In an earlier article we discussed the tuck jump, a plyometric bodyweight exercise that can be used to increase power output, increase caloric/energy expenditure in circuits, and increase athleticism. In this article we will discuss the five benefits coaches and athletes can expect to gain from programming and performing tuck jumps within training sessions.
5 Benefits of the Tuck Jump
Below are five benefits of the tuck jump, many of which as inherent to lower body plyometrics.
Plyometrics have been shown to increase rate of muscle contraction, increase power outputs, enhance muscle performance in ballistic movements, and ultimately increase athletic performance (specifically power). Tuck jumps are an advanced progression upon a widely used movement, the squat jump, that can challenge lifters and athletes to produce higher amounts of power to gain vertical displacement. The tuck jump can be widely used across many settings and can even be included during warm ups, on its own, or in post activation potentiation supersets as well.
Increased Caloric/Energy Expenditure
Tuck jumps demand high amounts of energy when performed. The necessity to not only jump, but then get high enough and pull the legs into the body can be extremely taxing. When doing bodyweight circuits or looking for a greater metabolic effect, the tuck jump can be used with simple movements like bodyweight jumps, burpees, push ups, or on its own to increase metabolic endurance, caloric expenditure, and increase the intensity in circuit training and/or HIIT protocols.
Better Force Absorption
Tuck jumps are a great movement for Olympic weightlifters, powerlifters, fitness athletes, and other sports athletes looking to develop greater power production in the lower body. Additionally, the necessity to increase abdominal and hip flexor activity (due to the tuck motion) and then quickly place the feet back into landing position (squat) can help to develop the neurological and motor mechanics to build a better catch in the clean/snatch and increase the elastic components in the bottom of the squat (the bounce).
Highly Accessible HIIT Movement
The tuck jump is mainly done with bodyweight, making it a great option to add to your bodyweight movement arsenal for workouts with limited space and/or equipment. Whether you are travelling, looking for a quick metabolic burner at a crowded gym, or simply trying to do some outdoor fitness, the tuck jump can be used as an all inclusive total body power and metabolic movement.
Body Awareness and Athleticism
Ballistic movements (plyometrics) done in cyclical fashion are challenging for many reasons. For starters, the lifter/athlete must produce enough power to promote flight of some sort (basis of plyometric training) and then be able to react in time to brace for landing (impact). At that instant, the lifter/athlete must decrease the amount of time spent between the eccentric and concentric component of the movement, over and over again. By doing so, the lifter gains body awareness in flight and impact phases, develops the ability to decelerate the body in motion, and enhance athletic abilities necessary for sport and training.
How (and When) to Do Tuck Jumps
Tuck jumps can be done in a singular fashion (one at a time and rest in between) or a cyclic manner (multiple jumps back to back without pausing). In the below video the tuck jump is done in singular fashion. Note how the athlete/lifter uses their arms to assist in the jumping motion, aggressively pulls the legs into the chest, and then sets themselves in position for impact so they can have a smooth interaction with the ground (and the forces transmitted during the landing phase).
Jump Higher to Squat More
Check out these two articles on plyometric training and how they can not only help you become more explosive as an athlete and lifter, but even help to boost your squat (and deadlift)!
Featured Image: @dittersommerw on Instagram
Editor’s Note: BarBend reader and ACSM Certified personal trainer Hank Wang had this to say after reading the above article:
“I think Plyometrics are beneficial to anyone weight training. The Tuck jump is a great exercise to build up to. It would probably be great to start of with simple squat jumps and then progress into a tuck jump. The Tuck jump involves explosive power through the legs and little bit of coordination involved while you bring the chest to the knee. You also have to learn how to land properly before performing this exercise! I incorporate a lot of plyometric movements with some of the Squash athletes I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Although the sport doesn’t involve any jumping per say, it does involve a lot of explosive leg power and change of direction. To build that power I’ve included a lot of plyometrics into their program and will probably soon progress into a Tuck jump when I feel like they can properly execute a squat jump and move properly!”