10 Weird Gym Tools, Explained

Photo by: CN Digital Studio
Plyo Box

Looks like a nice place to display potted plants or magazines, right? Yes, but don't let your inner Martha Stewart distract you. Leaping onto these

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Photo by: CN Digital Studio
Plyo Box

Looks like a nice place to display potted plants or magazines, right? Yes, but don't let your inner Martha Stewart distract you. Leaping onto these industrial-looking metal boxes can earn you a sky-high calorie count, serious butt- and leg-sculpting love and it's easier on your joints than boring burpees or squat jumps, Jackson says.

Go-to move: Box jump

Plyo boxes come in a range of heights, from as little as six inches tall to four feet high. Pick a height that challenges your jumping ability (ahem, skip that six-inch box, please), but isn't so high that it makes you nervy or forces you to use your hips, rather than your legs, to power you up. Most newbies can tackle an 18-incher.

Try it: Stand in front of the plyo box, feet hip-width apart. Squat halfway down, then explode up, pumping your arms upward to propel you, and landing softly in a squat on top of the box. Step back down with one foot, than the other, and repeat. Do 3 sets of 5 reps.

What it works: Abs, butt, legs

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Mon, Feb 25, 2013 3:16 PM EST

Marissa Stephenson
SELF


Trying out that foreign-but-fun-looking equipment at the gym is kinda like pairing stripes with patterns. Everybody's doing it, and it sounds like a neat idea ... but how the hell do you pull it off? Especially if it's your first trip to the gym in, um, a while.

Simple. You breeze through our how-to guide, with smartypants moves from gear guru Bryan Jackson, a former pro soccer player and trainer at the P.E.P.P.E.R. program in New York City. Using these tools, you'll love your sweat sessions way more-and damn, those workouts will look good on you



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