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Long Jump
Long Jump Technique, Drills & Training

Accerleration Drills Take-off Drills Landing Drills

Additional General Drills Training Plan for the Long Jump
Never forget that the long jumper is a speed event.
The long jump requires three (3) primary components: 1) Accelerate to the maximum controllable speed, 2) Transition of the approach into the takeoff, and 3) Landing the jump efficiently.
Building the Run Approach
The use of two markers is helpful. The first check mark allows the jumper to check his/her progression on the approach and recommended not to be closer than six strides from the take-off. The second check mark is for the coach placed at around 30 feet from the take-off board. The coach can check foot placement, check for the jumpers speed and consistency.
Acceleration to Maximum Speed
The long jump approach is somewhere between the 8-12 total strides (around 80+ feet), but for the more experienced jumper is is common to see approaches 150+ feet. The first 2 or 3 strides are used to accelerate to the maximum speed. The faster jumper will take longer to reach his/her maximum speed. A slower jumper will require fewer strides to reach their maximum speed. In either case the maintenance of maximum speed is an upright, hips tall sprinting technique is critical for a successful transition from the approach to the plant to the take-off. Speed can be helped by becoming stronger, along with running drills, interval sprinting at varying intensity and distance, short hill running, speed towing and approaches with and without a take-off.
Acceleration Drills

Wall Drills
Start with the hands against a wall with the torso leaning from the ankle at 45 degrees with one knee up.
Adjust as needed
Feel the straight line from the head through the shoulders, hips, knees and finally feet.
Repeat the drill without aligning the athlete.
From the above position; take 3 or 5 steps in place (walking, marching and finally running)
Watch that the feet land in the same position they start
Watching and cueing the straight line from head to toe
Repeat the drill but gradually getting more upright with each foot contact, so the jumper ends standing.
Partner Drills
Begin with the same leaning start, but now supported at the shoulders by a partner’s hands
The partner will be facing the athlete.
Begin a five (5) step start by first marching, progressing to a full effort push.
These can also be done with resistance from the rear with a towel, belt or harness.
Repeat the full effort start
Then at five (5) steps the partner will step out of the way so the jumper can accelerate.
Use the correct lean against the partner and immediately release as pressure begins.
Rocking Start
Begin with the takeoff foot forward and rock back so most of the weight is on the rear leg.
Make sure to swing the arms opposite the legs while rocking back and forth
Be sure all the movements are horizontal to the ground
Learning this start allows for the use of momentum generated from the rocking.
This will develop a consistent and reliable start
The Takeoff
In order set up a takeoff, the last two steps of the approach will alter slightly. The next to last step (the penultimate step) is a full foot contact with a foot rocking action. The penultimate step is the longest step of the entire approach. The foot contact is still beneath the body like all the other approach steps. Heel recovery should more over the opposite ankle or at mid lower leg. The take-off step is a shorter, full foot contact with the ground, followed immediately with quick, rocking action to the toe like that of the penultimate step. Ground contact should be a bit forward of the body. Cue: Move the body past the take-off foot while it is on the ground. Have the jumper feel a quick push into the jump and see that the hips are tilted slightly up for proper take-off. A teaching cue for these last three strides: Tell the jumper to think, Quick, Quicker, Quickest”
Take-off Drills
Skipping of all varieties
Primarily power skips and single leg skips
Continuous Take-offs
Running at 50-75% effort, using exaggerated heel to butt running action for 3-5 steps, immediately followed by the penultimate and take-off step action with a “pop up” landing on both feet.
Followed by repeating the 3-5 step running action and take-off.
This drill can be done with small obstacles or overhead targets, such as basketball nets, at the same or varying distances apart.
This helps to teach “steering” during the approach.
Approaches with a “Pop Up”
Short or full approach runs followed by a pop up onto a high jump pit. Continue to run through the pit after “popping up”.
Repeat the Short or full approach runs followed by a pop up onto a high jump pit.
Land in he pit with the legs extended forward, landing on the butt and back of the legs.
After the Take-off & the Landing
Controlling or limiting forward rotation is the goal of all in the air action.
Most of the jumping distance is already determined by the approach and takeoff actions.
The Hang Technique:
A good take-off position needs to be achieved.
At take-off keep the head up (not back) and push the hips forward.
The jumper drops the driving free leg to vertical where the take-off leg joins it in being a long extension of the body.
The arms go high above the body in order to slow rotation.
The landing requires a quick jack-knifing of the hips to allow the legs to be lifted high.
The arms are moved forward and backward as the feet reach the sand.
Land with the feet close together.
The Hitch Technique (running in the Air)
A good take-off position needs to be achieved.
At take-off keep the head up (not back) and push the hips forward.
Thrust the free knee and the arm above the planted leg quickly forward to a block.
Extend the bent knee and pull it backward, just as if still running on the ground.
At the same time, pull the opposite arm backward as well.
Circle the other arm behind the body and up over your head.
Kick the planted leg forward so it points straight ahead.
Bring the trailing leg back forward and extend it so both legs point forward and in a piked/jack-knifed position.
While moving the legs, swing both arms forward and down so to move past the legs and behind the body.
Lean forward landing in the sand so as to not fall backward and lose distance from the jump.
Landing Drills
(the use of a high jump pit, soft mats or tumbling mats should be used in these drills when a sand Long Jum Pit is not available)
Standing Long Jump
Start with a standard Standing Long Jump with an upright landing
Standing Long Jump with a squat landing
Walk in version of the above with a single leg take-off
Knee Landing – approach the pit like in Continuous take-off drill, but following take-off, and in the pit on the take-off knee and the swing leg foot (in lunge position).
Gradually move further away and run in faster.
Step Drills (in place)
Hop on one leg with the emphasis on complete extension off the ground.
Hop on one leg and kick the butt after complete extension off the ground.
Hop on one leg and kick the butt after complete extension off the ground followed by rotating the knee forward.
Begin to move forward about a foot at a time repeating the three leg actions at each new step.
Walk & Run in Bounding
Use any combination of Right and Left forward bounds of approximately three feet or more in distance at a time.
Favorite sequences for a left foot take-off: LLLLR, LLLR, LLRR.
The use of small soft object or boxes (6”-18”) can be used for the above drill.
Short or Full Jumps into a High Jump Pit
Land in the pit with the legs extended forward, landing on the butt and the back of the legs.
Hang or Hitch Technique off a Box
Set up a jumping box near the edge of a high jump pit.
Be sure the box is high enough that an actual hang or hitch technique jump can be made from it.
Jump out as far as possible performing the jumping style.
Flex the legs and land in the pit(HJ mat) with the legs extended forward, landing on the butt and the back of the legs.
This will allow work on technique in the air without an approach or footwork.
use the sand landing pit, but land with the feet close together.
Distance Jumping Competitions
Each jumper is allowed three double footed approach jumps, in a row, and then must jump from a take-off line.
Whoever jumps the furthest wins.
Now form a team and add the total distances together to determine which team wins.
Jump High and Down
Use a two foot high box about 4 feet away from a soft landing mat.
It should be soft and very safe to absorb the impact.
Take a six to eight step running start and leap up onto the box and then immediately into the air.
In the air, try to thrust the arms upward and then focus on landing with bent knees and upper body leaning forward.
This drill is to help to et better at landing so the weight carries you forward, not backward.
Additional General Long Jump Drills
Which Foot?
A drill to be sure which leg and foot should be the jump leg/foot.
From a standing start, take three big hops out on the right foot only and mark the distance.
Then take three big hops out on the left foot and mark the distance.
On each hop drive up with the leading leg so it is horizontal to the ground.
Jump for distance, not height.
Whichever leg allows for the furthest hops, this is the jump leg.
Standing Jump
From a standing start, swing the arms and use a double leg jump in order to jump as far s possible on to a gym mat/tumbling mat.
Can be done from the edge of the LJ pit.
Mound Jumps
Use towels (or sand if using a pit) and build up a mound straight down the center of a soft landing mat.
Make the mound higher and wider towards the end.
Do a standing ump and clear the mound.
This will force the jumper to pull their legs up to avoid hitting the mound.
Extend the legs for the landing.
If successful extend the mound to become progressively more difficult.
This drill will get the jumper to bring their feet up in mid air.
Do the Drill in the sand pit.
Standing Jump, Hop Start
Begin by taking long “bounding” strides.
Try to get the feeling of floating in the air from each bound.
(No normal strides) These are exaggerated strides with a little push from the toes to gain the bounding action.
Swing the arms up and forward at every stride.
At the jumping point, take-off on one foot.
Try to push off as powerfully as possible.
Bring the thigh of the lead leg up to horizontal at the same time of push off with the jumping leg.
Use the arms in as similar way as with the standing jump: up and forward
Land bring both legs together.
Stride Spacing
It is important to have a longer second to last stride and then a shorter last stride before take-off.
Lengthen the second to last stride and shorten the last.
This will lower the center of gravity and in a position to jump.
Use tape, towels, chalk, ..etc. and make space on the runway for normal strides, followed by a longer stride(second to last) to a shorter step for take-off.
Start from a standing position and do the footwork down the runway.
Circle Jumping
Place a series of hoops, etc., on ground, enough for 10-12 jumps
Hop or bound from hoop to hoop
Initially place hoops close to each other, then set them progressively farther apart.
Use a forward and upward swing of the arms to help each jump
Pylons can be used to land beside as some may land/step on hoops
Training Plan for the Long Jump
It is recommended to not jump more than 3 days a week for the first 2-3 weeks of training, then no more than 2 days of training until the Competition Schedule begins.
Once the Competition Schedule begins only one jump practice should be needed.
Do not hold a jumping practice the day before a meet.
Approach practices or Run Through practices are good, but it is suggested to not include jumping.
This helps keep the legs fresh.
The training for the Long Jump is explosive and very taxing. Be sure to give the athlete’s reasonable recovery between jumping days so that they can perform with reasonably fresh legs.
A Typical Week with No Meets
Good Warm up including some full speed 30-50 meter build ups or accelerations
2-3 Approach Drills
Long Jump approaches 4-8, with or without spikes and with or without Take-off
2-3 Landing Drills
10 minutes of 3 or 5 step jumps focusing on proper technique
Good Cool Down including stretching
Good Warm up, including longer build ups to 80-90% of between 50-100 meters.
Short interval training
Weight training or Conditioning Circuit / Plyo’s
Good Warm up
2-3 Approach Drills
2-3 Take-off or Landing Drills
6-10 full approach jumps, with or without spikes and with or without Take-off
Good Cool Down including stretching
Good Warm up
Short Hill Runs followed by a 10-15 minute Endurance Run
Weight training or Conditioning Circuit / Plyo’s
Good Warm up
2-3 Take-off or Landing Drills
4-8 Approaches
Full Approach Jumps
Good Cool Down including stretching