Plyo boxes have evolved a lot over the years. It used to be common place to see rows of plyo boxes lined up for athletes to jump over in quick succession to develop power, reactivity in the joints and overall explosiveness. While this is still probably the most fundamental use for a plyo box, the general fitness market has moved into the sport performance arena and has taken some things from the athletic world – one of them being plyometric training.
Sure plyos are for everyone, but not that long ago you never saw a guy or gal in the gym doing plyos – that was for athletes. Arnold Schwarzenegger wasn’t photographed jumping on plyo boxes because it just wasn’t what “fitness” or “gym rat” exercisers did. But now we do! In the general fitness arena we use plyo boxes for a lot of things, not strictly for power and reactivity development. We use them as a step for step-ups, as a box to squat with during box squats, we use them as a place to sit and check Instagram and we use them as they were intended, to jump up onto and off of.
Luckily, with more uses being developed for plyo boxes, the box design itself has changed. My job is to make recommendations to improve and enhance your fitness training experience so I will tell you my thoughts and give you the links needed to make informed choices about what you prefer regarding plyometric boxes specifically. With that being said, and to be clear on what I recommend, I really like the current rectangular box design better than anything else that has come before for a few reasons.
This is why I like the modern 6-sided box the best:
- Extremely durable – the closed sided allow for more strength and less damage
- It’s 3 boxes in 1 – depending on which side you place it on, you have 3 possible heights
- Simple to store – no more prying stacked boxes apart, now they stack just like blocks
- Affordable – no more buying a box for every possible height. Each box has 3 rock solid heights
- Larger landing surface – It’s a safer platform because the surface is larger than standard plyo boxes
- Fewer shin injuries – If you’re jumping on a box that’s too high, that’s on you. But there’s no more toes catching under the box, the walls are vertical so you never have to worry about catching your foot under the edge of the box
- People move them less – because they’re a larger box gym members tend to move these less which makes every gym manager happy
Why the other plyo boxes aren’t quite as good:
- Price – other plyo boxes cost too much for what you get
- Functionality – other plyo boxes might be wrapped in a colored fabric or something, but it’s overkill and expensive
- Metal hurts – not everyone is working with a strength coach so general people make mistakes and sometimes those hurt
- Other boxes break – stack them and it pries the sides apart. Drag them around, the bottoms splinter
- Poor design – the 6-sided box is what general fitness people have always needed. Safer, inexpensive, more effective for most purposes
Are these other boxes bad plyometric boxes?
No! They’re just fine, and they work well. But this article is written for a person with general fitness in mind. If you want a versatile, safe, inexpensive and very durable box then none of these boxes are going to give you all of that in a single box. They work just as they’re intended but they wear out more rapidly, have more risk of danger and cost just as much if not more than a 6-sided plyo box. The fact that you have to buy one box for every height you want is reason enough to recommend against them in favor of the more sturdy and versatile 6-sided boxes. These are all my opinions derived from over twenty years of professional fitness training experience but you can judge for yourself. I’m just here to make my most specific recommendation so you, my reader, can be informed of what I do and do not recommend.
So there it is! At this point in time, the 3/4 inch plywood 6-side box is the best box on the market for general fitness training purposes.
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