Broad Jump Training Techniques
The standing broad jump is a common physical test to measure explosion, coordination, and lower body mobility. Plyometrics and explosive weightlifting are sure-fire ways to maximize your muscle potential, but technique is also very important and can affect your jumping distance by several inches.
Use these 4 tips to improve your performance and maximize your potential on testing day.
1. Utilize repetition.
The more you perform a certain motion, the more efficient your body becomes at that movement. Increased efficiency translates to a more explosive jump. Perform the broad jump 5-10 times each time you train, and the reps will add up.
2. Jump over something.
Since the goal of the broad jump is distance, the tendency is to jump straight out at too low of an angle. It may seem counter-intuitive, but taking off at a slightly higher angle will often increase your jumping distance instantaneously by increasing your frictional force on the ground and increasing your hang time. Additionally, the biomechanics of the motion become more natural for your body, so you are able to generate more power. Practice this technique by placing an object—such as a short agility hurdle—in your jumping path and leaping over it while still jumping as far as you can.
3. Find your comfort zone.
There’s no single technique that will work best for everyone. Forcing yourself to use a certain technique just because someone told you it was the right way to do it can hinder your performance. Experiment with different techniques to find which motion is comfortable for you, and perfect it.
4. Always, always, always measure.
It is critical to actually measure your broad jumps as you train, for two reasons. First, measuring each jump prepares you mentally for the added pressure of a meaningful test. Second, while experimenting with techniques, you may unexpectedly find methods that add an inch or two to your jump. So tweak your form from jump to jump while training and note the changes that increase your distance.