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Is your core strong enough to master the Invisible Box Challenge?


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Photo: Twitter/@arielo1220
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The world loves a good viral challenge. There was the philanthropy-driven (but chilly) Ice Bucket Challenge; the clever, creative, and oftentimes inspiring Mannequin Challenge; and don’t forget the Squat Your Dog Challenge (undoubtedly the cutest of the bunch), which encouraged a dog-friendly, midday workout. And now there’s a new challenge, aimed at hard-core (literally) bosses among us.

The Invisible Box Challenge is definitely try-this-at-home worthy, but be forewarned: It requires serious core strength.

Here’s the lowdown: Step over an invisible box, and make it look totally natural and effortless. Sure, it sounds easy, but go try it…I just did, and despite being able to hold a plank for several minutes, this experiment didn’t go super smoothly for me. (Though, in my defense, I’m really tired from Orangetheory this morning…)

There’s a new viral challenge and this one is only for the hard-core (literally) bosses among us.

So what’s the key to mastering the challenge? You have to really, really, really engage your entire core. In order to get up and over that “box,” your upper body needs to stay tall as you squeeze your abdominals and draw your glutes and hamstrings up and in.

Cheerleader Ariel Olivar, the junior at Manvel High School in Texas whose video gave traction to the Invisible Box revolution on social media, credits her strength for making it look so effortless in addition to her don’t-over-think-it attitude. “The video was my third time trying it,” Olivar tells The Houston Chronicle“It’s hard to explain, I just keep the leg in the same exact spot. It is actually kind of challenging keeping it there.”

In the video above, Olivar gestures toward an invisible box, and then steps up and over it. Her posture remains upright (hello, engaged abs!), and her bottom foot stays totally flexed and still, like she’s actually standing on a box.

“The technique, if you want to make it look like [the video], is to bring the [moving] leg higher than the other, as if you are actually stepping over a box,” Olivar explains.

It didn’t take long for the Invisible Box trend to catch on. Olivar’s video has been retweeted nearly 150,000 times since it was posted December 1, and the #invisibleboxchallenge has since popped up on the Today show, Live with Kelly and Ryan, and SportsCenter.

Here are a few of the most—and least—successful Invisible Box Challenge attempts.
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A post shared by Diane Macedo (@dianermacedo) on

Need to prep for the big challenge? Try this crunch-free core workout, Akin Akman’s sure-to-get-you-shaking ab routine, or Shay Mitchell’s favorite Pilates-based moves.  

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