Looking for the best plyometric box for your home gym? Or maybe you’re opening up a CrossFit gym?
Regardless, you’re in the right spot!
In this Athletic Muscle guide, I’ll be covering:
- What are the different types of jump boxes (i.e., multi-sided, foam, steel boxes etc)?
- What should you look for when buying a box for a plyometric workout?
- What are the benefits of training with plyo boxes?
- And my top 6 plyometric boxes.
REP Fitness Box
|View on Rep Fitness
Rogue Games Box
|View on Rogue Fitness
Stamina X Adjustable Box
|View on Amazon
J/Fit Plyometric Jump Box
|View on Amazon
Titan Fitness 3
|View on Titan Fitness
Bound Plyo Box
|View on Amazon
Overall #1 Pick
When considering metal, soft, wooden, and any other variant as well as the brand, my #1 pick went to the REP Fitness Box.
Because it’s built essentially the same exact way as Rogue’s box except cheaper. On top of that, REP Fitness offers more sizing options than Rogue.
The REP Fitness box has all the hallmarks of a quality plyo box such as sanded edges to prevent injury or splintering, 3-in-1 height versatility, quality construction both outside in the wood paneling and inside with its stability pieces.
Assembly is relatively easy given all the panels come as pre-fabricated puzzle pieces. All you need to do is fit them together and screw to secure each in place with the given screws and pre-drilled holes.
I would also recommend using some sort of wood glue to ensure maximum support throughout the frame.
The only downside worth calling out is that to achieve the lower price, REP Fitness does outsource manufacturing to China whereas the Rogue brand boxes are made in the US. Personally, I don’t care as long as the product is quality, but some folks might which is why I’m calling it out.
Lastly, Rep Fitness also sells this box on Amazon, but it is almost never available (at least in 2020), and generally tends to be cheaper on their own site.
If you’re a gym owner, and you want dedicated height boxes (not 3-in-1), my recommendation would be the Rogue Wood Plyoboxes.
If you’re looking for a cheap plyobox alternative I recommend the Bound Plyo Box as it is the lowest cost option on my list.
Keep reading to learn everything there is know about these boxes!
Top 6 Best Plyometric Boxes for Your Box Jump Workout
Check out our below list for a summary of our results. Keep on reading to learn more about your plyometric box options!
- Rep Fitness (Best Overall Value)
- Rogue Games Box (Best Wooden Plyo Box)
- Stamina Adjustable Plyo Box (Best Adjustable Plyo Box)
- Titan Fitness Foam Plyo Box (Best Foam Plyo Jump Box)
- J/Fit Stackable Plyo Boxes (Best Metal Plyo Jump Box)
- Bound Box (On a Budget? Best Plyometric Box)
Plyometric exercise can be a great alternative to boring ole’ cardio, but how do you pick a decent box?
In this article, I’ll be taking a look at the various types of plyo boxes on the market, what to look for before purchasing, and the benefits of using plyo boxes in your training regiment.
What Is a Plyometric Box?
A plyometric box or “plyo box” for short are generally boxes with non-slip landing pads meant to help athletes train via plyometric exercises aka box jump training, step ups, lateral step overs, and burpee box jumps. They’re also great for box squat training if you want to add something like that to your training program as well.
They come in different heights like, 12 inch, 16inch, 20inch, 24inch, or 30inch options.
Some provide adjustable height options for a single box, others brands just build static boxes that come in different sizes.
Read Also: What are the best hand grips for Crossfit?
Are Plyometric Boxes Safe For Athletes?
When people talk about CrossFit, you hear all the time about safety. “I’d do CrossFit, but I heard it isn’t safe”.
One of the reasons CrossFit gets this kind of bad rap is because you hear horror stories of athletes crashing on plyo boxes in the middle of workouts. I know because I’ve done it myself and I have the shin scars to prove it!
It sucked, but it was totally my fault.
Generally the reason that happens, is because either the box height is too tall for the athlete, the athlete is tired, or the athlete is distracted and in all cases they miss their jump and hit their shins. So this has less to do with the box, and everything to do with knowing your limits or focusing.
Some manufacturers of plyo boxes have decided to combat this by adding padding around the edges of thee box crown or in some cases built their box entirely out of dense foam material.
As long as you pay attention and try not to get too heroic and attempt your first 36 inch box jump as a beginner athlete, you should be fine!
Aside from the edging, most boxes have a weight capacity between 350 to 400 pounds, so you shouldn’t have to worry about your box breaking if you jump on it or rest heavy dumbbells or kettlebells on it.
What Are The Types Of Plyo Boxes?
Depending on your needs, you’ll want to consider the various types of plyo boxes.
The different materials offer different benefits, so take a look at each option below.
The standard wood plyo box is usually made out of some form of plywood and is what you’ll see in most CrossFit boxes. This is largely due to their versatility and durability. Although the durability depends on how thick the manufacturer decides to go with their panels. The 3/4 inch thick panel appears to be the standard, and I would probably avoid anything less.
In general, they last for years, and are designed for the 3 typical heights you find in a CrossFit workout: 20 inches, 24 inches, and 30 inches. What you need to look out for when it comes to wood boxes is splinters through poorly finished and un-sanded edging, screws that aren’t flush or below the panel
Also, with wood boxes, you’ll likely be putting them together yourself as most brands will ship you a bunch of wood puzzle pieces that need to be fit and glued together. Not a big deal, just worth calling out. If you’re not a DIY kind of person, maybe consider something other than wood.
Solid Steel Box
Perhaps the most straight forward of your options is the solid steel construction plyo box, which are found in many gyms as well, but you’ll probably find more of them in a typical fitness or recreation center. They take up less space, are easier to stack, and weigh far less than the wood boxes making them more ideal for beginner athletes and home gym setups. The big thing to know here is that the top padding most brands use is made of a vinyl material that can fray over time.
Soft Foam Box
Foam plyo boxes eliminate one problem that wood and metal plyo boxes cannot, which is reduce the chance of injury when doing box jumps or other plyometric training.
Generally, foam boxes have a vinyl cover and dense inner foam core to absorb any impact if you fall.
Anyone that’s been around a CrossFit box for a while has probably heard the horror stories (or experienced them first hand like I have) of busted or bleeding shins as a result of an accident while using plyo boxes. With a box made entirely of foam, you eliminate any chance of this happening.
Unfortunately, foam plyo boxes can be expensive, but some versions price competitively with the wood boxes.
For example, the Titan Fitness foam box listed in the review section is reasonably priced. The Rogue foam boxes are quite expensive however.
The only thing you need to be aware of, is that foam boxes tend to slide more on the ground. So be sure to place them on non-slide surfaces (i.e., wood, smooth concrete, tile, etc)
Probably less popular than the 3 options listed is an adjustable plyo box. This can be a great addition to your home gym or CrossFit box due to its versatility and space saving qualities.
Instead of stacking boxes on top of one another, you simply adjust the box to fit your needs for the WOD or exercise being performed. To be specific, these boxes literally transform bigger or smaller depending on your needs.
The only downside with the adjustable transformable plyo boxes is that they have a lot of small moving parts, which break down over time and will need to be replaced.
Just be sure to get a good one (see the Stamina brand below), otherwise you’ll be dealing with finicky adjustable knobs instead of working on your fitness. You’re bound to regret it if you cheap out on an adjustable plyo box!
Read Also: What’s the best power tower for home gyms?
What Should You Look For When Purchasing a Plyo Box?
Consider the needs of your plyo box before making a purchase. How often will you use it and for what plyo box exercises? Are you comfortable putting the box itself together with glue, a drill, and mallet?
Three things to consider:
Will it just be you using your plyo box once a week, or 20 different members? Durability is probably a concern no matter who you are or what you need, so read the reviews carefully and make sure you are buying a safe, sturdy piece of equipment.
That and wood boxes will be shipped to you in a bunch of puzzle pieces you’ll need to put together yourself. Now, this isn’t that hard to do, but will require you to flex your DIY muscles a bit. Personally, I prefer no-assembly, but your preference may differ.
Are you comfortable jumping on a plyo box, or do you need reassurance that if you miss a box jump, you’ll be covered? Wood and steel are notorious for shin scrapes, so maybe consider a box made out of dense foam if this is a concern for you.
If you need/want multiple sizes of boxes, consider how you’ll stack them given the space you have. Adjustable plyo boxes limit the amount you need, and steel boxes are usually stackable in a space saving manner. Wood boxes can be stacked on top of one another, but just keep in mind you can’t stack them to the ceiling.
What Are The Benefits Of Training With Plyo Boxes?
Plyo boxes are a fantastic training tool for plyometric exercises for anyone interested in being more fit and increasing their explosiveness.
While jumping on a box may sound easy, maintaining a steady heart rate (and breath) while completing 20 box jumps in a workout routine will test even the fittest CrossFit athletes.
Whether you CrossFit or not, plyo boxes will help you develop a more lower body strength and vertical jump.
Plyo boxes deliver the added benefit of unilateral exercises like single leg step ups or split squats, which could be fantastic for your accessory work needs.
They are a great tool for rehabbing an injury.
If you can’t perform explosive movements, simply substitute a stepping variety on the box.
If your goal is to simply add more variety to your workouts, here’s a look at these 23 exercises you can do with your plyo box.
Best Wood Plyo Box
Another alternative to the Rogue 3-in-1 box is the REP Fitness box. With this guy you’ll save money and have all the same perks as the other options but at a lower price point.
Made out of 3/4 inch high-grade plywood, it’s a durable plyo box, so assuming you prefer wood and want a cheaper option, Rep Fitness might be the way to go.
Out of all the boxes I looked at, this one had the best balance between value and price. REP Fitness built a box with all the hallmarks of Rogue’s more expensive box (durable construction, CNC machined, etc) but at a lower price. Assembly is always a task with wood boxes, but it is relatively easy compared to other models.
Areas where you might expect the lower price point to show are in the drill holes, finish of the box, and other small details, but I didn’t see any noticeable drop-off in quality. The reason for the price drop off compared to Rogue Fitness is that its made in China. Whether you care about that or not is up to your personal preference.
Found in most CrossFit gyms, is the 3-in1 Rogue Games box plyo box because they hold up and can serve multiple types of CrossFit athletes.
It’s made of 3/4 inch plywood panels and has a smooth sanded finish, with 20″, 24″, and 30″ options, anyone completing the WOD can adjust the plyo box to their needs.
All you need to do is just turn the box to the side you want to jump on. Given its dimensions, you can get three different size boxes from one box!
Note that it is heavy duty, weighing in at 56 lbs. And if you’re concerned about longevity, it comes with a one-year warranty.
If you don’t want the 3-in-1 style, Rogue also offers a single sized version you can check out by clicking here. These are generally cheaper and more for gym owners who need set sizes.
Similar to the Rogue box, but the Garage Fit brand has many different height options if you don’t want the standard 20/24/30 that the Rogue box comes with.
For example, the Garage Fit brand offers 16/18/20, 18/20/24, or 20/24/30 height adjustments. If wood isn’t your thing, Garage Fit also offers a dense foam option in the same sizes.
Going back to the wood variant for a second, it comes shipped as pre-fabricated wood puzzle pieces with pre-drilled holes. This setup provides plenty of internal bracing with a weight limit of 350 pounds.
What’s funny is that even though this box is made in China, it costs the same as Rogue’s box made in the USA. One would figure going over seas would realize some cost savings, but I guess not!
Here’s another wood plyometric box that made our list. This one actually has some of the best reviews we’ve seen, although it appears that the seller is working hard at obtaining them!
Similar to the Rogue and the Garage Fit brands, the Bound brand comes in various puzzle pieces with pre-drilled holes and a nice sanded finish.
To put this one together however, you’ll need to go the extra mile and grab a rubber mallet to smash the panels into place as they are a bit snug. I get it, but when 40 something year old women buys this for her home gym, I’m sure they aren’t going love the fact they’re going to need to strap on a tool belt and grab a screwdriver.
Something also worth calling out is that you’ll need a square shaped drill bit to get the screws in place. Just another thing, albeit a nitpick, something to consider when buying. Is the price savings worth the time you’ll need to head to Home Depot? Maybe.
Last point I’ll make is that some of the finishing have been sacrificed to achieve a cheap print point. For example, the edges are a bit rough, which can cause splintering.
Best Adjustable Height Plyo Box
Right up their with the Rogue box is the the Stamina X plyo box.
Really a one of a kind device, this is a heavy-duty steel box that can transforms into 4 different adjustable heights with no assembly required out of the box. On the top of the box is a rubber non slip surface landing pad to ensure your safety during workouts and no slipping.
It has height adjustments of 12″, 16″, 20″ and 24″ levels, meaning the application of the box could range from plyometric warm ups or drills to completing your standard CrossFit workout.
The one thing I didn’t like is that it didn’t completely collapse to the floor. Totally folded it measures at about 12inches from the floor, which stinks when trying to save space in my home gym. Other than that, this is probably the most versatile well-made plyo box on the list.
Best Soft Foam Plyo Box
This is a soft foam plyo box is priced very well, considering the Rogue 3-in-1 wood box actually costs more, and is objectively less safe than this option.
Honestly, this comes with everything you see in the CrossFit Games wooden plyo boxes, with the added feature of safety because of its dense foam inner core. This is also half the price of the Rogue foam box as well.
Some reviewers mentioned this box being a good option for families, as its prevented many shin injuries that a wooden box would not.
The only negative is that the 30 inch side is a little narrow making it a bit unstable, especially if you opt for the cheaper 16 pound version. That said, you should get the heavier 65 pound version to ensure it doesn’t move around when you jump on the box. Heavier box means more safety!
Best Metal Plyo Box
These boxes can be ordered as singles or in sets up to 5, and they range in height from 12″ to 30″. They come shipped ready to go no assembly required, which can be a major benefit for some athletes who don’t feel like pulling out a drill for the wood boxes!
An added benefit of this selection is their ability to stack without being too high off the ground, so you can save space in a home gym instead of littering the walls with various box sizes.
The non-slide vinyl cover definitely helps when it comes to stability when landing your jumps. At the bottom of each leg you also have rubber stoppers to prevent the actual unit from shifting during workouts.
I think the biggest differentiation this box has vs other plyo boxes, is just how durable it is made with heavy duty steel construction with a powder coat finish. Over time, wood will breakdown, but this steel box is more or less indestructible.
The only drawback of the J/Fit brand was that these boxes are a bit lighter in weight compared to the heavy wood boxes, making it easier for them to “jiggle” and tip over, which is obviously not ideal.
It’s worth calling out that the wood boxes are CNC machined, which means they’re generally almost perfect in terms of flushness to the ground so there’s no chance of “jiggle” with wood. Also, even though the box itself is essentially indestructible, the vinyl cover is not and has a tendency to fray with some wear
Our Top Pick: Rep Fitness (3 in 1)
For the purposes of this review, the best overall plyometric box for home gyms and CrossFit is the REP Fitness wooden box.
It has the best balance between value (i.e., you’re getting a well constructed 3-in-1 box) and price is the most affordable my list.
I could not find a single thing to pinpoint that would give me concern regarding the big drop in price compared to other boxes.
If you’re a gym and you want a dedicated height for your box instead of the multi-height boxes, the Rogue Wood Plyo Boxes are probably your best bet.
That said, whether you are adding to your home gym or opening your own CrossFit box, buying the right plyo boxes is an important decision.