How To Do A Tuck Jump Properly

Tuck Jump
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When was the last time you jumped as high as possible? For most people, the answer is probably “long ago,” or “what an odd question.” Neither are good enough, so it’s time to cast aside all worries and head for the skies with the tuck jump.

Tuck jumps will increase the power of your lower body, as well as your agility, meaning you’ll definitely get better at jumping. They’re also an effective way to raise your heart rate, and you’ll be burning calories in record time, all without having to leave your front room.

How To Do A Tuck Jump

How To Do A Tuck Jump

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Start by standing with your feet a little less than shoulder-width apart. Drop down a little into a quarter squat then explode into the air. Keep your back straight throughout, and tuck your knees up towards your chest as much as possible, before landing as softly as you can.

On landing you can either pause before jumping again or, once you’ve become more adept at the movement, go straight into another tuck jump. The latter is tough, and it’s important to ensure you’re not leaning in towards your knees rather than bringing them up to your chest.

You can swing your arms to increase your momentum. Aim to both jump higher and get your knees closer to your chest as you become more experienced with the exercise.

Tuck jumps are an excellent addition to an HIIT circuit, as they will certainly keep the heart pumping for whatever time period you have assigned to your intervals. It’s important to be warmed up before tuck jumping though, as a cold body won’t appreciate the explosive movements.

Aiming to jump as high as possible means care is required upon landing to avoid placing your joints under too much stress. Don’t do tuck jumps on rock-hard or uneven surfaces, and stop if you feel pain in your knees or ankles.

Tuck Jump Variations

Jump squat

The simplest way to make tuck jumps more challenging is to perform a squat before you explode off the ground. From standing, lower into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground, or even lower if you have it in you, then power up into the air. Land softly and go straight into another squat.

Jump lunge with tuck

The straight jump lunge is another great plyometric exercise to consider, and combining it with the tuck jump makes it a truly testing experience. The jump lunge with tuck is a great way to strengthen all the muscles in your legs along with your core – and to show off, because it is not easy. If you’re struggling to make the switch before landing, go back and master the jump lunge without a tuck.

From standing, step forwards into a lunge, lowering your body until both knees are bent at 90°. Then drive back up and jump, bringing your knees up towards your chest. Swap the position of your legs on the way down to land in a lunge position with the opposite leg forwards.

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.