An often overlooked piece of gym equipment is the plyobox. Traditionally a plyobox is made out of wood, and designed in such a manner as to give the user three different heights (depending on which side you place down). Some gyms have gone to a metal plyobox (like a stool), but these are limited to a single height (can’t be turned onto different sides). Due to this limitation the user would have to own three metal stands to accomplish the same thing a single wooden plyobox could. Another style of plyobox available is foam plyobox. These allow for plyometric moments, but if you miss the box you won’t be injured by a hard surface.
After looking at a few companies online I decided that I was going to build a wooden plyobox myself. The wood style would give me more height options, and was the only style I could actually build. I was surprised to learn that companies charged anywhere from $60-160 (plus shipping) for a plyobox. What follows is the supplies, tools, and plan that I followed to make my box. Should you decide to make a wider box (or higher), you may need to modify your design to allow for more support.
- Paper Pencil (draw your plans out)
- Wood Glue
- Wood Screws 1 1/2”
- Plywood 3/4”
- A Friend (everything is easier with a second set of hands)
- Tape Measure (measure twice before you cut)
- Table Saw
- Drill/Driver, hammer drill (optional)
- Drill Bit (specific to your screws)
- Spade bit (to make handle)
- Jig Saw
- 1-2 hours (depending on preparation and experience)
The first thing my neighbor (Dean), and I did was look at the wood we had on-hand. The goal here was to use wood left over from other projects. Between the two of us we almost had a full sheet of 3/4” (oak) plywood (layered). Next we decided on the actual box design.
Plyobox Cuts (table saw)-This design yields three heights: 17 1/4”, 20”, and 30”.
- (2) 20X15 3/4”
- (2) 30X20”
- (2) 28 3/4X13 3/4”
**Remember you need to take into account the thickness of your wood when creating a box**
With the wood cut we held the box together (by hand) to make sure that our measurements were correct. This is where we remembered that we needed to account for the thickness of the wood. After making the correction cuts we were ready to start assembly. For this portion we ran a line of wood glue down the surface, and then secured the other piece of wood using 1 1/2” wood screws. At Dean’s recommendation he/we decided to pre-drill (with counter-sink) the holes to prevent the layered wood from splitting/separating.
The first two pieces were the tricky ones. After those two were done we systematically began building the box. With only one piece left to attach we realized that we still needed to make our handles. It could have been done after the box was created, but there would be little pieces of wood inside rattling around whenever I moved/used the box (it would have driven me crazy).
To make the handle all we did was drill two holes into the wood, and connect them with jig saw cuts. Basically we cut out an oval that was large enough for a hand to slide into. Without handles moving a box this big is possible, but would be extremely annoying. With the handles cut into both sides we attached the last piece, and just like that, I had my plyobox (I still needed to wait for the glue to dry before active use).
Enjoy a time lapse of the build.
Even if I had to buy all the supplies (which I didn’t) this box wouldn’t have cost me much more than $30 (obviously not including the tools). Perhaps you don’t own the tools and it seems more reasonable to order a plyobox online. Make sure you read the fine print, while doing my research I noticed some of the plyoboxs ship in what they called “flat mode”. This means that the wood is stacked nice and flat to allow for easier shipping. Meaning you would still need the basic tools for construction.
Common Plyometric Movements
- Front Box Jumps
- Lateral Box Jumps
- Lateral Box Shuffles
- Weighted Single Leg Stable Lunges
- Weighted Step-ups
- Push-ups (raised feet)
- Weighted Box Squats
- Weighted Front Box Squats
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