Best Plyometric Boxes

Updated January 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

60 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
194 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best plyometric boxes

If you’re a competitive athlete, CrossFitter, or MMA fighter, chances are you’ve had your fair share of training with plyometric boxes. Not only does this training improve your coordination and balance, it helps increase your speed and endurance. Rather than waiting for your next training session at the gym, it’s worth investing in plyometric boxes to train at home.

In the past, plyometric boxes were simply boxes or platforms with graduated heights. While these designs remain popular, there are now plyometric boxes that feature adjustable heights, nesting sets, and construction with safer materials. There are even sets designed specifically for home use, complete with rubber legs or bases to protect flooring.

Since all plyometric boxes serve the same function, you might be wondering which one is best for you. In this buying guide, we explore popular designs in plyometric boxes to help you find the right one. We’re sure you’ll be jumping for joy once you land on the perfect set.

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Before you invest in a plyometric box, make sure you have enough room to use it. You’ll need clearance between the box platform and the ceiling. If you don’t have ample height indoors, consider using the box in the garage or outdoors.

Understanding plyometrics

Basics

Plyometrics, also referred to as jump training, is an aspect of athletic training that individuals of all fitness backgrounds and sports incorporate into their routines. It refers to rapid stretching exercises that, over time, can boost speed, endurance, flexibility, coordination, and balance.

Doing plyometrics

To best describe plyometrics, envision yourself doing a burpee from a squatting position. When you jump, your body fully extends before returning to a crouching or bent position. This high-impact training stretches and contracts muscles rapidly — and yes, you’re usually sore after doing plyometrics.  

If you’re new to plyometric training, your best bet is to invest in a flippable foam box. The softer construction, with its rounded corners and smooth edges, is forgiving and less likely to cause injury.

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Popular types of plyometric boxes

Single boxes

Rudimentary plyometric boxes are single boxes, which fall into two categories. There are boxes with a single height, and there are boxes that can be flipped on different sides with up to three height options. Some athletes prefer single-height boxes, especially since there is a more diverse height range within that product group. Others are attracted to the dynamic design of “flippable” boxes, as they’re economical and save space.

Stacking or nesting sets

Stacking or nesting plyometric boxes are available as sets of boxes or platforms. More often than not, you’ll find these made of wood or metal. They’re ideal for athletes who prefer the availability of multiple heights at once, as they can create an obstacle course with a variety of jump challenges. While these plyometric sets remain popular, portability isn’t the best, as they’re often too bulky and heavy to carry all at once.

Adjustable platforms

A new arrival on the plyometric scene is the adjustable platform. Rather than having a single box or multi-piece set, the user adjusts the legs of the platform to the preferred height. These platforms offer anywhere from three to six height choices. Foldable and easy to disassemble, adjustable platforms are by far the most popular option for athletes who are short on space.

Popular materials

Wood

Classic plyometric boxes are crafted of wood, making them sturdy and durable if they’re constructed well. Some athletes shy away from wood boxes, as they can splinter, have sharp edges, and may absorb moisture. Note that wood plyometric boxes can be difficult to move, especially if they lack handles or grip cut-outs.

Foam

Many modern plyometric boxes are made of foam, as it’s considered a safe material choice — especially for barefoot jumpers. More often than not, these foam boxes are wrapped in a high-tensile material like PVC or vinyl and have nonslip detail for added safety. Unfortunately, they can be hit-or-miss with athletes, as some prefer more traditional materials.

Metal

Metal plyometric boxes are used in many studios and home gyms. Not only are they low-maintenance and easy to clean, the frames are generally wobble-free due to high-quality construction. In fact, many heavy-duty plyometric boxes that support 300 pounds or more are made of metal or with metal components. One thing to keep in mind with metal boxes, especially for home training, is that they need to be placed on a mat to prevent floor damage if they lack rubber feet.

Features

Height

There isn’t a standard height range for plyometric boxes, but you’ll find similar heights among models. Boxes on the shorter side are 10 to 12 inches tall; boxes on the taller side are around 30 inches high. If you’re considering a set of plyometric boxes, note that platforms usually increase in four-inch increments.

Traction 

Jumping is an intense activity, and a safe landing is of the utmost importance. The landing surface of many quality plyometric boxes has textured pads or grippy details that prevent feet from sliding. There are also traction details at the base or feet of some plyometric boxes to prevent them from slipping away from jumpers when they land. 

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DID YOU KNOW?
To diversify your routine, explore the various apps dedicated to training with plyometric boxes.
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Accessories

Speed training ladder: Invincible Fitness Agility Ladder
Watch your plyometric progress in real-time when you supplement your training with a speed ladder. This set includes a 15-foot ladder, accessories, and bonus ebooks with a variety of training drills.

Cross-training sneakers: Nike Men’s Metcon Sport Training Shoes
Invest in responsive athletic footwear for your plyometric training, such as this cross-training pair. Its drop-in midsole boosts lateral stability, and its foam outsole aids in shock absorption with every jump.

Plyometric box prices

Plyometric boxes range in price from $60 to $300. The cost largely depends on the materials used and the size of the set. Quality of construction also plays a role. The more you spend, the closer you get to gym quality.

Inexpensive: Those priced between $60 and $100 are usually single boxes made of wood or foam. Quality is relatively consistent among these boxes, though they might not last as long as pricier options.

Mid-range: The bulk of plyometric boxes cost between $100 and $200. This range includes premium single boxes, well-made flippable boxes, gym-quality stacking sets, and some adjustable platform styles. 

Expensive: While harder to find, if you’d like a stacking set with more than three heights, you’ll likely spend $250 or more. These plyometric boxes are usually made of high-grade metal or hand-crafted wood and are by far the most durable options. 

If your plyometric box breaks or sustains major damage, there’s not a safe way to fix it. In this case, it’s best to simply replace it with a new one — preferably a more durable option.

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Tips

  • Clear surrounding areas. While one always hopes for a safe landing, keep in mind you may not reach or clear the plyometric box with every jump. For that reason, make sure the box is set up in an open space where you won’t bump into surrounding objects.
  • Choose a height range that overlaps with your current one. Rather than buying plyometric boxes at heights you’ve mastered, choose a set that includes these heights as well as more challenging ones.
  • Check components prior to every session. Wood, metal, and adjustable plyometric boxes have various components and moving parts. Give each one a cursory look to ensure stability and safety prior to jumping. 
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Flippable plyometric boxes make it easy to see the heights on various sides, as they’re printed in oversized numbers.

FAQ

Q. Can kids use plyometric boxes?

A. Inexperienced jumping often results in injury, which is why it may not be advisable to allow kids to use plyometric boxes. With that said, high school athletes with more training experience and appropriate supervision can benefit from using plyometric boxes.

Q. Does it matter which kind of sneakers I wear when I exercise with plyometric boxes?

A. Many athletes wear cross-training sneakers, namely those with responsive cushioning and moderate support to absorb shock. Cross-training sneaker outsoles have a moderate, often molded outsole that helps stabilize the foot to ensure safer landings.

Q. How should I clean a plyometric box?

A. It depends on the materials, though for the most part, you can wipe down foam and metal boxes with equipment cleaner or multipurpose cleaner. Wood plyometric boxes can be more challenging to clean, especially with multiple wood and finish types. For these boxes, defer to the manufacturer’s instructions regarding cleaning.

Q. How do plyometric boxes differ from step trainers?

A. Plyometric boxes are designed for intense, high-impact activity, which is why they’re built to withstand heavy use. It’s one of the main reasons all plyometric boxes share the core feature of stability. Step trainers, on the other hand, are more often used for low- and medium-impact exercises. They have a modular design, and while stable at lower heights, it’s not unusual for a jumper to miss their mark and knock over a stacked setup, which could result in injury.

 

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