This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
Power tucks match explosive power with slow control. From an extended position, you'll rapidly bring your legs and arms together in a tuck. But don't drop out of the tuck—you'll lower slowly back to just above the floor, keeping your abs engaged between repetitions. The changing pace of the exercise demands speed and strength.
Lie on your back on the floor with your arms extended overhead and your legs stretched out straight (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, use a single swift motion to bend your knees and bring them to your chest as you bring your arms up overhead to meet your legs. As your legs and arms come together, tuck your chin toward your knees and grasp around your shins with your arms. Your shoulders and hips should both be off the floor. Hold the tuck for a moment (see Photos 2 and 3).
- From the tuck position, let go of your legs, straightening and lowering them back to the starting position as you bring your arms back overhead and lower your shoulders back to the floor. Stop your lowering motion just above the floor, such that your feet and arms hover a few inches in the air, thus maintaining the engagement through your abs between repetitions (see Photos 4 and 5).
- Repeat the power tuck for a full set of 20 repetitions, keeping your hands and legs slightly off the floor between reps.