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Long Jump Drills

Rhythm Runs

On the track mark out with tape or cones, the run-up distance used in competition. The athlete should perform the run-up as usual, and the take-off foot should be monitored for accuracy to the take-off tape/cone. The objective of the drill is to ingrain the athlete's mind with the speed, feel and rhythm of the run-up.

take-off drill

During the time between foot strike and take-off, the jumper must apply forces to the ground in such a way as to conserve the horizontal velocities, generated in the approach run, while optimising vertical speed. Therefore, to maximise flight distance, the take-off actions must be precisely timed and coordinated.

The following four drills will help the athlete exert some control over the variables that will determine the magnitude and direction of the angular momentum generated at take-off. The objective of the drills is to ingrain the athlete's mind with the correct motor patterns necessary to execute a successful take-off.

Power position

The power position simulates the position of the body immediately after foot strike

  1. Position the take-off leg slightly in front of the hips with the heel planted on the ground
  2. Position the foot of the trail leg slightly behind the hips
  3. Slightly flex the knees of both legs
  4. Place your hands on your hips
  5. Look straight ahead

The slight knee flexion is achieved as a result of lowering the body's centre of mass in the final three steps before take-off, which allows the jumper to generate maximum vertical momentum.

Positioning the body for take-off

  1. Assume the Power Position
  2. Tilt the pelvic girdle upward while thrusting it forward
  3. Return to the power position
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3

Often, an athlete will bend at the waist on take-off - this will be eliminated if the athlete tilts their pelvic girdle upward placing it in line with the spine in the final five strides from take-off.

Developing Vertical Lift

  1. Assume the Power Position
  2. Tilt the pelvic girdle upward while thrusting it forward and lift the chest
  3. Extend the take-off leg
  4. Repeat steps 1,2, and 3

Timing and Coordination

The instructions for this drill assume the right leg is forward in the power position.

  • Establish the power position
  • Position the arms in their sprint position - left forward, right back
  • While tilting the pelvic girdle upward extend the trunk drive and the take-off leg (right)
  • At the same time drive the right arm forward (keep elbows flexed) and drive the left knee forward and up
  • When the left thigh and right upper arm are parallel to the ground - stop them abruptly (blocking)
  • Return to the power position and repeat the drill

Five stride jumps into the pit

Using a Five stride-controlled run in performing the "take-off drill", detailed above, landing in the pit in the blocking position.

Focus on the final three strides

  • Three strides from take-off tilt the pelvic girdle upward placing it in line with the spine
  • The penultimate stride is slightly lengthened to lower the body's centre of mass
  • The final stride is shortened, the take-off leg is accelerated to the board and is planted using a quick pawing action. The flexed take-off leg will be slightly ahead of the centre of mass, and the resulting braking force allows the athlete to execute the "take-off drill" movements.

Nine or eleven stride jumps into the pit

Using a nine or eleven stride-controlled run-up focus on the:

  • flight phase technique
  • landing phase technique

A take-off board can be used to provide the extra height to allow additional time for the athlete to focus on the flight phase technique

How Many

The number of times each drill is performed, and which drills are conducted in a session will depend on the athlete's ability. The focus has to be on quality, not quantity so allow plenty of recovery time between each jump.

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2007) Long Jump Drills [WWW] Available from: [Accessed