fbpx Skip to content


Sample Class: Tape-Box Workout

Create and teach individual “blocks” of intensity.

Tape box workout

Do you have limited space? This high-intensity cardio and strength class is perfect if you’re short on square footage or if you need to teach a socially distanced class. It’s also a good option when equipment is limited or when you’re teaching a virtual workout.

Each participant creates a “tape box” by placing four strips of painter’s tape on the floor. The “box” is the only equipment each person needs for high-intensity agility drills, and it also serves as a training space for body-weight-only strength drills.

This workout introduces basic movement patterns and drills (you can change these while retaining the same HIIT format, giving you endless possibilities). The drills build in intensity by varying speed, increasing or decreasing range of motion, and offering optional plyometrics. This flexibility allows participants to push to their own personal limits and modify when needed.

Tape-Box Workout Details

Goal/Emphasis: to train aerobic and anaerobic pathways, improve total-body strength, and increase agility and speed

Total time: 45 minutes

Music: Play up-tempo music, approximately 130–150 beats per minute. Some drills start out with the beat and then become a speed challenge that departs from the music.

Equipment: low-adhesive tape (painter’s tape)

Setup for each participant: Create an 18-by-18-inch square on the floor, using the tape. Test the size by ensuring that you have enough space to do a parallel squat inside the square, and then step outside the square to see if you can comfortably run in a straddle position. Adjust as needed.

See also: No-Equipment Outdoor Workouts

Warmup (5 minutes)

The warmup familiarizes participants with the tape box while preparing the body.

Drill #1

Walk/run in all directions:

  • Forward and back: From box center, walk over front line (right, left) and back to center (R, L); 16x slow, 16x faster.
  • Wide: From box center, step into straddle (R, L) and back to center (R, L); 16x slow, 16x faster.
  • Back and forward: From box center, step over back line (R, L) and back to center (R); 16x slow, 16x faster.
  • Repeat from the start, leading with L foot.

Drill #2


  • Ladder forward and back: Starting behind back line, with tape box in front, step R, L, in center and then R, L, over front line, as if climbing a ladder. Return to starting position by stepping down the ladder R, L, R, L. 8x slow, 8x faster.
  • Repeat, leading with L foot.
  • Ladder across: Starting L side of tape box, step R, L, in center and then R, L, to R side; tap L and step back across, L lead. 8x slow, 16x faster.

HIIT and Strength Intervals (30 minutes)

Each work phase includes one Tabata round using a band, followed by four strength exercises.

Each 4-minute Tabata consists of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest, for a total of eight intervals. Each round features two alternating high-intensity exercises. For strength moves, you’ll do 16 repetitions on each side.


Run + jump squat:

  • Start in box center.
  • Run forward and backward (to center); do one jump squat, R lead.
  • Walk forward and back, squat in center, and repeat.
  • Increase pace to a run and do two quick squats in place of one.
  • Time: 30–45 seconds.

10- to 20-second rest/transition.

 Wide run + jacks:

  • Start in box center.
  • Walk out/in, wide stance, then tap out/in R, L.
  • Increase pace; add two jumping jacks.
  • To increase intensity, replace jumping jacks with wide plyometric squat. Jump feet into straddle, touch ground, and spring back to center.
  • Time: 30–45 seconds.

10- to 20-second rest/transition.

Strength #1

Wide squat across:

  • Stand on L side of box, step R foot across and do wide squat, straddling box. Bring R foot to starting position; repeat 8x–10x.
  • Lunge: Step R leg back into reverse lunge; reset and repeat, 8x–10x.

Wide squat across + lunge:

Combine the moves above:

  • Step R foot across into wide squat, lift knee, step back into reverse lunge, lift knee.
  • Repeat 8x–10x.

Repeat HIIT #1 and Strength #1, L lead.



  • Stand on L side of box.
  • Tap R foot quickly to center, back to side, across, back to side for one complete hopscotch. L foot runs in place.
  • Start slow and build speed; 30–45 seconds.

10- to 20-second rest/transition.

 Hopscotch + narrow/wide squat:

  • Do one hopscotch, then step R foot into box center for parallel squat.
  • Reset, then step across for wide squat; reset and repeat.
  • Increase pace while maintaining good squat form; 30–45 seconds.

10- to 20-second rest/transition.

Strength #2

Three-way tap:

  • Start at top R corner.
  • Squat, tap top L corner; reset, stand. Repeat, 8x.
  • Squat and tap L foot diagonally to back L corner, 8x.
  • Squat and tap L foot to front R corner, 8x.
  • Finally, squat and hold while tapping L across, back, to front R corner, back, to diagonal corner, back, and stand. Repeat 8x.

Repeat HIIT #2, L lead, and Strength #2 from top L corner.


Ladder lunge:

  • Start with basic ladder, moving across, R, L, R, tap.
  • Increase pace, then add reverse lunge instead of tap.
  • Challenge advanced participants to touch floor while lunging, keeping chest lifted; 30–45 seconds.

10- to 20-second rest/transition.

Jumping ladder burpee:

  • Start on L side of box.
  • Lead R to do ladder across and back, then do burpee (modification: parallel squats or more ladders).
  • To increase intensity, replace ladder with two plyometric hops across box, landing first hop in center and second hop on opposite side. Repeat, moving back to starting position before doing burpee; 30–45 seconds.

10- to 20-second rest/transition.

Strength #3

  • Start with hands on edges of tape and do four pushups and four mountain climbers. Modification: Perform pushups from knees.
  • Walk R hand to center of box and L to outside.
  • Repeat pushups and climbers.
  • Repeat walk-hands sequence, moving L.

Repeat HIIT #3, L lead, and Strength #3.

See also: Sample Class: Body-Weight Barrage

Core and Cooldown (5 minutes)

  • Set up in plank position, elbows centered on back strip.
  • While holding plank (on knees or toes), reach R hand to top R corner of tape box.
  • Repeat, L.
  • Perform 8x, each side.

Target the entire body with the following sequence (emphasis on calf and ankle):

  • downward-facing dog with pedaling
  • ankle circles
  • quadriceps stretch
  • hamstring stretch
  • chest stretch
Pamela Light, MA

Pamela Light is a group fitness instructor and personal trainer in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA with a bachelor’s in Exercise Physiology, a Master’s in writing, and 25 years’ experience in the fitness industry. You can find videos of Tape Box workouts in her Facebook group, Pamela’s Light and Fit Community.

When you buy something using the retail links in our content, we may earn a small commission. IDEA Health and Fitness Association does not accept money for editorial reviews. Read more about our Terms & Conditions and our Privacy Policy.


Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay up tp date with our latest news and products.