Perhaps the most dynamic way to tighten your core and strengthen your legs, knee tucks lend a big bang for your cardio buck.
If you want to push your body to the max, knee tucks are a compound jump-training exercise that will light your glutes and legs on fire while primarily targeting your core.
Plyometrics, or jump training utilizing a momentum-based quick spring explosion, is a complex movement that can be hard on the joints and takes time to perfect. The knee tuck is an advanced jump training move because it requires advanced body power to spring your bodyweight off the ground far enough to perform a knee tuck.
Essentially, this exercise combines hardcore cardio with a mid-air crunch, which effectively tones your lower body and core at the same time, taking calorie-burning to the extrmeme.
History of Plyometrics
As compared to many basic forms of exercise, plyometrics is a relatively new phenomenon. Though invented in the 1920s in the world’s eastern regions, the concept of jump training didn’t catch on around the globe until the wildly successful Soviet Olympic Teams of the Cold War era took the world stage.
As other countries began inspecting their training methods, they discovered plyometrics to be at the heart of their training regimen. Initially only utilized by track and field athletes, the 70s saw a crossover movement in jump training. Widening its applications to other sports that benefit from the agility and powerful explosive movements, jump training is now utilized in basketball, baseball, volleyball, and soccer conditioning.
How to Perform Knee Tucks
Here are the basic steps to performing a knee tuck:
Step 1: Plant your feet hip-width apart with a slight bend in the knees.
Step 2: Inhale, bending through the knees and hips in preparation to jump.
Step 3: Fire an explosion through the hips and knees as you exhale, springing up as high as you can and pulling your knees up toward your chest.
Step 4: Land softly with both feet together and slightly bent
Step 5: Repeat until your desired number of reps has been achieved.
- A great addition to a High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout
- Increases dynamic functional power through the hips and knees
- Enhances performance in many sports
- Improves Agility
- Increases flexibility
- Strengthens and stabilizes the core
- Effective calorie burner
- Enhances the aesthetic of the abs, glutes, and hips
- Aids in total body integration
- Squat Jumps: As knee tucks are an advanced jump training move, squat jumps can prepare you and improve the quality of your knee tucks.
- Burpees: Another dynamic power move, burpees will help you increase your vertical firing power.
- Box Jumps: As you begin to master the knee tuck, try propelling yourself forward onto a box for an added challenge.
“If you first should not succeed, try, and try again”
As we’ve mentioned. Knee tucks present a significant challenge. Don’t get hard on yourself if you can’t get very high off the ground at first.
The following tips will help you perfect your knee-tuck execution:
- Always jump on a smooth surface that is clear of debris or potential hazards.
- Increase your momentum through the use of your arms and hands.
- Perform dynamic stretches before attempting a knee tuck as well as static stretches after your workout.
- Don’t perform tuck jumps more than twice a week as it can be overly taxing on your knee joints.
- Be patient! Practice makes perfect.