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Tuck Jump Alternatives

In a previous article we discussed the benefits of the tuck jump and what you need to know to incorporate the tuck jump into training programs for sports athletes, functional fitness athletes, weightlifters, and general training clients. In this article we will discuss five exercises that can be done to regress and/or progress the tuck jump to meet the needs and abilities of any level lifter/athlete.

Tuck Jump Exercise Demo

Below is a video demonstration on how to perform the bodyweight tuck jump, which can be done for singular jumps or progressed into cyclical jumps. This can also be done using weighted vests to add loading the movement.

Why Do Tuck Jump and Plyometrics

Tuck jumps are a plyometric exercise that can be used with nearly every level of athlete. For beginners, learning to people jump with squat jumps, bounding jumps, and some of the below alternatives is a good option to build foundational strength, power capacities, and proper landing mechanics. Below are some of the benefits of tuck jumps and performing plyometrics lower body exercises.

Tuck Jump Alternatives

Below are popular plyometric alternatives to the tuck jump that can be used for most levels of athletes and clients. Some of the progressions can be used for beginners, while others should be properly progressed towards (each exercises is explained in detail below). Coaches and athletes can insert these in place of tuck jumps to better facilitate all-around athleticism and/or to manipulate training variable to address weaknesses/injury concerns.

Squat Jump

The squat jump is a basic plyometric exercise that can be done with bodyweight, weighted vest, dumbbells, barbells, bands, etc. This movement is one of the most foundational patterning that coaches and athletes can due to develop skill sets necessary for tuck jumps and other more advanced alternatives below. The below video demonstrates how to do the dumbbell squat jump, which can be done in a singular fashion or in a cyclical manner to increase the stretch shortening cycle abilities, eccentric capacities, and body control in ballistic continual movements.

Burpee to Jump

The burpee to jump can be used as a lower impact tuck jump alternative yet still deliver the necessary plyometric component. By performing a burpee prior to the jump, the lifter must properly land under control and move the hips and knees into flexion similarly to the tuck jump. The fuller range of motion of the burpee into jump is similar to the tuck jump, and therefore caloric expenditure/metabolic distress can be similar between the two movements.

Box Jump

The box jump is one of the more well know plyometric exercise seen in most gyms and training facilities, and can allow for a wide degree of jump heights and power outputs. This can be used in place to tuck jumps to elicit the same powerful knee and hip extension as the tuck jump, and have similar eccentric landing mechanics upon landing. That said, the tuck jump does require greater hip flexor and eccentric landing components due to the increased drop height from the apex of the jump. Coaches and athletes can integrate box jump to depth drop of bounding box jumps if looking for the same high impact eccentric loading component as the tuck jump.

Stair Jumps

Stair jumps can be done at local stadium, bleachers, or any staircase that you may have around. By performing jumps on stairs, you force lifters/athletes to recycle jumping mechanics faster and increase power outputs over each jump.

Hurdle Hops

Similar to stair jumps, hurdle hops can be done to increase power output, eccentric loading mechanics, and increase the plyometric properties of lifters. By performing bounding jumps in cyclical fashion, you increase body control, landing abilities, and have a greater transfer to ballistic athletic movements.

Jump Your Way to Stronger, Powerful Lifts

Check out the below articles covering plyometric training to boost your deadlift, squat, and athletic performance.

Featured Image: @bfirm.pt on Instagram

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Mike Dewar

Mike Dewar

Mike holds a Master's in Exercise Physiology and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Mike has been with BarBend since 2016, where he covers Olympic weightlifting, sports performance training, and functional fitness. He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and is the Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at New York University, in which he works primarily with baseball, softball, track and field, cross country. Mike is also the Founder of J2FIT, a strength and conditioning brand in New York City that offers personal training, online programs for sports performance, and has an established USAW Olympic Weightlifting club.

In his first two years writing with BarBend, Mike has published over 500+ articles related to strength and conditioning, Olympic weightlifting, strength development, and fitness. Mike’s passion for fitness, strength training, and athletics was inspired by his athletic career in both football and baseball, in which he developed a deep respect for the barbell, speed training, and the acquisition on muscle.

Mike has extensive education and real-world experience in the realms of strength development, advanced sports conditioning, Olympic weightlifting, and human movement. He has a deep passion for Olympic weightlifting as well as functional fitness, old-school bodybuilding, and strength sports.

Outside of the gym, Mike is an avid outdoorsman and traveller, who takes annual hunting and fishing trips to Canada and other parts of the Midwest, and has made it a personal goal of his to travel to one new country, every year (he has made it to 10 in the past 3 years). Lastly, Mike runs Rugged Self, which is dedicated to enjoying the finer things in life; like a nice glass of whiskey (and a medium to full-bodied cigar) after a hard day of squatting with great conversations with his close friends and family.

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