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How To Do Tuck Jump Exercises The Right Way

If done correctly, the tuck jump is a powerful, calorie-burning, and strength-developing exercise that can be an essential part of any workout routine. Here is everything you should know about it.
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In this article:

  1. Overview of Tuck Jump Exercises
  2. How to Do Tuck Jumps Correctly
  3. Tips on Performing Tuck Jump Exercises
  4. Tuck Jump Variations

Tuck Jump Exercises: What You Need to Know

Overview of Tuck Jump Exercises

The tuck jump is a great calorie-burning exercise that will definitely shred a lot of fat. Otherwise known as a knee tuck jump or knee-to-chest jump, this is an advanced plyometric exercise that uses powerful and fast movements.
Plyometric Exercise Definition: Plyometric exercises, also known as jump training or simply plyos, are movements that force the muscles to move with as much effort in as little time as possible. They aim to increase overall power by using rapid and explosive movements.
The tuck jump exercise mainly works the quads, but it also engages the hamstrings, calves, and glutes.
It is a popular power move among gymnasts and athletes as it helps develop power and agility. It also helps them increase their rate of muscle contraction and improve their overall athletic performance.
Because of the exercise’s demand for high amounts of energy, the tuck jump is a great exercise for torching fat. Often, the exercise is integrated into high-intensity interval training workouts (HIIT) for its ability to burn extra calories in less time.
The compound exercise can also be integrated into a warm-up routine. It also makes a great addition to any strength training or cardiovascular training workout.
As an added benefit, the exercise can also be modified in numerous ways. This can make the exercise a lot more challenging to perform.

How to Do Tuck Jumps Correctly

Step 1: Get in the Starting Position

Look for a flat and smooth surface, preferably one with a rubber mat or exercise foam, to lessen the wear on the knees and shins when you land. Make sure there is enough space to move freely and jump high enough.
Stand up straight with the feet about hip-width apart. Keep the abdominal muscles tight and the spine straight.
Roll the shoulders back while sucking the belly button in.
This is the starting position.

Step 2: Jump

Begin the movement by bending the knees down until your in a half-squat position. Keep the arms extended straight in front at shoulder-height.
Remember to push the hips back and lean forward. Keep the chest out and the back flat as well.
Drive power from the legs then push the ground down with as much effort as possible and explode upward off the ground.
Swing the arms to help increase momentum during the motion. Simultaneously, aim to touch the knees with the extended hands at the top of the movement by bringing them as close to the chest as possible.

Step 3: Land

In performing tuck jump exercises, the landing is equally important as the jump itself.
When landing, land on the balls of the feet. Avoid stomping the ground as this can be stressful on the knee joints and shins.
As much as possible, avoid locking the knees during the landing. Locking the knees prevents absorbing the impact of the jump.
It can cause pain on the joints and worse, tears and breaks. Instead, land with a slight bend in the knees and the hips pushed downwards and back.
Additionally, avoid arching your back. Arching the back prevents the core from engaging.
It also increases the risk of hip and lower back injuries. Instead, land with the spine in a neutral position.
Upon landing, be ready to jump back up again for the next repetition.
Complete 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions of the exercise.
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Tips on Performing Tuck Jump Exercises

To make the most of the exercise, and to avoid injuries, keep these tips in mind:

  • Tuck jump exercises, even when done correctly, still put a lot of pressure on the knee joints. As much as possible,  avoid doing them more than twice a week.
  • As with any exercise, make sure to warm up before doing tuck jumps. This will help prepare the body for this strenuous exercise.
  • Keep the jumps progressive by pushing with as much force as possible every time. Don’t get frustrated if you can’t raise the knees to the chest in the first few attempts; this is an advanced move.
  • Using the right supplement will not only help improve performance but also boost strength and recovery.

Tuck Jump Variations

1. Jump squat

Man exercise jump squat | How To Do Tuck Jump Exercises The Right Way
One of the easiest ways to add a twist to the tuck jump is to incorporate a squat.
Before exploding from the ground, lower down into a full squat. Remember to squat down until the thighs are parallel to the ground.
Jump and then go straight back down into another squat.
Complete 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions of the exercise.

2. Burpee Tuck Jump

Burpee Tuck Jump GIF by Giphy

The burpee tuck jump ups the intensity of the exercise to burn even more fat. The idea is similar to performing the jump squat.
In this movement, however, perform a burpee immediately after landing. Finish the burpee, and go back into a half squat to power through another tuck jump.
Complete 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions of the exercise.

3. Single-Leg Tuck Jump

Single-Leg Tuck Jump GIF by Giphy

The single-leg tuck jump also helps develop balance, among other functional skills like power and agility.
To do this, begin the exercise and land using the same foot. On the upward motion, bring both knees up to the same height as the chest or shoulders.
Some people even perform the exercise with a weighted vest to work the muscles more.
Complete 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions of the exercise.

4. Split Lunges

Slim woman stretching legs in deep lunge | How To Do Tuck Jump Exercises The Right WayYou can also combine tuck jumps with split lunges.
Start in a low lunge position before exploding up into a tuck jump. Make sure to lower the body down until the knees are bent at 90 degrees.
Then land into the opposite side low lunge. For those having trouble switching sides during the landing, it is important to first master the jump lunge without the tuck.
The move provides an extra challenge since you don’t have the assistance of the second leg to provide power. Instead, one leg carries all the weight and does the lifting.
This exercise variation works the core on top of all the lower body muscles tuck jump exercises mainly target.
Complete 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions of the exercise.
Check out this video on how to land properly when performing a tuck jump exercise from Howcast:

Done poorly, tuck jump exercises can damage your body. Done correctly, it can be a game-changing move that everyone should incorporate into their respective workout routines. Practice the proper form and power will improve soon enough.
Do you have other questions about how to do tuck jump exercises the right way? Ask us in the comments section below!
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