Long Jumps Drills

Approach to Take Off

By Travis Geopfert, University of Arkansas

Long Jump Approach Types

Blind 5 step approach-

Do this off of runway.  Coach uses chalk to mark 5th step.  (Only count contacts of take-off foot.  Step 1, step 2, step 3…etc.)  Consistent first 2 steps.  Good rhythm.  Athlete can not change approach to adjust for board.

Move 5 step approach to runway-

Measure distance of most consistent chalk mark to the start point.  Measure this distance on long jump runway.  The 5 step approach is used for most practice jumps.   Have athlete master the rhythm of 5 step approach.

Blind 7-8 step approach-

Same rhythm and process as 5 step approach, only add  more steps (2-3 lefts or  2-3 rights) to create more speed at take-off.

Move 7-8 step approach to runway-  

Only allow athlete to use maximum controllable speed!  Hips tall at take-off, and good rhythm are essential.

The Penultimate Step

Before Long Jump Take-off

Penultimate Step-

The second to last step of approach.  A slight lowering of the hips in order to catch C.O.G (Center of Gravity) on the rise at take-off.


Push C.O.G. onto the second to last step, pull your hips through, plant your take-off foot quickly.

The penultimate step is often slightly longer than any other step.

This takes place in order to lower the C.O.G.

Take-off step is slightly shorter than the others in order to “catch hips on the rise”.

Long Jump Drills

(pop ups and penultimate drills)

Continuous pop-ups

Most specific plyometric drill for long jumping.

Easy jog into the penultimate set-up

Focus on dropping.

Penultimate set up off of ramp or box.

Forces athlete to put take-off foot down quickly.

Penultimate set- up into split landing.

Forces athlete to hold drive knee.

Penultimate set-up off of ramp into a full landing.

Good for full jump simulation with low impact.

Short approach pop-ups.

Focus is on holding drive knee off of board.

Full approach pop-ups. 

Allows coach to see if athlete can handle speed of the full approach through the set-up.

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