Note: I am not a certified fitness expert or researcher or anything else in that realm. These are just my ramblings on my personal experience.
I’ll go ahead and address the elephant in the room. Compared to my usual content, this was a splurge.
After months of having the BalanceFrom 3-in-1 20″ 24″ 30″ Foam Plyometric Box in my mental shopping cart and obsessively reading reviews, I finally added it to my real shopping cart on Amazon and hit purchase.
I bought the plyo box with the goal of doing plyometrics to improve my speed as a runner. (A very brief Google search told me it would.) I was also looking for something that would shake up my usual workout routine, which largely included running or lifting dumbbells haphazardly. I was particularly drawn to the BalanceFrom jumping box as it’s made of a foam material. As a beginner to this, I find the wooden plyo boxes to be a bit intimidating! All I can picture is my shin sliding down the side…
My Experience Using the BalanceFrom Foam Plyometric Box
The moment the box arrived, I found myself wondering if I made a mistake. This thing is big!! If you’re considering ordering this, I’d recommend checking the product dimensions and making sure you have a spot for it.
But I was also excited! Having the three different height levels meant I’d have something to work toward. I find the 20 inch height to be great as a beginner. (The idea of jumping onto the 30 inch level does still terrify me!)
For the first month or so, I found myself doing primarily box jumps. You all know I love working out with Youtube videos (Check out some of my past favorites here and here), but I wasn’t finding one I really connected with when it came to plyo exercises. Unfortunately, most just demonstrate the different exercises, but don’t put them together into a smooth, coherent workout experience. (Here’s a niche that someone can fill!)
After that month, I found the way I used the box started to shift. Rather than true plyometics, I found myself using the box to work on strength and balance moves like step-ups. I was particularly inspired by a physical therapist on Instagram, who shared some exercises for runners planning to do a hilly race. While I’m not planning to do a hilly race, I am getting ready to do a race involving bridges, which are basically the same thing, right?
I find step-ups to be extremely challenging- both from a balance perspective and from a single-leg strength perspective. My right leg is definitely stronger than my left.
Once this race is behind me though, I do plan to turn my focus back to speed and the true plyometic exercises.
Final Thoughts on the BalanceFrom Foam Plyometric Box
Should you go for the 16 pound box or the 60 pound BalanceFrom Foam Plyometric Box?
BalanceFrom sells two different weighted boxes (12-16 pounds or 58-60 pounds) and I found myself going back and forth a lot on which one to get. The negative reviews of the 16 pound box (which I ultimately ordered) seemed to surround stability and tilting a bit during exercises.
I can see where these reviews are coming from. Depending on where you jump or step onto the box, there can be some slight movement. I usually do a test step before fully committing to a jump. Overall though, I don’t see this as a major issue. However, If you are on the larger end of the weight/height spectrum, you may want to consider going with the 60 pound box. I also think if you have a true home gym and have the space for it, the 60 pound would be a good option. Personally, I move my box all around the house, so having the lighter weight has been a huge bonus! I can’t imagine trying to haul this monstrosity up and down stairs if it was 60 pounds.
Is the foam box durable?
So far, so good! I’ve had the box for about 5 months now and haven’t noticed any sort of wear or tear from using it multiple times a week. Obviously, I can’t speak for the long term, but so far, I’m very impressed. I wasn’t sure if foam plyo boxes would hold up as well as the wood ones.
Is the material on the box slippery?
On the Amazon listing, BalanceFrom claims that the box is anti-slip. I have personally found this to be the case! I usually do my workouts barefoot and haven’t noticed any sort of slippage, even as I start to sweat. I was honestly surprised by this. I always take product descriptions with a grain of salt, but for me, it’s held up as a non-slip surface.
What sort of exercises can you do with a plyo box?
Honestly, there are so many!
While it’s meant for true plyo workouts, I find myself using it for strength and balance moves. It can be useful for a variety of exercises like Bulgarian split squats, elevated push-ups, and box squats/seated squats. I’ve personally been using it for low weight hip thrusts as well, though it’s not quite the right height.
I love that it can accommodate different fitness levels by adjusting the height and grow with me through my fitness journey thanks to its 3-in-1 design.
Is it worth buying?
I think this all comes down to you. Personally, I have enjoyed being able to shake-up my workout routine and work on different aspects of my fitness. But like all fitness equipment, it really comes down to whether or not you’ll use it. (Insert mental image of a treadmill being used as a clothing rack here.) It’s currently listed as $157 on Amazon, so it’s not cheap. (When I bought it, it was $110.)
My cats love it though!