Side To Side Box Shuffle in 4 Easy Steps

If you’re anything like me, then you’re always searching for alternative ways to work the lower body. There’s nothing I love more than an exercise that works your lower body while also getting the heart rate up – basically like a combination of cardio and muscle toning.

The side-to-side box shuffle (also known as lateral box shuffle) is an explosive exercise that will have your hamstrings, glutes, and calves on fire. The good kind! Most people typically do box shuffles in athletic-focused workouts or for those looking to burn fat fast and efficiently.

How To Do Side To Side Box Shuffle?

If you’re considering incorporating side-to-side box shuffles in your workout regimen, it’s important that you learn the basics. Knowing how to perform an exercise properly is vital in ensuring you reap the benefits and avoid injuries. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Begin standing on the left side of the box with your right foot resting on top of the middle of the box.
  2. Quickly jump over the box, landing with your right foot on the ground and the left foot on top of the box.
  3. Continue to shuffle from side to side until you complete your reps.
  4. Repeat for as many reps and sets as desired.

Muscles Worked

As you can expect, box shuffles fire up the muscles in your lower body and your core. You will work the calves, hamstrings, quads, glutes, hip flexors and abdominals while doing the exercise. While they are great for the lower body, they’re also a great cardio movement that will boost your metabolism, promote a healthier heart and burn major calories.

Is The Box Shuffle Effective?

The box shuffle is extremely effective and you can incorporate it into your workout in several ways. As mentioned, the exercise tones the lower body, but it is also a great cardio movement that torches calories.


What’s the point in doing an exercise if the benefits aren’t what you’re looking for? Here are the benefits of doing side-to-side box shuffles:

  • They are a phenomenal cardio exercise that will have your heart rate pumping! Similar to all cardio exercises, the faster you move the harder the exercise will feel.
  • We spend most of our time moving forward, not side to side. This exercise will cause you to use different neuromuscular pathways which will challenge your body.
  • The side-to-side box shuffle tones up the thighs, glutes, inner thighs and quads.


You can do the box shuffle in various ways, tailored to different fitness levels. Variations include:


Not quite ready to add the box shuffle to your workout plan? That’s okay! Here are a few box shuffle alternatives you can try instead:

  • Box step ups – Instead of shuffling from side to side, you will step up onto the box and lower back down. Be sure to alternate which foot you step with each time!
  • Explosive Step Ups – Stand behind your box and place one foot on top. Shift the butt back slightly and keep a micro bend in the knees. Drive up off the box and jump in the air over the box. As you jump, switch your feet in the air so you land with the opposite foot on top of the box.
  • Box Step Ups for Balance – Stand with the box directly in front of you and put one foot on top. Come to standing on top of the box and drive the opposite knee up as you stand on the box.


Most people are used to using their legs to move them forward.  But many people rarely use their legs to move laterally or sideways.  This is where the side-to-side box shuffle exercise is useful.  It is great for working those leg muscles that don’t get used that often (think glute medius) as well as all the major ones.  So, don’t be afraid to change things up and give this great exercise a try!

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Gabrielle McNair

I am obsessed with all things related to fitness and personal health. Outside of that, I enjoy spending time with my husband, being outdoors and traveling.

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