Aaaaaah, tuck jumps. Love them or hate them, they remain a staple of LES MILLS GRIT™ and BODYATTACK™ and in the UNITED releases, they make a surprise appearance in BODYCOMBAT™ Track 8! Apart from looking super impressive (kind of like you can fly), what do tuck jumps actually do for us?
THEY BURN HEAPS OF CALORIES
As anyone who has performed several tuck jumps in a row will know, they are a hugely demanding exercise. The energy required not only to jump but to pull the knees into the body is incredibly taxing, and therefore will torch calories and burn fat fast.
THEY STRENGTHEN THE CORE
Both the rectus abdominis and external obliques work significantly harder during tuck jumps than regular squat jumps because the core muscles are required to generate a high level of support to lift the knees towards the chest, as well as land safely. When the core is properly engaged, the force generated from the leg muscles is transmitted to the upper body efficiently through the spine without reducing acceleration as you lift off the ground.
THEY INCREASE ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE
Tuck jumps are a type of plyometric movement, which can increase the rate of muscle contraction, increase power output, enhance muscle performance and ultimately result in enhanced athletic performance. They can be especially effective for sports such as soccer and basketball.
THEY IMPROVE YOUR STRENGTH FOR WEIGHTLIFTING
Targeting the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings, tuck jumps are a fantastic way for Olympic weightlifters, powerlifters and athletes to develop greater power production in the lower body. The explosive nature of tuck jumps is key to helping us build strength for heavy barbell movements like deadlifts. They can also improve muscle stabilization – which is important for barbell movements.
THEY ARE A SIMPLE WAY TO ACHIEVE HIIT
A solid set of tuck jumps is one of the best ways to spike your heart rate and propel you into that magic HIIT zone of 85 – 100% Heart Rate Max. Including tuck jumps in a Tabata is one of the most effective ways to get your HIIT on.
HOW TO DO THE PERFECT TUCK JUMP
- Start with your feet apart and your chest up
- Drop your hips back and down (similar to a half squat)
- Drive your arms up and push off the floor
- Pull your knees toward your chest
- Soften your knees and brace your core as you land to absorb the impact
IMPROVE YOUR TUCK JUMP HEIGHT
Keen to improve your jumping height and wow the crowd? Try the program below for 6 weeks, twice a week.
To assess your improvement, mark the highest point you can jump tap with your fingertips on the wall. Every week, re-test your height. By the end of the 6 weeks, you should have seen a marked improvement in your jumping height!