How Rob Gronkowski and His Brothers Build Explosive Power Using a Plyo Box

Try the four plyo box exercises that the Gronk brothers use to improve their explosiveness.

A plyo box is a staple piece of equipment in weight rooms. It's a versatile piece of equipment that can be used for several beneficial purposes.

For the Gronkowski brothers, plyo box exercises were among their mainstays for transferring the strength built in the weight room to the explosive power needed on the field, all while helping to prevent injury.

The Gronk Fitness product line features a soft plyo box set that minimizes landing impact and helps prevent injury if you happen to miss a jump. Also, the 6-, 12- and 18-inch boxes can be velcroed together to create a variety of box heights.

Here are the Gronks' favorite plyo box exercises, which Chris Gronkowski demonstrates in the video above.

RELATED: Get Jacked With Gronk's Muscle-Building Circuit Workout

Box Jumps

Almost all athletes perform Box Jumps at some point in their training. Why? Because the move is one of the best ways to build explosive lower-body power with minimal impact on the joints.

However, many athletes screw up their form in favor of making ridiculously high jumps. Although high jumps are impressive, a missed jump can cause injury, and it's more about how high you can bring your knees than how high you can jump.

Here's how to a Box Jump the right way.

Setup: Stand with a plyo box about 1 to 2 feet in front, and position your feet about hip-width apart.

Action: Sit your hips back and bend your knees to lower into a quarter squat. Explosively extend your hips, knees and ankles and swing your arms to jump up onto the box. Land softly with both feet completely on the box in the same quarter-squat position that you assumed before the jump. Stand up straight, step down from the box and repeat.

Sets/Reps: 4x5

Rotational Box Jumps

These are similar to standard Box Jumps, but with a twist. Literally. You start with the box to your side, jump up and rotate 90 degrees so that you land square on the box.

The beauty of this exercise is in the lateral movement. Much of your training is focused on forward and backward movement, but if you look at your sport, much of the movement is side to side or at angles. Rotational Box Jumps build the power you need to be explosive in all directions.

Setup: Stand with a plyo box about 1 to 2 feet to your right, and position your feet about hip-width apart.

Action: Sit your hips back and bend your knees to lower into a quarter squat. Explosively extend your hips, knees and ankles and swing your arms to jump up and rotate your body 90 degrees. Land softly with both feet completely on the box in the same quarter-squat position that you assumed before the jump. Stand up straight, step down from the box and repeat.

Sets/Reps: 4x5 each direction

Single-Leg Landing Box Jump

This is the exact same movement as a traditional Box Jump, but instead you land on the box with only one foot. This improves deceleration and stability, which is critical for preventing knee injuries when planting on one foot. Second, improved control of your landing limits wasted energy and allows you to change directions faster.

Setup: Stand with a plyo box about 1 to 2 feet in front, and position your feet about hip-width apart.

Action: Sit your hips back and bend your knees to lower into a quarter squat. Explosively extend your hips, knees and ankles and swing your arms to jump up onto the box. Land softly with one foot completely on the box in the same quarter-squat position that you assumed before the jump. Stand up straight, step down from the box and repeat.

Sets/Reps: 3x5 each leg

Pistol Squat

The Pistol Squat is one of the most difficult exercises to perform. Moving into a deep Squat on single leg requires incredible stability and mobility, even with only your bodyweight.

Chris demonstrates the exercise with relative ease while holding a kettlebell, making it even more impressive. By standing on the box, his elevated leg has room to move freely, which helps him maintain a relatively flat back during the exercise.

Setup: Stand with your right foot on a plyo box and your left foot elevated off the side of the box. Hold a kettlebell by the horns in front of your stomach. Tighten your abs and keep your abs and keep your back flat.

Action: Sit your hips back and bend your knee to lower into the Pistol Squat. As you lower, extend your arms in front and allow your left leg to come forward to help you maintain balance. Drive through your right heel to stand up to the starting position.

Sets/Reps: 3x8 each leg

RELATED: What it Was Like Growing Up as Rob Gronkowski


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: FOOTBALL | SQUAT | LOWER BODY | TIGHT END | PLYO BOX | GRONK | ROB GRONKOWSKI | PLYOS