Tuck jumps/Box Jumps are simple drills that improve agility and power and help increase an athlete’s vertical jump. This exercise is often used as the beginning movement to develop proficiency in vertical jump, high jump, long jump, and box jumps.
Box Jumping is a critical aspect of plyometric training because the exercises use not only your body weight, but also gravity to build muscle. It can be done as a single exercise or as a combination that includes other movements before and/or after the jump.
*Muscle Groups Worked: Quadriceps, Thighs, Glutes, Calves
Tuck Jumps: This exercise is an advanced dynamic power move that should be done only after a complete warm up. Stand with feet shoulder width and knees slightly bend Bend your knees and descend to a full squat position. At the bottom of the squat, powerfully explode straight up bringing your knees toward your chest while in midair. Grasp your knees quickly with your arms. At the top of the jump your thighs should touch your torso. Release your legs, control your landing and descend into the squat again for another explosive jump. Upon landing immediately repeat the next jump. Avoid doing these drills on concrete and use a soft, flat landing surface until you are comfortable with the exercise. Use these drills no more than once per week to avoid overuse or excessive impact on your joints.
Box Jumps: Stand in front of your box with your hands at your sides. With your feet roughly shoulder width apart, jump up onto the box, hold your position on top of the box for a count of one second and then jump back down. Begin your exercise session with sets of eight to twelve repetitions.
Box Jumps: (*Advanced) Make the exercise dynamic. You will probably find that the exercise gets easier pretty quickly as you practice it. Add weight to the box jump by holding a dumbbell in either hand. If you want to add another level of complexity to the exercise, do lateral jumps where you stand to the side of the box and jump up and to the right or left. Stand in front of your box with your hands at your sides. With your feet roughly shoulder width apart, jump up onto the box, hold your position on top of the box for a count of one second and then jump back down. Begin your exercise session with sets of eight to twelve repetitions.
Quick Tip: The box jump requires a good amount of explosive power and muscle contraction in your lower body. Warming up these muscles is very important to get them flexible and ready to absorb the shock of the jump and the descent. Do about ten minutes of low level cardiovascular exercise followed by some stretching.
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-Eric & Maleka Beal
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*Before beginning any fitness program, always see a qualified healthcare provider for advice and to address any questions or concerns. The exercises presented on this website are for suggestion only and should not be substituted for medical diagnosis or treatment. Participate at your own risk and stop if you feel faint or experience shortness of breath.
Eric and Maleka Beal are health coaches and co-founders of BetterChoices, a health & wellness company and social community focused on educating, advocating, and promoting better health and wellness through lifestyle, nutrition, and fitness education.