Why Add a Plyo Box to Your Home Gym?

Woman doing box jumps on a plyo box

In a world of iron circles, these boxes stand out. But just because something’s different doesn’t mean it doesn’t belong. In fact, a plyo box can add a ton of versatility, function, and fun to your home gym.  

"Plyo” is short for “plyometrics.” That’s a type of training that centers around explosive, compound movements, like jumping from the ground onto a step, bench, or box. You can do plyometrics with just body weight or with light weights. Plyo boxes are a staple in plyometrics.  

There are different kinds of plyo boxes (also called jump boxes). They come in different sizes, shapes, and materials, but essentially, they’re a simple, sturdy box.  

There are several different types of plyo boxes:  

Wooden Plyo Box 

A wooden plyo box

These are made from construction-grade, ¾" plywood that’s reinforced with internal support. Predrilled holes, interlocking joints, and the internal structure provide extra strength. Look for 3-in-1 Wood Plyo Boxes that offer different height options in one. REP’s come in four different sizes: small (12x14x16”); medium (16x20x24”); large (20x24x30”); and in-between (16x18x20”).  

Soft Plyo Box 

A soft black plyo box

Prevent bumps and scrapes on your shins with a soft plyo box. The inside is a strong wood core and the outside is a soft foam cover. The foam absorbs impact and the grippy vinyl is textured to reduce slipping and keep the box in position on the floor. The 3-in-1 type comes in three sizes: small, medium, and large, and you can flip them on different sides for different heights.  

A soft plyo box also comes as a stackable version.  

A stack of soft plyo boxes

Adjustable Plyo Box 

The Adjustable Plyo Box is quick and easy to adjust between three different heights: 16”, 20”, and 24”. This box is made from thick steel with solid steel pins to lock the legs in place. The rubber top is covered in a nonslip surface, and rubber feet hold the box in place on the floor.  

Adjustable plyo box from REP Fitness


Why Use a Plyo Box? 

Plyometrics are a great add-on to your regular workout, even if you aren’t a plyo athlete. Boxes can help improve your speed, power, and strength. Jumps also burn a lot of calories and can build your endurance, stamina, and coordination. They are compound movements, but they really hit the quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. 

How to Use a Plyo Box 

There are many different exercises you can do on a plyo box.  
Box jumps are the most common. A starting point for most people is between 18 and 30 inches, depending on your ability and conditioning. Younger and shorter athletes may need a little lower to start.  

Woman doing box jumps on a plyo box

Box squats can also be performed on a plyo box. You can use a barbell, bodyweight, or dumbbells to squat down to the box, pause, and drive back up.  

Box bench press: Switch out your regular bench for a hard plyo box (wood is best) to mimic some of the same benefits of a floor press – but with leg drive. Try it and see. 

Box push-ups: Modify your push-ups and add different challenges by elevating your feet or hands on the box to make incline or decline push-ups. Incline (hands on the box) are going to be an easier modification, and decline (feet on the box, hands on the floor) will add more upper chest/shoulders and is harder than a normal push-up. 

Step-ups: Work your legs by stepping up and down off the box, either with or without weights. 

Woman doing step ups on a plyo box

Tricep dips: While dips on a bench or box aren’t the same as on dip handles, they can still be a nice way to target upper body and an alternative for people who can’t dip on handles yet.

Woman doing dips on a plyo box

Bulgarian split squats: Ah, everyone’s favorite leg torture. In a lunge position, elevate one leg on the box and lunge in place, focusing on working the standing leg.

Woman doing split squats on a plyo box

 Other exercises to try on a plyo box:  

  • Calf raises  
  • Decline mountain climbers 
  • Lateral step-ups  
  • Single-leg box squats  
  • Pistol squats 
  • Side planks  
  • Burpee box jumps 
  • Box jump overs 
  • Barbell hip thrusts