While they may not have the same cachet as box jumps or plyo push-ups, tuck jumps — aka jumping knee tucks — can help you break through a fitness plateau, dominate your next pick-up game, or increase your spice. can Simple gym routine.

“The tuck jump is a plyometric exercise, so it can help you build explosive power,” says Trevor Thimay, Beachbody’s senior director of fitness and nutrition content.

Incorporating a dynamic movement like tuck jumps into a circuit-training workout can help you improve your jump shot, tennis game or even your 5K time.

And because the tuck jump exercise targets the body’s type II muscle fibers, tuck jumps can fine-tune your agility and build butt- and leg-defining muscles.

But before starting, it’s important to learn how to properly perform a tuck jump to maximize the benefits of tuck jumps and minimize your chance of injury.

How to do a tuck jump

“The key to performing a tuck jump correctly is to really drive your knees up when you jump,” says Thieme. “A lot of people just bring them to hip level. You want to pull your knees toward your chest as much as possible.”

And, like most plyo moves, it’s crucial that you land softly, to protect your knee, hip, and ankle joints.

“Don’t land with locked knees—land softly with your knees slightly bent to absorb the impact,” Thieme says.

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and raise your arms fully extended, palms down, to chest height.
  • Bend your knees into a quarter squat and, with the balls of your feet exploding, jump straight up into the air.
  • Pull your knees toward your chest as you jump. Try to touch your knees with your palms.
  • Land softly with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent.

Tuck jump variation

Ready to master the tuck jump and take things up a notch? Fortunately, there are many variations of the tuck jump exercise. Here are a few to try:

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“My favorite variation on the tuck jump is the jump lunge with the tuck,” says Thiem. “Jump from a lunge position, bringing your knee to your chest before landing with your opposite leg forward.”

Burpee Tuck Jump

Perform a burpee as usual, but instead of a short hop and overhead clap, finish the movement with a tuck jump.

Plank Tuck Jump

Start in a plank position with the palms of your hands and the balls of your feet pressed into the ground.

Without moving your hands, jump your feet forward, driving your knees toward your chest.

Land on the balls of your feet (they should be directly under your butt). Return to plank position.

What can I do instead of tuck jump?

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The tuck jump is a fairly simple movement, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Depending on your current level of fitness and injury history, tuck jumps and other plyometric exercises may not be the best exercise options for you.

“If you’re overweight or have joint pain, injury, or stiffness, you should avoid plyometric exercises such as jump jumps, which are high-impact, and thus may increase your risk of injury or exacerbate existing exercises,” says Thieme. .

After getting clearance from your doctor, work on building your core and lower-body strength through movements like squats, lunges, and step-ups.

“If you’re fit enough to do plyometric exercises, but find tuck jumps too challenging, you can start with simple plyometric moves like squat jumps,” Thieme says. You can also try plank tuck jump, jumping lunges, star jump and long jump.

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