Long jump is an athletics discipline that requires speed and excellent jumping skills. Learning the technique may seem difficult, but if you break the movement down into individual steps, you'll notice it's actually quite simple. Using the proper style is important to achieve maximum distance with your jumps. There are three phases of the long jump: the run up, the take off and the landing. Once you become familiar with the movements, you will find that this discipline is fun and rewarding.
Part 1 of 4: Marking the Starting Point
Step 1. Decide which foot to take off with
The take-off foot is the one that hits the plate and the last one to touch the ground before the jump. In general, right jumpers take off with the left foot. If you are a beginner, try both and see which one you get the best results with.
- To choose the deadlift foot, ask a friend to push you from behind. The foot you put forward to maintain balance is the dominant one and you should use it to take off.
- Alternatively, you can identify the deadlift by thinking about which leg you kick with or which one you overtake jumping objects, such as athletics hurdles.
Step 2. Calculate how many running steps you need
Practice your run up several times to figure out how many steps you need to take before you take off. In general, the number of steps corresponds to the age, according to this example:
- 10 years = 10-11 steps
- 11 years = 10-12 steps
- 12 years = 11-13 steps
- 13 years = 12-14 steps
- 14 years = 13-15 steps
- 15 years = 14-16 steps
- 16 years = 15-17 steps
- 17 years = 15-21 steps
Step 3. Determine the starting point
To find out where the run-up will begin, start with your back to the sand on the take-off platform. Run towards the area you will start from, for the number of steps you have determined you must walk before jumping. The starting point is where you arrive with the last step. Repeat the run many times and, if necessary, change the starting point.
- Another way to determine where to start is to start at a certain point on the track and run forward the number of steps you previously determined. Mark the point of the last step.
- Repeat several times to find the average distance based on the number of steps you have taken.
Step 4. Place signs at the starting point
You must use visible objects that stand out from those of other jumpers who start near you. You can use skittles, flags, colored pebbles, or duct tape. Place them on the side of the track so they don't get in the way of other athletes competing in the event.
Part 2 of 4: Prepare for the Run
Step 1. Start with the deadlift foot forward
This is the starting position. Lean forward slightly and turn your chest towards the sand. Make sure you are in the center of the track.
Step 2. Run along the track
It is very important to accelerate gradually, and after a few steps you should already be in a standing sprint position. Keep your head up and gaze forward, not down. Run at full speed until you reach the deadlift plate.
Step 3. Lower your center of gravity on the penultimate step
Plant your foot flat on the ground, lower your hips, bend your knees and ankle to lower your center of gravity.
Step 4. Shorten the last step
To maintain speed, the last step must be shorter. Plant your foot on the ground in front of your body. Contract your leg joints to raise your center of gravity.
Part 3 of 4: Unplug
Step 1. Plant the deadlift foot on the ground
It is important that it is completely flat on the ground, so don't just push on the toe or heel. If you take off with your heel, your speed will be reduced. If you take off with the toe, the jump is unstable and the risk of injury increases.
Step 2. Bring the knee of the take-off leg up and the opposite arm
To increase the push to the ground, bring up the knee you took off with and the opposite arm. Keep the rest of your body straight.
Step 3. Jump long, not high
Strive to reach the maximum possible distance in length instead of climbing in height. Look in front of you rather than towards the platform or the sand, in order to maintain the inertia forward.
Part 4 of 4: Landing from the Long Jump
Step 1. Try the gathering technique if you are a beginner
To do this, push your free leg (the one you didn't take off with) as far forward as possible. While in the air, also bring the deadlift leg forward, so that it is parallel to the other.
Step 2. Try the techniques of flying steps or soaring if you are an experienced jumper
To do the first, rotate your legs and arms as if walking to counteract the forward rotation in the air. For the second, straighten your body to counteract the forward rotation, so that your arms are above your head and your legs are suspended below you.
Step 3. Bring your arms down and raise your legs
When preparing to land, lower your arms and raise your legs before touching the sand.
Step 4. Lean your body forward
Remember that distance is measured from the part of the body that lands furthest back, so try your best to avoid falling back or touching the sand with your hands behind your body.
Step 5. Bend your knees to cushion the impact
Bring your arms forward to keep your balance and avoid falling back. As you touch the sand with your heels, push down with your feet and lift your hips. This movement, along with inertia, will transport the body past the point where they touched the heels.
- Keep your head up. Make sure your chin is parallel to the ground and keep your gaze forward. If you look down, you jump down.
- Try pulling your arms back and then snapping them forward as you land to increase distance and balance.
- Practice often, but avoid doing more than 10 jumps in one training session.
- Warm up well before taking a long jump and stay focused on the landing spot.