The approach tuck jump is one of the most useful tools you can use as an athlete when building your power and technique for the vertical jump. Few other exercises can so perfectly mimic the exact step to “power up” that’s needed to get you comfortable with the vertical. I use this with athletes of all ages and skill levels. 

Athlete Performs tuck jump


You can do all the strength training and jump training you like, but if the proper technique isn’t there for your approach to vertical jump that power can often go wasted. 

Oftentimes the vertical jump is performed with just a single step approach before you launch as high off the floor as you can. It’s necessary for the athlete to know how to translate this approach into more power and also be comfortable with the timing in general. 

If you are training vertical jump, here’s some of the best eccentric exercises to work on…

Tuck jumps are also one of my favorite ways to develop power and skill for vertical jump since it forces you to get the knees up high and tuck the feet underneath you. Learning to do approach tuck jumps gets you accustomed to performing this technique and power together. 

How to do approach tuck jumps?

To do the approach tuck jump, begin about a step or two back from the point at which you plan to take off. Prepare to start, then take a big athletic step or bound out in front of you. This step is for momentum more than anything. At the exact moment that front foot plants down, you’ll step the right foot forward to match it so that both feet are now planted under the hips. 

Push the hips back to load your weight into a quarter squat position, bringing both arms back by your sides. Power up to drive through the feet and simultaneously swing the arms forward to help launch you off the floor. Immediately bring both knees up to hip height using the strength of your core. As you do this, tuck the heels back against your butt to think about picking up even more height on your jump. 


Approach tuck jumps require a lot of energy to do them with good form and power so use these towards the front of your workout. I’d recommend going through a full vertical jump focused warm-up like this one first before getting into plyometric footwork and finally your approach tuck jumps and even vertical jump approaches. 

Aim for about 8-10 rounds of one rep. Focus on doing each with solid form, and take enough rest so that you don’t lose focus or power. 


Athlete performs vertical jump

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