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Triple Jump Technique, Drills and Training

Approach Phase Take-off & Hop Phase Step Phase

Jump Phase and Landing Training Plan for the Triple Jump
Start with the basic movements by having the jumper Hop, Step and then Jump from a standing start. Take-off should be from the most dominate leg. This way, two of the three jumps in the triple jump are initiated by the stronger leg. The approach run should be the same number of steps and the same approach speed as the jumper’s long jump approach. The triple jump requires four (4); 1) Approach Phase (acceleration to a maximum controllable speed), 2) Takeoff and Hop Phase, 3) The Step Phase, and 4) The Jump Phase and Landing.

All Phases

The free leg swing is important for speed, but even more is that it helps maintain the proper pelvic position so that the jumper can be in the best position when making contact with the runway in order to move through the next phase. Do not allow forward or backward lean in any of the phases.

Approach Phase

Acceleration to Maximum Speed
The approach run for the Triple Jump is similar to that of the Long Jump and the objective is to create the greatest amount of speed that can be controlled throughout the triple jump hop, step and jump phases.
The approach is somewhere between the 8-12 total strides (around 80+ feet), but for the more experienced jumper 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 and Hop Phase
There should be no marked difference between takeoff and approach steps other than the heel to toe ground contact. Cue: Attempt to run past the foot while on the board. Horizontal movement should be the primary emphasis of the take-off action. Allow the stretch on the hip flexors to put the takeoff leg in position for the step rather than actively “cycling”. Not “cycling” the leg creates a smoother transition to the slower tempo of jumping. Don’t get very technical with coaching the free limbs, simply continue to move as close to running as possible. The hop will generally be the longest of the three phases. Most importantly, it should set up the step and save horizontal momentum.
The take off foot should be the athlete’s strongest leg, as it will be used in the Hop and the Jump phases.
The take-off leg is fully extended
The drive leg thigh should be nearly parallel to the ground at take-off and the foot relaxed
The drive leg should swing powerfully through a large range of motion with a somewhat straight leg so that heel recovery height is low – overemphasizing knee lift in the drive swing is a mistake.
The take-off foot is pulled to the butt.
The drive leg rotates from in front of the body to behind the body
The take-off leg begins pulls forward
As the thigh of the take-off leg reaches parallel, the lower portion of the leg extends past the knee, with the foot flexed
Once the leg is extended, the jumper then forcefully drives the leg downwards, setting the athlete up for an active landing.
Takeoff and Hop Drills
Standing Triple Jump Series
Two leg start – start like the athlete will do a standing long jump. Before landing have the hop foot begin the triple jump action (RRL or LLR) into the pit.
Takeoff foot start – like other drill but start with feet staggered (takeoff foot forward) then complete (RRL or LLR).
Walking starts – same as B but begin one extra step back (takeoff foot is moving or walking into the jump). Add steps to the walk in.
3-5 Step Approach & Hop with Knee Landing in the Pit (or mat)
This drill is done to acclimate the athlete to holding the takeoff position (initially).
Landing will be with the swing leg forward and the takeoff leg back (lunge position).
Next the takeoff leg is brought into the landing position for the step.
Landing will be with the takeoff leg forward and swing leg back.
Short and Full Approaches with and without a Hop
Run through without a takeoff can be done from full and short approaches.
If a hop will be done, do these from the nearest board to the pit so athletes don’t have to land on the runway.
These should be done in spikes.

The Step Phase

Getting the jumper in position for the step is a must. Most is done by focusing on the approach and hop. Cue: Maintain horizontal speed, be patient (wait for the ground to come to you). Contact is best made with the rocking full foot contact.
The take-off leg is fully extended with the drive leg thigh just below parallel to the ground
The take-off leg stays extended behind the body with the heel held high
The drive leg thigh is held parallel with the ground, lower leg vertical and the toes flexed
The drive leg extends with a flexed ankle and snaps downward for a quick transition into the jump phase
Step Drills
Stay In Place Drills
Hop on one leg emphasizing complete extension on ground contact.
Next the athlete will kick their butt after complete extension into the ground.
Next the athlete will kick their butt and fold their knee up
Last they will begin to move forward about a foot at a time.
Although much of this sequence will ultimately be set up by stretch reflexes, athletes need to learn this remedial series to prepare for the forces they will encounter on a full jump.
Walk & Run in Bounding
Use any combinations of Rights and Lefts from walking and short approaches.
Favorite sequences (for left foot takeoff) LLLLR, LLLR, LLRR.
Depending on the level of athletes you have, small boxes (6-18”) can be used at different parts of the series to challenge the athlete.
Short Approach Jumps with a Knee Landing
Do the hop and step from a very short approach with a knee landing right foot forward left knee back (for left foot takeoff).
When doing any short approach work athletes should run as quickly as they can from that distance.
Emphasize getting into upright position early so drills are reinforced in good posture.
No chopped or elongated steps should be used prior to takeoff.
The Jump Phase and Landing
At this point the jumper has slowed a great deal. Most of the jump phase work will be done jointly when working the other phases. By separating work of this phase from the other phases could have the jumper setting up a long jump like takeoff. It is recommended to practice “weak leg” long jumps in order for the jumper to feel what will happen in the phase. Adding single leg hopping after some step work is a great way for the jumper to be in position in this phase.
for a left foot take-off, LLRRR or LLRR
for a right foot take-off, RRLLL or RRLL
The Jump Phase take-off leg is extended forcefully at take-off
The free-leg thigh driving to waist level
The arms drive forward and up
The body should be held tall, the chin up and eyes looking past the landing pit
The legs move into a hang position with both thighs directly below the upper body
The legs are bent at the knees
The arms are extended overhead to slow rotation
The arms then driven forward
The legs swing forward and the position held until the heels land in the pit close together.
Landing DRILLS
Using only the hop and step,
set the takeoff point so that on the step,
the landing is in the pit.
Extend the takeoff point to force a longer step.
Set up a grid for a series of standing hop-steps.
Each succeeding hop-step is a little longer.
Arm Action
Single or double arm action may be used through the jump phases, but should be swung powerfully and through a large range of motion. The arm action of the triple jumper is a must. Proper and Good arm action can add to the jump. Don’t over emphasize position and location of the arms in each phase. The arms are used to increase the amount of force into the runway, in return increasing the amount of force returned. Meaning: increased distance. Cue for the arm action: “Leg back, arms forward.”
Every time a leg is contacting the runway, the arms are moving forward.
The use of a single or a double arm action at take off depends on the jumper’s liking. The double arm action does provide more power.
Double Arm Action
The lead arm crosses slightly in front of the body at the penultimate step, then pauses next to the body, not behind as in a normal stride
At take-off, both arms drive forward and up to shoulder height.
Single Arm Action
The arm opposite the free leg drives forward and up to shoulder level
Training Plan for the Triple 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 Triple Jump is explosive and very taxing.
Be sure to give the jumper’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 or Step Drills
Approaches 4-8, with or without spikes and with or without Take-off
2-3 Landing Drills
10 minutes of 3 or 5 step approach 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 & Hop 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 & Hop Drills
4-8 Step Drills
Full Approach Jumps
Good Cool Down including stretching