Tuck Jumps – Muscles Worked, Video Demo, and Exercise Benefits

Tuck Jumps are a challenging plyometric exercise that takes the squat jump to the next level. In this article we will discuss the benefits to performing tuck jumps, how to do them, and how you can start to integrate tuck jump plyometrics into your training program(s).


Muscles Worked

The tuck jump is a lower body plyometric exercise and therefore works similar muscle groups to the squat, squat jump, jump lunge, etc. Below is a complete listing of the primary muscle groups used while performing tuck jumps.

  • Quadriceps
  • Gluteals
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves
  • Hip Flexors
  • Abdominals and Obliques
  • Erector Spinal
  • Biceps and Anterior Shoulders (arm swing)

Tuck Jump Exercise Demo

The tuck jump is a progression upon the bodyweight squat jump that entails a lifter to pull their legs (tucking) up into the chest once in flight, then fully place them back into the landing position each and every jump. In the below video the tuck jump is demonstrated using bodyweight, however this can also be done wearing a weight vest for added difficulty.

Benefits of the Tuck Jump

Below are four benefits of the tuck jump, many of which are inherent to lower body plyometrics.

Plyometric Training

The tuck jump is a plyometric exercise and therefore offers many of the benefits of plyometric training to coaches and athletes. For starters, the rate of force production is extremely high, as the lifter must promote enough force to catch enough hang time to allow their legs to be pulled up into the body and safely placed back into the jump position for landing. Second, the lifter must exhibit greater muscle synchronization to find body awareness and proprioception while in the air. Lastly, the eccentric component of this movement is high as the lifter must absorb and react during the landing phases.

More Power

Tuck jumps demand high amounts of force output and power, as the lifter must not only recycle jumps but do them while gaining enough elevation in the jump to allow the legs to be pulled up into the body, and then reset prior to the next jump cycle occurring. Unlike box jumps and jump squats, this forces the lifter to jump the hips up as high as possible, pull the legs up, and then place back down; all of which take more time and therefore need more vertical displacement by the filter.

Better Force Absorption

Cyclical plyometrics demands great amounts of eccentric strength, coordination, and the ability to absorb increasing amounts of force with every jump. Like jumping lunges, the tuck jump does just that, which can be beneficial for athletes who have to deal with high amounts of eccentric loading, just as squatters, weightlifters, and runners.

Greater Force Transfer

The ability to promote force, react to incoming forces, and then transfer into another cycle is at the forefront of most athletic endeavors (running, jumping repeatedly, sprinting, catching bounces in cleans and squats, etc). Tuck jumps can help lifter not only promote high levels of power and increase eccentric loading, but also help the neural systems transfer force repeatedly at higher rates.

When Should You Do Tuck Jumps?

When looking to integrate tuck jumps into training programs, coaches and athletes must first determine the expected training outcome of performing such exercise on a regular basis. If the goal is for maximal power output and plyometrics training, it is recommended to perform them towards the beginning of the session while the central nervous systems is at if freshest to allow for greater neural recruitment and adaptation. If you are more concerned with landing mechanics and/or power endurance, you can place them generally anywhere within or after training sessions.

More Plyometric leg Exercises

Plyometrics are no joke, which is exactly why we have spent a great amount of time collecting and writing plyometric exercise manuals and workouts. Check out the below articles to increase your lower body force and power production, and more!

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