It’s my first time in a gym after 7+ months (due to COVID), and I saw a multi-height Aktiv block here (30" was their tallest side) so of course I had to give it a try. Wasn't sure if I could do it since I haven't tried in a long time, but it was a breeze and I was able to stick a landing. Glad to say I can still hit the 30" jumps in my 30's (getting old I guess!). I did warm up with the shorter sides so I felt pretty confident. This gym was really small and I wish they had a slightly taller option as I would have liked to give that a go.
I miss teaching dance and kickboxing in person, but I’m grateful we can work out together online. Besides private classes and lessons, I’m streaming a free and interactive class on the Motus fitness platform if you want to stop by for a live 30-min cardio kickboxing class with me!
Free, live, weekly class here: https://motus.area120.com/instructors/irene-tang
--- Aktiv Soft Plyo Box review & instructions on how to successfully and safely jump higher ---
The block was really nice overall, I like how there were 3 different heights in one (20" x 24" x 30"). I also liked that it was really compact and the material wasn't slippery. You could definitely do a variety of bodyweight exercises with it, e.g., step-ups, inclined planks, lateral jumps, etc.
Downside: it definitely had weight to it but I would have preferred if it was heaven heavier for safety. Folks who might not have as good balance yet could potentially take a jump but hit the far edge and slip. Doesn't seem too likely but could be possible. So I would have preferred that it were heavier. If it's heavy, it would obviously makes it more difficult to move locations, e.g., from one room to another, but it would seem safer.
Overall, I was really happy to see it at the gym and I hadn't used one in years!
For safety and tips in building up your box jumps... Important note 1: eat a healthy, comprehensive diet to get all the necessary vitamins and minerals to keep your body strong. If you don't already get an annual blood test, do that to make sure you are getting enough nutrition. I also take a small multivitamin and a few supplements, e.g., fish oil, twice a week just in case I'm missing anything. Important note 2: sleep enough and sleep regularly so your body can recharge and strengthen itself. Important note 3: warm up properly before you begin box jumping. This is vital for injury prevention. Slow and steady is the way to go if you're building up to any challenging workout. The below information is for folks who are already exercising regularly- if you're not exercising regularly, repeat the below steps 1 and 2 until you feel comfortable adding one new step for subsequent workout sessions.
Step-by-step guide on how to jump higher:
Step 1. Always start with with 5-8 minutes of light aerobic exercise to get your body warmed up. Start with standing high knees, progressing to a light jog and finish off with some jumping jacks.
Step 2. Add in squats with good form for strength building
Step 3. Add in power moves like jump squats and jump tucks
Step 4. Get on the box: stick the 20" landing. When you've got that down, stick the 24" landing. Once you feel confident with the 24" landing, continue to repeat until you feel you're clearing it by far.
Step 5. Attempt the 30" landing! If you're unsure if can do the 30" landing, continue to repeat steps 1 - 4 until you're feeling confident. Since the 30" side has the least surface area touching the ground (and smallest platform for you to land on), you would need to easily be comfortable with sticking the 24" landing before attempting.
------ Description of the box from their website -----
The Aktiv® 3-in-1 Soft Plyo Box minimizes the potential for injury and maximizes the training and fun factor with its smart design. With three diverse heights, the user can customize their workout and adjust the height at any time with one flip. This versatility not only provides unlimited functional training options, but also removes clutter from the workout space. Ideal for in gym or any home gym.
The Aktiv® 3-in-1 Soft Plyo Box is ideal not only for box jumps, but for box push-ups, dips, step ups, and many other functional exercises and explosive training exercises.
Use it in your functional training workouts in the gym or at home. The three height options make this a great tool for modifications and progressions – to increase challenge and intensity, simply rotate the box to its side to add height. No need for multiple boxes!
Constructed from high-density bonded foam and built to last, the durable non-slip surface resists wear and tear while remaining firm even after heavy use. Reinforced soft foam protects the user from tipping or slipping, while remaining firm enough to perform all the desired plyometric movements. The Aktiv® Fitness premium line of functional exercise tools inspire and support today’s high-demand dynamic training environments.
Specifications: 20" x 24" x 30"
COLOR: Black / Blue / Grey
MATERIAL: Premium Poly-Urethane Cover, High-quality stitching, Filled with 120kg/square meters of densely bonded foam
WARRANTY: 12 months
Here's the website to purchase the box (this is an unsponsored, unaffiliated review): https://aktivsolutions.com/product/aktiv-3-in-1-soft-plyo-box
It's current MSRP is $512.59, but it is marked as on sale at $461.34 for one box.
------ In conclusion -----
Ask your doctor if it's okay for you to begin exercising. And if you can, definitely slow and steady wins the race. Take your time to build up stability, then strength, and then explosive power. Continue to exercise and you'll get there!
Let me know if you have any questions or other fitness products you'd like me to review! Subscribe for more fitness and wellness product reviews and recommendations in the future :).
--- More about Irene Tang and Bay Wellness Coaching ---
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