Long Jump Drills and Tips

Long Jump Drills and Tips

Coach Travis Geopfert (University of Arkansas)

Pop Ups and Penultimate Drills

Continuous pop-ups

Most specific plyometric drill for long jumping.

Easy jog into the penultimate set-up

Many repetitions are very important.

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.

The Penultimate Step and 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 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 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 the athlete to use maximum controllable speed!  Hips tall at takeoff, and good rhythm are essential.

In Air Techniques

Hang Technique

Easiest to learn, but easily allows for over-rotation.

Single Hitch Technique

Most common, fairly easy to learn, helps prevent over-rotation.

The Hitch-Kick

Most advanced, running in the air to counterbalance over-rotation.  Very good if the athlete has time to complete it.

Long Jump: Points of Emphasis

Athletes must be in good physical condition.

Teach athletes how to bound properly.

Slightly more focus on speed development of long jumper, the speed at take-off is #1 determining factor of distance.

Focus on penultimate set-up drills.  Watch for catching the hips on the rise and finishing drive knee at take-off.

Do 5 step penultimate set-ups until you feel the athlete can handle more speed.

Continually work on the rhythm of the full approach.

Progress to full approach jumps after 5 step is mastered.

The full approach is 90% of the jump.  Do a lot of approach work without jumping.

Long Jumps Tips

Use only maximum controllable speed.

Horizontal velocity is very important, but pointless if the athlete is not strong enough to handle it.

Ingraining good mechanics in the penultimate set-up is very important.

Maintain horizontal velocity.  Do not slow down at take-off.

Practice jumps are used for technique, not for distance.

Good technique will eventually create good jumping distance.

Practice jumps off of a box into the high jump pit for an easy landing.

Learn more about teaching the long jump click here

Track and Field Jumping Progression Long Jump