The plyo box is a common and convenient sports conditioning tool for building explosive lower-body power. Think "outside the box," however, and you'll find that several sports-functional exercises that go beyond traditional power-boosting plyometric jumps on and off the box to increase size, strength, speed, endurance and balance.
The following intense full-body plyo box workout requires several movements to give you that competitive edge.
- 12-inch high sturdy plyo box
- 2 moderately heavy dumbbells (80% RM)
- 1 moderately heavy med ball (80% RM)
- Exercise mat
- Water bottle
- Timer (optional)
- Hydrate before, during and after the workout.
- Perform an upper- and lower-body dynamic warm-up (e.g., Arm Circles and Lunges).
- Finish with upper- and lower-body cool-down static stretches for greater flexibility and range of motion.
- Perform the workout on non-consecutive days to allow for sufficient recovery.
- Sets/Reps: 1x5
- Create your own challenging workout, choosing many but not all, of the exercises listed (including supersetting some combo exercises.) Next workout, substitute exercises you did not perform the previous session for variety.
- Rest: 60 seconds between combo exercises (superset combo exercises); 30-45 seconds before doing the next individual exercise or combo exercises. Short rest periods promote endurance and mimic brief pauses between sports action.
Forward Box Jumps and Alternating Ball Twist
Face the box in an athletic stance, holding the med ball close to your chest. Jump forward onto the box and simultaneously rotate your body left with the ball. Quickly jump backward off and then jump on and rotate your body and the ball right. Continue alternating jumps with ball twists for 5 reps. Combo movements enhance lower- and upper-body power and core strength.
Explosive Box Push-Ups with Forward and Reverse 20-Yard Dashes
Set up a cone 20 yards in front of the box. Place your hands on the box and do 5 explosive Push-Ups (hands leaving box between reps), followed immediately by a 20-yard forward dash to the cone. Backpedal to the box and sprint forward to cone and back for 5 reps. Great upper body and speed combination.
Bulgarian Split-Squats with Dumbbells
Hold the dumbbells at your sides with your arms extended and your left foot behind you on the box. Do 5 reps of Split Squats, then 5 reps with your right foot on the box. Boosts lower-body size and strength.
Feet-Elevated Push-Ups and Alternating Prone Planks
With your toes atop the box in a Push-Up position (hands on a mat), do a Push-Up, and then place your forearms on the mat and hold a prone Plank position for 10 seconds. Return to Push-Up position. Continue alternating Push-Up/Plank sequence for 5 reps, holding Plank position for 10 seconds between each Push-Up. Develops upper-body size, strength and endurance and core strength.
Lateral Box Jumps
Jump on and off the box sideways 5 times from the left side and 5 times from the right side of the box.
Single-Leg Dumbbell Cross-Rows with Single-Leg Box Dips
With your left foot behind you on the box, assume the lunge position holding a dumbbell in your left hand. Bring the dumbbell across your body down to your right ankle, pause and pull it back to start position for 5 reps. Quickly switch hands with the dumbbell, place your right foot on the box and repeat Cross-Rows 5 times. Put the dumbbell down, sit down in front of the box with your hands behind your back and atop the box (fingers facing your back). Raise one foot off the floor and do 5 Dips. The combo movements optimize balance and core stability/upper-body strength/size.
Step-Ups with Overhead Ball Presses
Place your right foot on the box and hold the med ball at chest level. Step up and simultaneously press the ball overhead. Return to start position and do 5 reps. Quickly switch with your left foot on the box and repeat Step-Ups/Presses 5 times for upper- and lower-body size/strength.
Forward and Lateral Single-Leg Box Jumps
Jump forward with your right foot on and off the box 5 times, then repeat with your left foot 5 times. Immediately go to left side of the box and do 5 Lateral Jumps on and off box with your right foot. Turn around and do 5 Lateral Jumps with your left foot on and off the box. This combo enhances balance, core strength and lower-body power movements.
Feet-Elevated Push-Up Position with Inchworms
With your toes atop the box in a Push-Up position, walk your hands back toward box and forward 5 times. Do not let your back sag.
Feet-Elevated Side Planks with 20-Yard Cariocas
Assume a Side Plank position with your feet atop the box and hold 30 seconds. Rotate to the other side and hold 30 seconds. Rise up and do Cariocas to the cone (20 yards away from box) and back to the box. Repeat 5 times.
Box Squats with Dumbbell
Facing away from the box, hold a dumbbell vertically with both hands at chest level. Slowly squat down until your hips touch the box. Pause 2 seconds and explode up. Repeat 5 times. Another upper- and lower-body size and power-building movement.
Feet-Elevated Seated Ball Twists and Overhead Ball Throws
Sit on the mat with the ball at chest level and your heels atop the box. Lean slightly back and tighten your abdominal muscles. Quickly rotate your body, alternating the ball left and right for 30 seconds. Finish with your feet still on the box in a seated position. Throw the ball up and catch it 5 times.
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