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12 Step Box Exercises For A Full Body Workout

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Step box exercises burn fat, build muscles and improve athleticism. You can perform step ups, box jumps, push-up variations, side planks with elevated feet, box dips, burpee box jumps, split, box and power pistol squats, running toe taps, V-Sits and hip thrusts with a step box. Start with a low box and increase height as you grow fitter!

If you’re a member of the focus-fam, you know it’s possible to get in shape using just your body weight. Even so, using equipment can be an added advantage. But, I’m not talking about weights or machines. A pull-up bar and a step box is all you need. In this article, I’ll show you how to use a step-box to perform various bodyweight exercises.

Well, the step box may be popular for plyometric exercises like box jumps, but it can also be used to activate upper body muscles. You can use a sturdy chair or a bench to perform some of the exercises – but others can only be performed using a step box.

Now, the preferable height of the box may vary depending on your fitness level. Start with a low box if you’re out of shape then increase the height as you get fitter.

Here you go – 12 Step Box Exercises For A Full Body Workout.

1. Step-Ups

This is a low impact exercise that any beginner can do. Step-ups mainly activate the quadriceps, hamstrings and glute muscles.

How To Perform

  • Stand a few inches from the step box and place the right foot on top of the step box.
  • Bring up the left foot on top of the box by straightening the right knee.
  • Return to starting position by stepping on the floor with the left foot, and then bring down the right foot.
  • Step on the box with the left foot and repeat the movement.
  • Do 3 sets of as many reps as you can.

See the video here

Variation

A variation of this exercise is the lateral step-ups – basically, you’ll perform step-ups sideways.

How To Perform

  • Stand beside the step box then place one foot on it.
  • Bring up the other foot, and then step down on the opposite side of the box.
  • Reverse the movement by stepping on the box and return to starting position and repeat.

See the video here

2. Box Jumps

Box jumps build the leg muscles, increase explosiveness and burn lots of calories. Note that this exercise has a high injury risk, so start with a low box if you’re not fit.

How To Perform

  • Stand a comfortable distance from the step box.
  • Slightly bend the knees then jump and step on the box – land softly to avoid injury.
  • Return to starting position by bringing down one foot then the other. And jump again.

See the video here

Variation

Just like step-ups, you can do lateral box jumps.

How To Perform

  • Stand beside the box then jump sideways to step on top of it.
  • Jump off the box and land on the other side of the box and repeat the movement.
  • Don’t perform this exercise until failure due to the injury risk.

See the video here

3. Push-Ups

You can do many push-ups variations using a step box.

Variations

Use a box jump to perform – incline push-ups, decline push-ups and feet-elevated pike push-ups.

Incline Push-Ups

Incline push-ups are a great exercise for beginners who can’t perform the classic push-ups.

How To Perform

  • Stand facing the box then place your hands on the edges of the box.
  • Keep the body aligned in a straight line. Lower the body until the chest almost touches the box. Then push up until the arms are straight and repeat.

See the video here

Feet-Elevated Pike Push-Ups

This exercise mainly activates the shoulder and arm muscles.

How To Perform

  • Place your feet on the step box and place arms on the floor.
  • Bring the arms as close to the box as possible – keep the back and arms straight.
  • Then do push-ups from this position.

See the video here

Decline Push-Ups

This is a great push-up variation for building the upper chest.

How To Perform

  • Place your feet on the box and hold a shoulder width grip to support the body.
  • Keep the core tight and the body aligned in a straight line.
  • Lower the body until the chin slightly touches the floor, and then push up until the arms are fully extend. And repeat.

See the video here

4. Side Plank With Feet Elevated

The side plank strengthens the core and activates the oblique muscles. This exercise is more rewarding if you do it with the feet elevated.

How To Perform

  • Lie sideways and place your feet on the box.
  • Use the right elbow to support the upper body and tighten the core to keep the body aligned in a straight line.
  • Hold that position as long as you can, then lie on the left side and hold the plank for the same duration.

See the video here

5. Box Dips

The box dips will build the triceps and strengthen the arms.

How To Perform

  • Face away from the box then squat and place arms on the edges of the box.
  • Straighten the legs and keep the arms fully extended.
  • Lower the body by bending the arms – go as low as you feel comfortable. Then slowly rise until you straighten the arms. And repeat.
  • To make the exercise easier – perform it with the knees bent.

See the video here

6. Burpee Box Jump

The burpee is one of the most rewarding full-body exercises. But it’s very challenging, especially if you use a step box.

How To Perform

  • Stand facing the box – maintain enough space between you and the box for performing push-ups.
  • Start in the plank position then kick the feet forward towards the chest.
  • Quickly stand upright and jump on the step box.
  • Jump off the box to return to starting position and repeat the movement.
  • Avoid performing this exercise to failure.

See the video here

7. Split Squats

The split squats will stretch the hamstring and the hip flexors, and improve your balance.

How To Perform

  • Stand in front of the box, facing away from it.
  • Stretch one foot backwards and place it on the box.
  • Bend the front foot and go down until the rear knee almost touches the floor. Then slowly rise until the front knee straightens.
  • Repeat the movement. Then switch legs and do the same number of reps.
  • Make this exercise harder by hoping the front foot when you rise.

See the video here

8. Running Toe Taps

This is similar to the high-knee spot running.

How To Perform

  • Stand a comfortable distance from the box then pull one knee up and tap your foot on top of the box.
  • Return it to the floor and quickly lift the opposite foot and tap it on the box.
  • Keep alternating the feet as fast as you can.

See the video here

9. Box Squats

Box squats are a good exercise for beginners who can’t perform deep bodyweight squats.

How To Perform

  • Stand a step from the box, facing away from it.
  • Place hands on the head or put them out in front. Squat by dropping the butt and slowly rest it on the box.
  • Rise until you’re upright and repeat.
  • This exercise will help build the strength you need to perform full range of motion squats.

See the video here

10. Power Pistol Squats

Lack of balance is usually a big challenge for folks trying to perform the pistol squats. Doing them on a step box gives you more balance and makes them easier to perform.

How To Perform

  • Step on the box with right foot (on the edge of the box) and let the left foot hang beside the box.
  • Squat by bending the right knee, lower the left foot and keep it straight.
  • Slowly rise until you straighten the right foot and repeat.
  • Do the same number of reps for each leg.

See the video here

11. V-Sits

V-Sits activate the core and abdominal muscles.

How To Perform

  • Sit on the box and place your hands on the edges beside you.
  • Lean backwards and lift the legs such that the body forms a V.
  • Draw the knees towards the chest as close as you can. Then extend the feet to the V position and repeat several times.

See the video here

12. Shoulder-Elevated Hip Thrusts

Hip thrusts work the hamstrings and glute muscles.

How To Perform

  • Face away from the box and then squat.
  • Place your upper back on the box then bring your carves close to the thighs.
  • Now, lift the butt off the floor as high as you can and squeeze the butt at the top for two seconds.
  • Then lower the hips and repeat the movement.

See the video here

3-Day Step Box Workout

Here’s a 3-day full-body workout you can do using a step box.

Beginner

  • Step-Ups – 3 sets till failure.
  • Running toe taps – 3 sets, till failure.
  • Box dips – 3 sets, till failure.

Intermittent

  • Box jumps – 3 sets maximum reps, but don’t perform till failure.
  • Decline push-ups – 3 sets, till failure.
  • Split squats – 3 sets, till failure.

Advanced Level

  • Burpee box jump – 3 sets, don’t perform to failure to avoid injury.
  • Side plank with feet elevated – 3 sets, hold as long as you can.
  • Feet elevated pike push ups – 3 sets, till failure.

Final Word

Step box is an important equipment for any exerciser to have. It can help burn fat, build muscle and improves athleticism.

How often do you use a step box in your workouts?

Brian Syuki

Brian Syuki is a fitness expert who teaches people how to get leaner and healthier using bodyweight exercises and proper nutrition.

Brian Syuki

Brian Syuki is a fitness expert who teaches people how to get leaner and healthier using bodyweight exercises and proper nutrition.

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