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What has six faces, twelve edges, eight vertices, and has the power to turn you into a powerful, explosive athlete? In geometry, it’s called a cube; but in functional fitness, it’s called a box – or more specifically a plyometric or plyo box.

Exercises: The box is mostly used for explosive box jumps (or it’s spicy cousin known as the burpee box jump) and box step-ups (weighted or not).

Heights: On a standard box, there are three heights: 20-inches, 24-inches, and 30-inches. There are smaller boxes available (starting at 12-inches) and there are boxes that you can stack (like Legos) that allow you to get as high as you’d like. Typically, CrossFit-style workouts prescribe men to jump to the 24-inch box height, and women to jump to the 20-inch box height.

For Scaling: The box (much like the bench) is a great tool for scaling down difficult movements. Prop your feet up on the box (hips in the air) and use it to scale handstand push-ups; put your hands on the box (instead of the floor) to scale standard push-ups; drag two boxes together (leaving room for you between the two boxes) and come into a support position (one hand on each box) to scale the L-sit.

Get after it! Try a box WOD to build posterior strength and explosiveness.

Don’t have a box? Make your own.