stools. Others, like those we recommend at Archon Fitness, are soft boxes.
The soft box is the same size and shape as the wooden or steel-framed boxes, but they’re made from heavy-duty, sturdy foam and then wrapped in a vinyl cover.
We like the soft plyo box because jumping onto an impact-absorbing surface protects your shins and joints from injury.
Foam is forgiving! Plus, because of the weight of the soft plyo box, it’s highly tip-resistant. This means you feel safe and secure when executing your jump. Available in multiple heights, the Archon Soft Plyo Box is easy to stack, move, secure, and store.
Why Plyo Boxes Matter
We’ve all seen folks jumping up onto the plyo boxes at the gym. They look fierce, determined, confident and capable. There’s a reason.
Using the plyo box successfully makes a big difference in your workout, especially as far as strength and power are concerned. Take a deep breath, though. If you’re a first-time user, you’re not going to start by jumping up on the highest box!
Plyo box jumping is the perfect way to warm up before weight training. These exercises fire up your nervous system and get your synapses firing and are a super-effective warmup before squats.
Plyo box jumping requires a great deal from your cardiovascular system. You’ll be using a significant amount of oxygen (boosting peak oxygen intake) while you’re executing dynamic movements required of the plyo box.
Continued exercise trains your heart to utilize oxygen more efficiently to pump blood to the muscles and can lower your blood pressure post-workout.
Box jumps target all muscle groups of your lower body, including glutes, hamstrings, calves, and quadriceps, working together to enhance power and strength. You’ll also notice strong core engagement and arm muscles.
Athletes and Plyo
Athletes already know that one of the most fantastic benefits of plyo box jumping is the ready application to enhanced sports performance. All athletes from almost every sport will see improved performance with a proper addition of box jumps to a workout routine.
You’ll notice improvement on vertical jump height and have the opportunity to practice safe landings, too.
Exercises for Plyo Boxes
Use your soft plyo box for more than just jumping! If you’re a beginner, you’re going to want to try to incorporate jumping. That’s a given. But you can utilize your box to do way more.
Some of our favorite beginner exercises include:
Lateral Box Step Up
- Stand to the rear and to one side of your plyo box.
- Place your foot on the box. Ensure that your knee is at a 90-degree bend. If it’s not, adjust your box height.
- Keeping even weight over your foot, stand up on a single leg on the box.
- Don’t let your knee extend forward or to the side.
- Control your descent as you step off the box.
- Move to the opposite side and repeat with the other leg.
- To increase difficulty, add hand weights.
- Face away from the plyo box. Place your hands behind you at shoulder width.
- Straighten your legs, heels on the floor, toes in the air and legs at 45-degrees angle to your hips. Your arms are going to support your weight.
- Dip your bottom toward the ground. Don’t let your shoulders shrug. Keep them low.
- Slowly bend at the elbow and descend down the plyo box in a straight line. Stay close to the box. Don’t drop away from the box toward your feet.
- Bend elbows to 90-degrees. Then, drive your arms back up following the same vertical line to straight elbow position.
Low Box Step Up
- Stand in front of your plyo box.
- Use even weight distribution across your whole foot.
- Step up onto the box with one foot. Be sure to keep your knees in line directly over your feet.
- Keep your hips level over your feet.
- Step backward and control your descent back to the ground.
Common Plyo Box Mistakes
At Archon Fitness, we want to be sure you’re using your equipment correctly. The last thing we want is for any of our customers to suffer an injury because they were unsure about how to use their equipment.
Please read through these common plyo box mistakes before you use your boxes, and if at any time you have questions, feel free to reach out to us. We want to be sure you feel confident and get the most from your workout.
- Box Choice. Don’t start with a box that’s too high. It’s discouraging to start with a disadvantage. Be sure to start with a short 12-inch to 24-inch box height. Make sure you’re using proper form and getting the most from your exercises. It’s easy to level up once you feel confident and ready to move on to the next level.
- Don’t Jump Off! Even if you’re a pro at plyo box training, it’s not a great idea to jump off the box. Jumping from most any height onto a flat surface puts a fair amount of stress on your joints, and if you’re tired from your routine anyway, it can lead to injury. (See “Start Fresh” below.)
- Stick the Landing. Landings are key to injury prevention. Common mistakes are landing with one foot before the other, landing with your feet together, or having your knees “cave in” toward each other when you land. Watch yourself in a mirror (or have a partner watch) to check for any of these landing issues.
When you land, your feet should be approximately hip-distance apart – almost identical to the way they were before you left the ground.
- Start Fresh. Don’t end your workout with plyo jumps. Warm up first. Then, go ahead and do your plyo exercises (especially if you’re jumping). You always want fresh legs going into these routines so that you can perform to the best of your ability, without fatigue.
Keep your reps low – just two or three sets of three to five reps is enough – especially if you’re focusing on form and performance.
Soft Plyo Box Modifications
If you’re not quite ready for jumping on the plyo box, try step-ups instead. This doesn’t help your explosive power or develop vertical jump height – but that’s ok! You’re still targeting the same muscle groups, and if you add a slight hop at the top of each step up, you’ll get there sooner than you think.
If you’re ready for a challenge, grab a taller box. It’s that simple. Once you develop vertical height, hip mobility, and greater power and strength, you’ll know when you’re ready to increase the stakes by getting a taller box.
The Archon Fitness Difference
Archon Fitness isn’t just a retail company. We are a dedicated team of fitness enthusiasts who want to see you succeed in your workouts and achieve your goals.
We sell the highest-quality sports equipment on the market, but that’s just where our relationship begins. Our goal is to build a healthier community by making fitness and health achievable for everyone.
When you purchase Archon Fitness equipment, we want to hear from you. What are your goals for the equipment? What exercises might you be using the equipment for? Are there workouts we can design for you that will help you reach your goals faster?
Our team believes healthy bodies make for healthy minds. Your health is not only your priority but ours, too. Contact us today to learn about how our team is working together to make sure you have the equipment and support you need to be as healthy as you can be.