Knee tuck jumps are a plyometric exercise that demand you to use your bodyweight and power to contract and engage several major muscles at once in order to jump up in the air.
As a full body exercise working big muscles, you often see them being used in circuit workouts or exercise classes for purposes of raising the heart rate.
This movement burns serious calories and helps to strengthen both your upper and lower body. Therefore, it is great for cardio and muscle toning in all at the same time.
Nevertheless, be keen to do your knee tuck jumps the right way, so as to avoid straining your knees and joints which may lead to serious injuries.
As a beginner you should start with lower-intensity jump exercises first to condition your joints for the impact of the knee tuck jumps. Ultimately, you will use the movement for its original intention, which is to develop explosive power.
HOW TO DO KNEE TUCK JUMPS
Here is a step-by-step procedure of how to do the exercise:
- Stand on your feet shoulder-width apart with your arms by your side
- Hold your hands out at chest height.
- Quickly, lower your body into a squat position then, explode upwards bringing your knees up towards your chest as high possible into a tuck position. Use your arms for momentum and balance. Ensure your knees don’t cave inwards while you’re in the air or landing.
- Land back as softly as possible to avoid subjecting your knees to too much pressure. Your hips should absorb some of that pressure as well.
- Stay lowered for a few seconds then repeat the movement as quickly as you can. Ensure you maintain proper form.
Essentially, keep your core engaged throughout the exercise and activate your muscles once you’re ready to jump.
KNEE TUCK JUMPS MUSCLES WORKED
The core, glutes, quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, calves, biceps and anterior shoulders are the different muscles at play during the movement.
The glutes and quads act as a type of spring during the movement. Every time you explode upward or lower your hips down into the landing position, these muscles contract.
Calves assist the glutes and calves and also extend your ankles to get your feet off the floor during the jump.
The core assists in stabilizing and supporting your spine. Also, if you’re doing the movement correctly, your lower abs will be engaged every time you bend into a jumping position or propel upwards.
The biceps and anterior shoulders are also worked with the arm swing that helps power your body off the ground.
KNEE TUCK JUMPS BENEFITS
IMPROVE YOUR STRENGTH AND ENDURANCE
Being a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout, you may notice a significant improvement in your overall peak power over a short period of time.
Performing the movement properly may also strengthen your upper and lower body by working your legs, core, glutes, anterior muscles and quads.
SHAPE AND TONE YOUR WHOLE BODY
You can sneak in some cardio as the movement involves a lot of jumping. Therefore, your body could burn calories long after you complete the exercise.
PROMOTE PROPER BLOOD FLOW
As your heart rate increases as soon as you begin the exercise, this ensures the necessary blood flow is reaching the targeted muscles groups.
KNEE TUCK JUMPS VARIATIONS AND MODIFICATIONS
For the squat jump, stand with feet shoulder width apart, weight in heels and toes pointed forward. Lower your body down into a squat position, drive through heels to reverse movement and then, jump up as high as possible.
Land softly back into the squatting position and complete as many reps as desired. Ensure to alternate with a few seconds of rest in between.
ALTERNATING JUMP LUNGE
For the alternating jump lunge, start in a lunge position. Now, jump up and switch legs in order to land softly in a lunge but on the opposite side.
Ensure you keep your knees soft and move your arms to add momentum while you switch legs. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
In order to complete the knee tuck jumps safely, you need to have the right fitness level and strength.
If you lack both, you may want to modify the exercise by removing the jumping part of the exercise. The following are some of the modifications:
INDIVIDUAL KNEE LIFTS
For individual knee lifts, after standing, lift and lower one knee at a time. Maintain good control over your movement and continue increasing your speed.
SQUAT KNEE TUCKS.
For squat knee tucks, you need to squat, stand, and then raise one knee at a time towards your chest. Keep on alternating knees for the desired number of reps.
SEATED KNEE TUCKS.
For seated knee tucks, you need to first sit on the floor or in a chair. Lift your legs off the ground and in front of you. Now, bring your knees in toward your chest.
Ensure you keep your hands on the ground or just hold the sides of the chair to avoid straining your back and for support.
KNEE TUCK JUMPS MISTAKES TO AVOID
Do not explode down, explode up. Try to land as softly as you can to prevent injury. When landing, do not squat as deeply before jumping up and let your hips absorb most of the impact.
Do not attempt this explosive movement if you have a knee, ankle, back or hip problem. This is because when landing, these four areas are the ones that absorb the pressure.
Do not lock your knees when landing as you will not be able to absorb the impact of the jump. Consequently, this may lead to pain in your joints which can turn into tears and breaks.
Do not arch your back as it provides no core engagement and this risks injury to your lower back and hip. Also, ensure as you land your spine is in a neutral position.
Do not do the exercise without first warming up as it could risk injury. Sime of the warmups can be bodyweight squats , hip mobility exercises, alternating knee lifts and some light squat jumps just to practice landing mechanics.
Knee tuck jumps are an excellent and beneficial plyometric exercise. However, aim for the proper form to prevent injury.