Plyometric exercises are performed with the intent to increase explosive power and speed. This is accomplished by exercising for short intervals of time and using maximum force. It involves all sorts of jumping, skipping and bounding.
First adopted in the 1950s by olympians, plyometric drills are now widely used by all athletes.
Plyo boxes have a very simple design. Lots of plyo box plans are available online, so you can build one yourself. But, if you’re not the handy type or aren’t into making a DIY plyo box, see our picks for the 5 best plyo box designs for 2021.
What is a plyo box?
A plyo box or plyometric box is some sort of a solid cube or rectangular structure, where you can jump on and off of. There’s a full range of plyo boxes on the fitness market. Since they’re portable, often light and inexpensive, they’re an uncomplicated option for your home gym.
The materials for plyo boxes include foam, wood, plastic and even steel. Some plyo boxes have different measurements for each side so that you can change up the height by just flipping the box over. And other ones have adjustable settings to increase or decrease the height. Plus, some have stackable parts.
So, there are some key things to think of if you want a plyo box.
- Weight: How heavy is the box? Will you or others in your household be able to move it around or store it away?
- Weight Capacity: How much weight can it hold? What if you use weights while exercising?
- Dimensions: What is the size of the box? Will it fit in my home? Can it be stored away?
- Material: Is it made of wood, steel, foam or something else? Will it be durable enough to support me? Is it soft or hard? Is there an anti-slip grip? Foam and wood may be easier on your joints than metal.
- Features: Is it adjustable or stackable? Is it multi-sided?
- Warranty: What is the refund, replacement or repair policy?
- Price: Is it worth it for my home gym? Will I use it often?
What are the benefits of using a plyo box?
Plyometric exercise has many positive fitness advantages. One review investigated the effect of plyometric training on vertical jump height. They evaluated 4 different jump tests: squat jump, countermovement jump, arm swing countermovement jump and drop jump. The results showed that plyometric training vastly improved all vertical jumping by a range of 4.7-8.7%.
Plyometrics have been found to increase the athletic performance of athletes in team sports. Even 2-3 sessions a week for a period of 4-16 weeks significantly improves jumping, sprinting and agility. To add to that, research suggests that a combination of plyometric jumping drills, with one or 2 legs, has the potential to further improve fitness.
Even older adults can do plyometrics. People with a mean range age of 58.4-79.4 years seemed to benefit from 4 weeks to 12 months of plyometric training. There were no negative outcomes or injuries reported regarding their bone health, stability, body composition and muscles.
Rep Fitness 3-in-1 Wood Plyo Box
- Weight: Small-16 lbs / In-between-30 lbs / Medium-35 lbs / Large-50 lbs
- Weight Capacity: 400 lbs
- Material: Wood
- Dimensions: Small-16″x14″x12″/In-Between-20″x18″x16″/Medium- 24″x20″x16″/Large- 30″x24″x20″
The Rep Fitness 3-1 Wood Plyo box is a versatile box. It comes in 4 different sizes and they’re multi-sided, meaning they have 3 different heights. The edges of the box are sanded down for a smooth working surface and it has handles for portability. But, you will need to assemble the boxes yourself. They range in price from $42-$90 USD and have a 1 year warranty.
Rogue Resin Plyo Box
- Weight: 12″-21 lbs/18″-26 lbs/20″-28 lbs/24″-31 lbs
- Weight Capacity: unknown
- Material: Resin
- Dimensions: 19″L x 19″W x 12″/18″/20″/24″H
If you’re environmentally friendly, you’ll love the Rogue Resin Plyo Box. It’s made from 100% durable recycled plastic and it’s available in 4 stackable height options. For safety, the boxes are reinforced from the inside and the surface has a textured grid pattern. And, they have hand-hold slots.
It does not come pre-assembled. Also, you cannot use the boxes on hard and smooth surfaces as they’ll slip. They’re $85-$110 USD or you can buy the set of 4 for $350 USD.
Rep Fitness Foam Soft Plyo
- Weight: 4″-16 lbs / 6″-24 lbs / 12″-46 lbs / 20″-75 lbs / 24″-85 lbs
- Weight Capacity: unknown
- Material: Ultra-dense foam
- Dimensions: 28″ L x 28″ W x 4″/6″/12″/20″/24″H
The Rep Fitness Foam Soft Plyo box reduces the impact on your joints. It has 5 height options and is made from a sturdy foam material that won’t tip over. It has vinyl covers and the zippers are hidden. The reinforced handles make them easy to move around and stack. They range in price from $58-$250 USD and have a 1 year warranty.
Titan Fitness 12-24 -in Plyometric Box
- Weight: 50 lbs
- Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
- Material: Steel
- Dimensions: 18″ W
The Titan Fitness Adjustable Plyometric Box is the most expensive one on our list. It can be adjusted to 4 heights: 12″, 16″, 20″ and 24″. The box is made of steel and has a rubber, non-slip grip. The legs lock into place and won’t budge. It costs less than $140 USD and comes with a 1 year warranty.
Yes4All 16″ x 16″ High Step Platform
- Weight: 13.3 lbs
- Weight Capacity: 275 lbs
- Material: Plastic
- Dimensions: 16″ L x 16″ W x 4″ H
The Yes4All Adjustable High Step Aerobic Platform is your traditional-looking stepper. The stacked risers can increase the platform in height by 2″. The height options are 4″-12″. It features a non-slip rubber surface and non-skid feet. And, it’s super lightweight. You can buy it on Amazon for less than $50 USD and it comes with a 1 year warranty and 30 day return policy.
All in all, buying a plyo box for yourself depends on your fitness and physical abilities. Wood and foam boxes are more affordable but resin and steel boxes are stronger. Always practice caution with your joint and mobility issues.
Have a look at all their available features and you’ll be jumping for joy in no time.