About This Workout
Plyo boxes are hot property at the gym right now — these six-inch and taller platforms can make just about any move more heart-pumping or hard-core. "Each rep forces your body to recruit more muscles to either catch air or sink lower into exercises like squats," says trainer Adam Kant, the founder of Intrepid Gym in Hoboken, New Jersey. (No club membership? Use a step or a park bench to get the same effect.) Flip the page to try Kant's incinerating box circuit — aim to do it four times through — and take your body to the next level.
Power Pistol Squat
Targets butt and legs
- Stand facing box with elbows bent by sides. Step onto box with right foot so that it's close to left edge with left leg slightly in front of you alongside box.
- Slowly bend right knee 90 degrees, lowering left heel toward floor, tapping down if possible; extend arms forward to counterbalance.
- Return to standing and quickly step back to start.
- Do 14 reps; switch sides and repeat.
Targets shoulders, chest, biceps, and abs
- Start on floor in full plank position, left palm on floor, right palm atop box near left edge.
- Do a push-up, lowering chest toward floor, then pressing up to start.
- Walk hands and feet to right, placing right palm near right edge of box, left palm near left edge and stepping feet toward right.
- Do a push-up atop box, then walk hands and feet to right again so that left palm is near right edge of box and right palm is on floor.
- Do a push-up to complete 1 rep. Do 3 reps total (reversing motion back to start to perform second rep).
Targets shoulders, triceps, and abs
- Sit on front edge of box, palms resting on box on either side of hips. Straighten arms and shift hips forward to just in front of seat with knees bent, heels on floor.
- Bend elbows 90 degrees behind you, lowering hips toward floor as you bring left knee toward chest.
- Straighten arms, lowering left leg to floor; switch sides and repeat to complete 1 rep.
- Do 14 reps.
- MAKE IT HARDER: Start with legs extended, heels on floor, and lift left leg parallel to floor.
- Sit on box, arms by sides.
- Balancing on butt and bringing arms slightly out to sides, palms up, lean torso back 45 degrees and extend legs forward so that body forms almost a straight line.
- Crunch up, bringing knees in toward chest as you reach arms forward.
- Return to reclining position and repeat.
- Do 14 reps.
- MAKE IT EASIER: Keep palms flat on box.
Decline Side Plank
Targets shoulders, abs, and butt
- Start in side plank position on floor, torso propped up on right forearm, feet stacked left over right atop box with hips lifted off floor.
- Hold for 30 seconds; switch sides and repeat.
- MAKE IT HARDER: Lift left leg off box as you hold plank.
Burpee Box Jump
Targets arms, abs, butt, and legs
- Stand behind box and squat, placing palms shoulder-width apart on floor in front of feet.
- Jump feet back into full plank position.
- Quickly jump both feet forward near hands.
- From squat position, jump onto box (step closer to box first if necessary).
- Jump back down from box and repeat.
- Do 14 reps.
Originally published in FITNESS Magazine, May 2014