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Everything You Need to Know About Working Out With a Plyo Box

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Plyo boxes are a great way to increase intensity during your workout.

What Is a Plyo Box?

If you’re wondering to yourself, “what on earth is a plyo box?” have no fear, you aren’t alone, and you most likely have seen one in your gym. A plyo box is a large, sturdy box found in gyms that is designed to increase speed, power and coordination without requiring additional equipment. Plyo boxes are so versatile that you can spend an entire gym sesh using one and still get a full-body workout that hits on all the areas you’re working to strengthen or improve. Whether you’re doing lunges or pushups, the plyo box adds a level of resistance that powers your workout from tough to even tougher. Adding a box or step to your regular movements also helps promotes stability and endurance. 

What Does Plyo Mean?

So now you know what a plyo box is, but where does the name come from? The term plyo is derived from the word plyometric. Plyometric refers to the rapid expanding and contracting of muscles, or… jumping. However, not all exercises using the plyo box require jumping movements which makes this particular piece of equipment so versatile. While the box is designed for supporting jumping exercises, it can also double as a bench-like tool. Try dips or pushups from the plyo box and you’ll see what we mean when we say added intensity!

It’s Time To Give the Plyo Box a Try!

Want to get started on using the plyo box? We’ve got a great workout that will help start you off on the plyo box and take your workout to the next level! We’ve included pushups, planks, squats and more to give you a taste of all the ways the plyo box can make a big difference in exercises you are already comfortable with. There’s no need to try any super-challenging movements until you’ve mastered the box with familiar exercises.

Tips for Working Out With the Plyo Box

  • While leveling up your plyo workout, try staggering your hand placement and alternate positions on a push-up.
  • Elevate your feet to change the difficulty on exercises like planks, rows or split squats.
  • Jumps are fun, and explosive step ups are too! Boxes are a useful tool that will get your heart rate up quick!
  • Use your full foot when stepping onto a box and push through your heel.
  • Try subbing a box for most bench movements.
  • Don’t let the plyo box intimidate you! Definitely give it a try one out during your next workout and see what a difference it can make in your workout routine.
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Bodyweight Strength Training You Can Accomplish Anywhere

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Our mission is to help you make healthy happen all the time, and sometimes you just can’t make it into the gym. We get it! Busy schedules, kids, work, partners… the list goes on and on and sometimes making it into the gym gets cut first from the to-do list. When that happens, we want to equip you with workouts that can be done anywhere and don’t sacrifice intensity or effectiveness.

Enter: bodyweight workouts. Bodyweight workouts are workouts done utilizing, you guessed it, bodyweight in lieu of gym equipment. These workouts are the perfect solution for the can’t-make-it-to-the-gym blues as they can be done anywhere!

The exercises will mainly target the muscles that surround your knees, hips, and shoulder joints. These unilateral exercises will help you increase your muscular strength by using your bodyweight alone.

Even though this is just bodyweight strength training, you will feel muscles being used that you might not typically feel from a free weight or resistance machine exercise. Trust us, when you do the lateral lunges, you will feel it the next day! So, let’s get going with workout one. There’s no reason to wait!

Bodyweight Strength Workout 1

3 sets, 10 reps, 60 secs between reps


Download Workout 1


Bodyweight Strength Workout 2

3 sets, 10 reps, 60 secs between reps


Download Workout 2


Bodyweight Strength Workout 3

3 sets, 10 reps, 60 secs between reps


Download Workout 3


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Challenge Yourself with this Total Body TRX Workout

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Whether you’re new to the gym scene or a seasoned vet, you’ve likely seen the TRX hanging around the gym and wondered, “What in the world is that thing?” or “I know what it is, but can I really get a great workout with it?” You’re in luck, because this blog answers both questions.

The TRX Suspension Trainer was created by Navy SEAL squadron commander Randy Hetrick while on deployment. Using a jiu jitsu belt and parachute webbing, he created a way to get a total body workout using minimal equipment that would be easy to move around and travel with.

Suspension trainer exercises are even better than bodyweight exercises because they support a variety of back exercises that are difficult to do without equipment. And it adds an element of instability that challenges every muscle—especially the core. Even better: Most exercises on the TRX are easily modifiable for all levels of fitness.

Now that you know what it is and why it’s awesome, go ahead and give it a try! The total body workout below will get you started. For the Overhead Raise, One Leg Wide Row, Fly, Curl, Modified French Press, and Side Bend, you can modify it and make things a little easier by moving your feet farther away from the wall or TRX anchor. To make these exercises more challenging, move your feet closer. For all exercises, remember to keep your core engaged to help maintain good form.

After you complete this workout, you’ll have a new piece of equipment and eight new exercises in your fitness arsenal, not to mention you can show off your skills when the next newbie drops in. Spread the TRX love!

Total Body TRX Workout

Reps: 15 | Circuits: 3 | Rest: 60 seconds between circuits


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Foot Up Split Squat

One Foot Split Squat

1 – Stand upright with one foot looped in the handle and your arms by your sides.

2 – Drop your body down toward the floor, bending at your hips and knees and leaning your torso slightly forward.

3 – Push off your front foot to return to the start position.

  • Complete all reps on one side before switching to the other side.

Push-Up

TRX Push-up

1 – Place your hands on floor in front of you and your feet in the handles behind you, with your elbows bent and your chest nearly touching the floor.

2 – Push up until your arms are straight, keeping your hips in line with your shoulders.

• Lower back to where your chest nearly touches the floor and repeat.

Overhead Raise

TRX Overhead Raise

1 – Lean back holding the handles with your arms fully extended, your feet flat, and your palms facing down.

2 – Pull the handles overhead with your arms straight and hands close together.

One Leg Wide Row

TRX One leg row

1 – Stand on one leg and lean back, holding the handles with your arms fully extended, your foot flat, and your palms facing down.

2 – Pull your chest up to the handles, bending your elbows.

• Complete all reps on one side before switching to the other side.

Fly

TRX Fly

1 – Lean your body forward with your hands in the handles, arms straight out to the sides at shoulder height, and your legs straight out on your toes.

2 – Pull the handles together in front until they meet over your chest.

• Keep your arms straight throughout.

Curl

TRX Curl

1 – Lean back holding the handles with your arms fully extended, your feet flat, and your palms facing up.

2 – Pull your body up to the handles, bending your elbows and curling your hands toward your shoulders.

Modified French Press

Modified TRX French Press

1 – Lean to one side holding the handles overhead with your arms straight.

2 – Arch your torso over to one side and reach your arms to this side.

3 – Pull your body back up to the start position.

  • Complete all reps on one side before switching to the other side.

Side Bend

TRX Side Bend

1 – Lean to one side holding the handles overhead, with your arms straight.

2 – Arch your torso over to one side and reach your arms to this side.

3 – Pull your body back up to the start position.


Download This Workout

Tips You’ll Need for a TRX Workout

  • Make sure to change the length of TRX straps to best fit your intended movements.
  • The farther away you stand, the easier the movement will be. However, the closer you move underneath the straps, the harder you’ll have to work!
  • Try a pushup or a chest fly and work your core like crazy. TRX workouts are no joke!

Find more workouts like this in the Anytime Fitness App.

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Exercise

Everything You Need to Know to Get Rolling

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What Is Foam Rolling?

Foam rolling is a self-myofascial (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myofascial_release) release technique used to alleviate muscle pain and increase blood flow. It uses body weight to generate direct pressure to the “knots” or trigger points in the body. Often thought of as an “athlete’s only” piece of equipment, the foam roller is a great tool for anyone needing to release muscle tension (and we ALL have a bit of muscle tension from sitting too long, exercise, or general tension). Imagine using a rolling pin to roll out lumps in bread dough and you’ll get the picture.

What Are The Benefits?

Rolling is beneficial before and after your workout. Foam rolling prior to a workout can help decrease muscle density and allow for a better warm-up. Rolling after a workout can aid in recovery from a strenuous exercise. Other benefits of self-myofascial release include:

  • Improvement in joint range of motion
  • Ease of muscle soreness and joint stress
  • Help in maintaining functional muscular length

The Product

The roller is a foam cylinder and it comes in a variety of sizes. Most commonly in the gym setting, you’ll see a longer roller, measuring 36 inches with a 6-inch diameter. The density of the foam can vary as well. If you’re new to foam rolling or have particularly tight muscles or trigger points, opt for a softer foam roll. Typically, white rollers are softer, while blue or black rollers tend to be firmer.

Key Points for Foam Rolling

Rolling can be effective for many muscles, including calves, hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps, hip flexors, latissimus dorsi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latissimusdorsimuscle), and the thoracic spine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thoracic_spine). Place the foam roller under each muscle group and roll, long strokes, for 60 seconds until a tender area is found. Once a knot is found, maintain pressure on the knot or trigger point for 30 to 60 seconds by moving back and forth over that surface area. Follow up by performing a stretch for each muscle group you just have rolled for maximal benefit.

Tips for Foam Rolling

  • Sometimes, it hurts so good! Foam rolling may be a little uncomfortable and that’s ok. Stick with it!
  • Spend at least one minute per area when you foam roll to make sure you’re making an impact.
  • Find a friend to hold you accountable to foam rolling after a workout. Think of it as your new cool down!

Easy Foam Roller Routine

Try these simple foam roller exercises and stretches to target areas where most everyone could use a little love: the upper back, glutes, and thighs.

Foam Roller: Thoracic Spine (Upper Back)

  • Begin with the foam roller underneath your shoulder blades.
  • Place the hands behind the head for support, or cross the arms over the chest.
  • Lift the hips up slightly off the ground, maintain a slight curve in the low back (almost like you are performing a small crunch).
  • Use your feet to push forwards and backwards to roll out the upper back, rolling from the shoulder blades to the mid-back.

Stretch: Quadruped Cat/Cow

  • Begin on hands and knees with back in a neutral position.
  • Inhale and lift the chin and tailbone towards the sky, creating an arch in the back.
  • Exhale and tuck the chin and tailbone towards the ground, rounding out the spine.

Foam Roller: Glutes

    • Begin by sitting on the foam roller, knees bent and feet on the ground.

Shift slightly to the right and begin to roll up and down the length of the glute. Switch sides.

Stretch: Supine Knees To Chest

  • Lie on your back and draw both knees into the chest.
  • Keep head and shoulders grounded to the floor

Foam Roller: Quadriceps

  • Begin with the foam roller underneath the quadriceps (fronts of the thighs).
  • Lift the legs slightly off the ground and place the weight of the upper body on the forearms.
  • Push with your arms to roll out the quadriceps by moving forward and backwards from pelvic bone to the knee.

Stretch: Standing Quadriceps Stretch

  • Stand on the left leg and bring the right foot towards the glutes.
  • With the right hand, grab onto the right foot, keeping the knee pointed towards the ground and legs close together.
  • Switch sides.

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