What is a tuck?

The TUCK. A tiny movement that can make all the difference in barre class. Hearing the word “tuck” can either cue you on your way to toned abs, a tight seat, and improved posture, or leave you with a look of sheer confusion. You’ll hear the word “tuck” dozens of times during a barre class. If you have no idea what it means to tuck, or are confused by what the tuck does or is supposed to do, this blog post is for you!

The tuck is an adjustment of the position of your hips, abs, and spine. It is sometimes cued to the class by saying “neutral spine,” “heavy tailbone,” “tuck the pelvis under,” or “pelvic tilt.” It is very common to have excessive arching in the lumbar spine. The goal of the tuck is to remove the natural arch in the lower back until you find a neutral spine and body alignment. The position is found by rolling the hips forward (towards the ribs) while engaging the abdominal muscles. This movement is small – almost invisible – and doesn’t come naturally. Each class you’ll have to work towards finding the core engagement and position. If something doesn’t feel right, just ask for help and the instructor can help you find your tuck.

The tuck is usually the default start position for every exercise in barre class. The tuck can also be used as a movement. The action of repeatedly engaging the core muscles and rolling the hips towards the ribs is “tucking.” During a plié for example, the instructor might cue class to tuck their hips to the beat of the music as they perform an isometric hold of the plié. This both keeps your muscles engaged but also distracts your during the intense exercise. The tiny tucking movements are always performed with control and precision. If you aren’t feeling the muscles start to fire up, take a second make sure you have the correct body positioning and are engaging the appropriate muscles.

Once you master the tuck the benefits are endless! Strong abs and a lifted seat are just the beginning. Strengthening your pelvic floor helps prevent injuries outside of class, in other workouts and in life!

As always you should stop any exercise if you feel discomfort or have any pelvis or low-back issues. We recommend asking questions instead of pushing through in pain. Think about truly engaging the core next time you hear the work “tuck” and watch your barre form transform!

Michelle Nigro