Marzia Prince, a healthy housewife, fitness trainer, and all-around amazing human being, is ready to help you reach your fitness goals with step box exercises, a full-body workout that takes just minutes. That's right, success is easier than you thought, and you can do these exercises at home or at the gym with just a couple of weights, stairs, or a step box. You'll tone your arms, core, and legs at the same time. These curls, shoulder presses, kicks, knee raises, glute squeezes, and tricep kickbacks will send your cardio levels soaring, burn fat, increase heart rate, and build lean muscle. Kick it up even more with a jump rope between each exercise set to burn even more, faster. There’s more to it than just that, so read on to learn more about this workout!
Step Box Exercises That Benefit Your Entire Body
What Is a Step Box Exercise?
A step box exercise is a type of workout that strengthens your whole body and trains your muscles through utilizing a regular exercise box, plyo box, or a similar box. If you don’t have a box, you can perform step box exercises on the stairs, with a bench, or anything you can step on that can accommodate your weight.
The important thing is that whatever you use, it should be stable enough for you to perform the workout. You can do any exercise with it or use other workout equipment like dumbbells to level up your performance.
What Are the Other Types of Step Box Exercises?
Here are other types of step box exercises worth checking out. These are:
1. Depth Jump and Jump
Depth jumps target your entire body because you're bracing your core when landing, swinging your arms, and using your legs when jumping. This jump training also tones and firms up the glute muscles.
How to do it:
- Stand upright on the box.
- Go down from the box with your dominant foot taking the lead, and land on the ground with your feet at the same time.
- Once ready, you can jump vertically as high as possible to the other box.
- Bending your knees and pushing back your hips can reduce the landing impact.
- Repeat this 10 times, take a rest as needed, and do as many sets as you can.
2. Burpee Box Jumps
Box jumps and burpees both test your strength and explosiveness. Combining both movements can help strengthen your whole body and enhance your cardiovascular stamina.
This box workout also aids your body in toning and tightening your abs, biceps, triceps, chest, calves, hamstrings, quads, and glutes. Be prepared though as this series of jump box exercises requires a lot of work.
How to do it:
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart away from the box.
- Bend your knees to a squatting position.
- Do a burpee and start by positioning your hands on the ground in front of you.
- Kick your feet back into a plank position.
- Drop yourself all the way down to the ground.
- Lift up your shoulders with your hands and jump your feet forward.
- Jump upwards to return to your starting position.
- Jump on the box, landing softly with your feet at the same time.
- Jump down the box with both feet at the same time as well.
- Repeat 20 times and do as many sets as you can with enough rest in between sets.
3. Box Dips
This exercise works on your upper body as it targets your core, shoulders, chest, and strengthens triceps.
This exercise is very similar to the tricep dips. Instead of doing the dips using a bench or chair, you use a box here.
How to do it:
- Face away from the box and place your hands on the box's edge at shoulder-width apart. Point your fingers towards your body.
- Walk your feet out until your legs straighten.
- Lift your butt off the box by putting your weight into your heels.
- Keep your elbows close to your body and bend your arms to lower your entire body to the ground. Do this position until your elbows are at the same level as your shoulders.
- Press your palms into the box and return to your starting position.
- Repeat this 10-20 times and do as many sets as you can.
4. Box Calf Raises
If you want to strengthen and improve your calf muscles, box calf raises are a great exercise. This workout helps increase running speed and leg power.
How to do it:
- Stand with your feet narrower than shoulder-width apart.
- Adjust your feet so your heels are off the box.
- Use the balls of your feet to support your weight.
- Rise using your toes and hold it for two seconds.
- Lower down your body until your heels are below the box’s height. Hold this position for two seconds.
- Repeat this 20 times and do as many sets as you can.
5. Box Pushups
Pushups primarily enhance back strength, triceps, biceps, and shoulders.
How to do it:
- Place your hands on the box at shoulder-width apart.
- Get into a plank position.
- Bend your elbows slowly to lower your chest onto the box.
- Push back up to your starting position by stretching your shoulder blades.
- Repeat this 10-20 times and perform as many sets as possible.
RELATED: Pre & Post Workout Nutrition
6. Box Step-Ups
The repetitive step up and down on the box can help improve your core, glutes, hips, and thigh muscles.
How to do it:
- Step your left foot on the box.
- Use your heel as your center force to drive up by squeezing your butt and tucking your ribs.
- Stand tall on the box and then return back to the ground by leaning slightly forward.
- Switch with the other leg and do the same.
- Aim for at least 20 reps, 10 reps for each leg, and repeat this as many sets as you can.
Tips to Better Perform Step Box Exercises
Here are some general tips you can follow to experience the maximum benefits of each step box exercise:
1. Use Your Arms to Increase the Exercise Difficulty
Most of the step box exercises allow your feet to do much of the work, so you can utilize your hands to amp up the workout if the exercise does not require using your hands.
You can simply place your hands on your hips and hold it. Doing this provides more balance to keep your stance stable.
You can even use hand weights to make the exercise more challenging and forceful.
2. Be Comfortable with the Footwork First
One important thing to remember is to make sure you're comfortable with all the footwork of each exercise before you add anything extra, like hand weights. This primarily prevents any injury and maximizes the benefits of the step box exercises.
A proper way of doing this workout is to start with a beginner variation of the exercise and gradually level up the workout as you go.
3. Do the Steps Carefully
Make sure that your entire foot is on the box when you take a step. Never let any part of your foot hang over the edge as it may interfere with your balance, which can result in accidents.
4. Utilize Your Legs and Ankles
It is ideal to utilize your legs and ankles than to put pressure on your back. This allows your leg muscles to work double, which is what the step box exercises aim for.
Press firmly on the foot that's on the ground as you lift up your other leg. Doing this prevents putting too much stress on your lower back.
5. Practice Doing Your Posture
Maintain a good posture while performing step box exercises to keep stability and balance in check. You can do this by gently engaging your gluteal and abdominal muscles.
Keep your chest lifted and neck relaxed and straight while performing each of the exercises on the step box.
6. Adjust the Height of the Box If You're a Beginner
Some of the step box exercises may be ideal if you have a taller box, but if you're still a beginner, you may want to start with an exercise that requires a shorter one. This allows your body to adjust to the type of exercise you're doing and won't lead to injury.
In case you experience discomfort or pain when doing the steps, lower the height of the box.
Join Marzia Prince in this video as she demonstrates step box exercises, a full-body workout that takes just minutes!
Doing step box exercises is a healthy way to achieve your fitness goals more effectively. What’s even better about this workout is you can perform it at home or anywhere you have access to a box, a stair, or a bench.
Just make sure you keep these tips in mind, so you can do these strength exercises more effectively and take advantage of their health benefits.
Which of the step box exercises are you trying first? Tell us in the comments section below!
- Are You Getting Your Post Workout Essential Nutrition?
- 5 Workout Mistakes To Avoid
- Winter Blues? Here’s An All-Natural Way To Feel Better!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on November 21, 2013, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.