Plyo Box Total Body & Core Workout with Power Intervals

Plyo Box Total Body & Core with Power Intervals

HELLO FRIENDS!! It seems like it’s been forever since I posted a full workout here on the blog! Full details on that are coming up in a future blog post, but it’s been silent on here for good reason: I GRADUATED GRAD SCHOOL!! Yep, I now have an MPH (Master of Public Health). I couldn’t be more excited! I’ll update you on the full graduate school experience soon. For now, let’s get to sweating!

I’m partnering with Power Guidance for today’s workout. Who doesn’t love building POWER in their training? I love a good high intensity, short duration power interval, and what better way to add that in than plyometrics? Today we’ll use a plyo box, which I love to use either by itself or in combination with other equipment to elevate your workout intensity. You can do some pretty fun things with it!

The plyo box here is a 3-in-1 soft foam plyo box from PG. It’s a pretty decent addition to any home gym, being super lightweight (17 lbs), and very easy to move in and out of storage. The soft foam makes plyometric exercises a lot less scary since your shins will be spared if you do happen to trip or fall. One thing I like about solid boxes like this is that you can’t see through the bottom like platform plyo boxes (for some reason that always makes me anxious, even if I know I can clear the height). The height on this one is adjustable (20”/26”/30”) and it’s labeled nicely for ease of use (great for transitions between exercises). The only thing I found a bit off about this box is that at the 30” height (for which I wanted to use for box jumps), it seemed a bit unstable. It could just be this particular box, but I think the fact that it’s so lightweight plays into its instability at the highest setting. At $179.99, I would expect a stable box all around. That said, you’d be fine to use the 30” side for other exercises that don’t require you to jump on top of it.

Ready to jump (pun intended) into today’s workout?? Read the description below and follow along with me on Instagram to see videos of these moves!

Plyo Box Total Body & Core with Power Intervals

[Plyo Box] Total Body & Core Workout with Power Intervals

What You’ll Need: a soft plyo box like this one from Power Guidance, or another sturdy box/surface that you’re comfortable jumping on and off of.
What You’ll Do:
you’ll do every strength exercise for 4 sets of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest. After 4 sets of strength, do the corresponding power move for 30 seconds at max effort, all-out intensity. Rest 30 seconds before starting the next strength move (if needed).
Total Time: 12 minutes

Strength 1: Elevated Glute Bridges (4 sets) - lie down on your back and place your feet on the edge of the plyo box, hands by your sides. (shown) Press through your feet and push your hips upward, squeezing your glutes as you press. Lower back down to start.

Power 1: Box Jumps (30 seconds) - Set the plyo box to the height that you are comfortable jumping (mine is set to 20”, but I definitely could have gone higher). Bend your knees and swing your arms back to load the jump, then propel yourself up to jump on top of the box. Land with your feet flat and bend your knees to soften the landing. Stand up, step back down (jump down if you’re comfortable), and jump up again. Keep jumping at maximal effort for 30 seconds. Trainer Tip: think about jumping by bringing your knees to your chest so you clear the box instead of bringing your heels back to your butt. You’ll get more height, and be able to land firmly on top.

- rest 30 seconds if needed -

Strength 2: Decline Push Ups (4 sets) - Get into a plank position with your feet elevated on the box, shoulders directly over wrists, abs engaged. From here, lower your chest toward the floor, and push back up. Trainer Tip: when your feet are elevated, there is a lot more emphasis on your abs and core to brace your back. Make sure you keep your back straight here and not let your hips dip down.

Power 2: Single Leg Hop Overs (30 seconds) - Start standing parallel to the plyo box, with the inside foot flat towards the middle of the box (shown). Push through your foot and hop laterally up and over the box (shown), landing on the opposite side (shown). Immediately push back up and over. Keep alternating for 30 seconds, max effort!

- rest 30 seconds if needed -

Strength 3: Balanced Hold to Boat Pose (4 sets) - sit on top of the plyo box so your weight is in the middle. Balance yourself and lower down so your body is in a hollow hold position, arms either overhead or in front of you (shown). From here, use your abs to pull yourself up to boat pose, bringing your knees toward your chest (shown). Trainer Tip: You can either keep your legs extended so your calves are parallel to the floor (harder), or bring your heels closer to the box (shown - easier).

Power 3: Squat Jump Taps (30 seconds) - Start sitting on the box edge, feet firmly planted (shown). From here, push through your legs and jump up as high as you can (shown). Come back down, tap your butt to the box, and jump back up again. Repeat jumps for 30 seconds all-out effort. Trainer Tip: the “taps” to the box should be just that - taps. You’re not sitting back all the way, so you should still feel pressure through your quads.

- rest 30 seconds if needed -

Strength 4: Figure 4 Knee Dips (4 sets, alternate legs each round) - Get into a plank position with your feet elevated on the box. Start with your right leg bent so your foot is placed on the inside crook of your left knee, making a figure 4 with your legs (shown). From here, bend your left knee down toward the floor (shown) as low as you’re comfortable without collapsing down off the box, then raise it back up. Alternate legs each round. You should feel this in your quads on the leg that’s moving.

Power 4: Lateral Hops (30 seconds) - Place your hands on the plyo box, with your weight shifted over to the left to start (shown). Jump up, shifting the weight onto your hands, and bring your heels toward your glutes (shown). Land on the right side (shown). Immediately jump back up and to the left, using the floor as kind of a “trampoline.” Keep going for 30 seconds as fast and high as you can.

Readers: chat with me! Do you use plyo boxes in your training? Which style do you prefer (soft vs. wood vs. platform)? Do you add in quick bursts of power/plyo in your training? I’m a HUGE fan! What are your favorite plyo box moves??

Disclosure: I was gifted this plyo box from Power Guidance in exchange for my review here. All opinions, photos, workout images, and product descriptions are my own, just like always! Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog!


20-Minute Whole Body AMRAP Workout

20-Minute Whole Body AMRAP Workout

Hi Everyone!  Holy moly it's been a while since I last posted.  If you read my big life update a few weeks ago, you'll know I was thinking about applying for graduate school to get my Master's in Public Health.  Well, I decided to take the plunge!  My application for the first part of the program - a Certificate in Public Health - is due this Friday, so I've been busy with that these past few weeks.

But I'm excited to be back and to share this workout with you today!  These exercises are all done on a plyo box, and while they may look easy to start out, the AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) style of this workout makes it challenging.  Ready to get to it and challenge yourself? Keep reading for the details and let's get goin'!

20-Minute Whole Body AMRAP (on a Plyo Box)

20-Minute Whole Body AMRAP Workout

What You'll Need: a sturdy plyo box at about knee height, a non-slip exercise mat (to put underneath the box to prevent sliding if on a smooth surface), and a timer.
What You'll Do: set your timer for 20 minutes, and go through as many rounds of the exercises as you can in that time, starting with exercise #1.  Remember to do 5 box jumps between each move. Note: if you're on a smooth surface like a hardwood floor, place a non-slip exercise mat underneath the plyo box to prevent the box from sliding forward during your jumps.

10 Incline Push Ups - get into a push up position with your hands gripping the outside edges of the box.  Keeping your abs engaged and spine aligned, lower your chest to the box in a push up.  Push back up to start.  Do 10 reps.

5 Box Jumps - between each strength exercise you'll do 5 box jumps.  Start with the box in front of you. Squat down, bending your knees and bringing your arms straight back by your sides to load the jump.  From here, swing your arms up and jump up onto the box, tucking your knees up to your chest to clear it (as opposed to bringing your heels back towards your butt).  Stand up fully, then step down off the box and reset to load the next jump.  Do 5 jumps total.  Trainer Tip: please remember to STEP off the box, not jump down.  This avoids unnecessary force on your lower body and decreases risk for injury.

  • Alternate Exercise for Box Jumps - if box jumps are a bit too much for you, take it down a notch and start in a squat, then step up onto the box, stand, and step back down into a squat. If you do this style, alternate which leg leads each set (e.g. lead with the right leg for your first set of 5, then the left on your next set, then right... so on and so forth).

10 Lunge Step Ups w/ Knee Drive (each leg) - start in a lunge facing the plyo box with just enough room between to step up onto the box.  From the lunge position, take your back leg and plant it firmly on top of the box, stepping up as you do, driving your other knee toward your chest in a fluid motion.  Reverse the move to step down off the box and back into a lunge on the same leg you started on.  Repeat for 10 lunges on one leg before switching to the other.

- 5 Box Jumps - 

10 Straight Leg Raises - start in a seated position on the edge of the plyo box, legs extended out straight, hands grasping the sides of the box for stability.  Lean back slightly to engage your abs, keeping your back flat.  From here, lift your legs straight up off the ground, forming a V with your body.  Lower them back down to the floor.  Do 10 lifts.

- 5 Box Jumps -

10 Up & Under Planks (each side) - start in a plank position with your right arm propped up on the plyo box, left arm tucked underneath you.  From here, rotate your body into a side plank on your right arm, reaching your left arm up toward the ceiling and turning your head upwards to look at your hand.  Reverse the move back down into the plank, tucking your arm underneath you and engaging your abs as you do.  Keep going for 10 reps on the right before switching to the left.

 - 5 Box Jumps - 

10 Knee to Elbow Planks - start in a plank position on your hands with your feet propped up on the plyo box.  From here, alternate bringing your knees out to the side and up to meet your elbow, focusing on engaging your obliques and keeping your shoulders over your wrists.  Do 10 reps total (5 each side).

- 5 Box Jumps - 

Keep going!  Remember, this is an AMRAP workout, so get through as many rounds of these exercises as you can in 20 minutes!

Readers: chat with me!  What's going on in everyone's lives lately??  How are your workouts/training sessions going?  Do you incorporate plyo boxes into your routine?  How about AMRAP workouts?  Love 'em or hate 'em?  Any readers out there with an MPH or currently in school?  Any advice?

Plyo Box Pyramid Lower Body Burner

Plyo Box Pyramid Lower Body Burner

HELLOOOO!!!  I'm alive!  I'm sorry for going AWOL there for a while.  I had a sudden family emergency to tend to a few weeks ago that required my full attention, but I am back (things are okay), and I'm excited to bring you guys another great workout today.  Boy how I've missed you!

Today's sweat sesh is all about the lower body.  I've been doing a lot of circuit style workouts here on the blog, so I thought I'd change it up and give you guys a pyramid workout today.  I'm excited for this one because it uses the plyo box - one of my new-found favorite pieces of exercise equipment.  If you don't have a plyo box, you can easily do this workout using a sturdy chair or bench.  Ready to get that booty burnin'?  Keep reading for the details, and make sure to pin this one, too! 

Plyo Box Pyramid Lower Body Burner

Plyo Box Pyramid Lower Body Burner

What You'll Need: a plyo box you can step onto, or a bench/chair of equal height.
What You'll Do: start with 10 reps of every exercise (on both legs).  After you finish 10, move down to 9 reps, then 8... 7... 6... until you've completed 1 rep of every move.

Split Leg Lunges (each leg) - facing away from the plyo box, prop one foot up on it and keep the other leg planted on the floor.  Lunge down as low as you can, bending both knees to 90˚, keeping your chest up.  Do all reps on one leg, then switch.

Butt Tap Squat Jumps - just like they sound, start in a squat with your rear lightly touching the plyo box, hands in front of you.  From here, propel yourself up into the air, swinging your arms down and back.  Land lightly on your feet, and tap your butt to the box again.  Keep the jumps going for the desired number of reps.

Lunge to Step Up + Knee Drive (each leg) - start in a lunge facing the plyo box with just enough room between to step up onto the box.  From the lunge position, take your back leg and plant it firmly on top of the box, stepping up as you do, driving your other knee toward your chest in a fluid motion.  Reverse the move to step down off the box and back into a lunge on the same leg you started on.  Repeat all lunges on one leg before switching to the other.

Side Plank Adductor Raises (each side) - these ones are killer for the inner thighs!  Start in a side plank on your elbow, with your top foot on the box, bottom foot touching the ground so your legs are split.  Maintaining the side plank position, raise the bottom leg up as high as you can. Do all raises on one leg before switching.  Trainer Tip: engage your abs to keep your hips from dipping.  Your body should be in one straight line from head to top foot; the only part that moves is your bottom leg.

Donkey Kicks + Pulse + Hold (each leg) - face the box and place your hands on the sides to maintain your balance.  Start with donkey kicks on one leg, bending the knee and kicking your heel upward toward the ceiling.  Once you're done with the kicks, immediately do that same number of pulses with your leg bent at 90˚.  Last, hold your leg up for that number of seconds (e.g. 10 donkey kicks, 10 pulses, 10-second hold).  Repeat on the other side.

Abductor Lifts + Pulse + Hold (each leg) - maintaining the same propped up form as the donkey kicks, now you're doing to lift your leg out to the side.  Keeping your leg straight and foot flexed, lift straight out to the side as high as you can.  Once done with the desired number of lifts, keep your leg up and pulse it up and down for the same number of reps, and finish with a hold (e.g. 9 lifts, 9 pulses, 9-second hold).  Repeat on the other leg.

Remember to keep going through the exercises until you've completed 1 rep on each leg.  Feel the burn!  And because it's Monday, we all need a laugh, and I'm finding some priceless outtakes in my stock of photos...

Squat outtake

Outfit Details: tank - Lululemon, leggings - GTS Clothing

Readers: chat with me!  What's new?!  I've missed you all!  What new exercises, classes, and/or fitness endeavors are you enjoying?  Do you use plyo boxes in your training?  What are some of your favorite ways to use them?  What are some of your favorite lower body exercises?