Training

Training: Advanced Plyometric Box Exercises

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Manufacturer: Bulldog Gear
Price: €145
Level: Advanced
Time: 45 minutes

A plyometric box is a great way to make a whole host of exercises more strenuous and higher intensity. You can advance a plyometric box workout by incorporating a weight, such as a kettlebell. This can make exercise harder and useful for engaging your core, as your body has to stabilise the extra weight.

Combining the increased force, production and speed which you obtain from a plyometric box workout offers any athlete the edge within their chosen sport and will help increase lean body mass.

We’ve already looked at some basic plyometric box exercises, with our Top 10 Plyometric Box Exercises article. This takes the plyo box to another level, mostly incorporating a weight.

Try the following workout using kettlebells (or dumbbells) initially to ensure technique is correct. To move to another level, try using a weighted barbell once you are comfortable with each motion.

Before you continue, please remember that you need to warm up.

If are are unsure about some of the terms used in this article, it’s worth having a quick read through our Glossary of Terms before you get started with your workout.

Step-Ups. Click for full exercise

01

Step-Ups

Whilst holding either kettlebells or dumbbells by your side, step up onto the box, touch both feet on the top and then step back off with the opposite leg. Make sure once you’ve done one leg you swap to the other leg. This is a great compound quadriceps builder, which is easy to adapt to the individual.

Target: 10 step-ups per leg (beginner), 15 step-ups per leg (intermediate), 20 step-ups per leg (advanced)

Tip: Try performing a squat on top of the box for an extra challenge.

Box Squats. Click for full exercise

02

Box Squats

Perform as you would a normal squat, however put the box behind you so you sit back onto it. A massive bonus of using a box to squat is the strength and size gains that can be seen. By using the box you force a pause at the bottom of the rep, then to get back up you need a larger recruitment of muscle fibres, causing more strength and growth.

Target: 20 squats (beginner), 30 squats (intermediate), 50 squats (advanced)

Tip: try performing this move without fully sitting on the box. Just touch the box and then stand upright.

Weighted Lunges. Click for full exercise

03

Weighted Lunges

Holding a kettlebell in front of your chest, one one foot on the box, lunge forward towards the box. The unstable nature of a lunge provides an opportunity for great progressions in core stability and quadriceps strength. The raised centre of gravity, compared to a dumbbell lunge, puts more stress on good balance and therefore can increase the progression seen.

Target: 5 lunges per leg (beginner), 10 lunges per leg (intermediate), 15 lunges per leg (advanced)

Hip Thrusters. Click for full exercise.

04

Hip Thrusters

Sit in front of the box with the barbell resting on the crease of your hips, lean back against the box so that your shoulders are nearly on top of it. From this position, push through your feet and glutes upwards through the bar until you’re fully extended through your hips. This is a great one for working the glutes and really feeling a burn.

Target: 10 hip thrusters (beginner), 15 hip thrusters (intermediate), 20 hip thrusters (advanced)

Step-up with High Knee Pull. Click for full exercise.

05

Step-up with High Knee Pull

Similar to the regular step-ups, this involves a high knee once on top of the box. This engages the core more to keep your balance; this is another example of a progression from a standard step-up.

Target: 5 high-knees per leg (beginner), 10 high-knees per leg (intermediate), 15 high-knees per leg (advanced)

Alternating Knee Touches. Click for full exercise

06

Alternating Knee Touches

In a press up position with your toes resting on the plyo box, bring each leg in turn up to touch the opposite elbow. Use your core to keep your body tight and control the movement of your knee towards your elbow.

Target: 10 knee touches per leg (beginner), 20 knee touches per leg (intermediate), 30 walk & push-up (advanced)

Tip: try both alternating and non alternating versions, see which you thing is harder!

These exercises could be used together to build an independent, new and exciting workout, which will increase heart rate and get your whole body engaged. Or they could be used within your existing workouts to replace exercises than you find dull and boring.

Before you finish, remember that you should spend time cooling down.

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About Author

Olly is the Short Motivation fitness and training advisor. He is a level-3 PT instructor, specialising in TRX and kettlebell instruction, and manages his own gym in the United Kingdom.