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The Parts of the Triple Jump

The triple jump is an amazing and unique track and field event. Rather than consisting of one jump, like the long jump, the triple jump has three phases. These phases are referred to as the hop, the step, and the jump. It is the total distance a triple jumper athlete covers from the starting board to the landing after the jump phase that makes up their score. To become a successful triple jump athlete, it is necessary to understand each phase of the triple jump.


The Takeoff + The Hop

The jumper takes am approach run of between 8-16 running steps, depending on their skill level, into the “hop” phase in which the jumper takes off of the takeoff board that 8” wide if they go over the board it’s called a foul. The jumper then takes off, either the right leg or left leg, which is called “the support leg” as the jumper takes off the board with their support leg the other leg, called the “free leg” drive up and right after take-off then drops straight down in the air while the support leg or “hop leg” cycles, separates and begins to sweep backward prior to landing at the same time the “free leg” has drifted behind the jumper and as the support leg sweeps backward the free leg begins to sweep forward. Then the hop leg contacts the ground, slightly ahead of the jumper’s center of mass and the free leg continues to sweep forward and up into the next phase, “the step” phase.

The Step

The jumper has performed the “sweep” with both legs, meaning that his/her support leg has swept backward and down, contacted the ground and at the same time his/her free leg has swept forward and drives up into a position where the jumper’s knee, (the free leg during the hop phase) is parallel to the ground and has become the support leg. All the while the “hop” support leg has now become the “step” free leg and moves, “floats”, behind the jumper. The jumper then “holds” this position for as long as he/she can. So the leg action in the “step” phase is as follows: Lift, (the jumper did that on the hop to step with their free leg), then as the jumper begins to come down from the step flight they, separate, meaning the free leg continues to move backward as the support leg continues to move forward, then comes the “sweep” with both legs, the free leg now sweeps forward at the same time the support leg sweeps backward and contacts the ground with the free leg swinging up into the “jump” phase of the triple jump.

The Jump

The jumper has now entered his/her jump phase, where the support leg has contacted the ground and at the same time the free leg is driven up to give the jumper the lift into the air where they now “hold” their flight position for as long as they can before coming down and getting full extension from both legs into a very successful landing in the sandpit.

Triple Jump Training

During weekly training the triple jumper usually spends two days per week focusing their jump workouts on specific jumping activities, short approach jumps for technique, Repetitive hoping and stepping over a certain amount of ground contacts and other jumping drills and skills to sharpen their competitive edge and strengthen their bodies

Michael G. Helps You Train For The Triple Jump

Mike coaches high school, collegiate, open and Masters triple jumpers. His jumpers have won numerous individual titles over a span of thirty-plus years. He has coached over fifty athletes in the jumps and sprints to All-American status throughout his coaching career. Mike was inducted into the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) Hall of Fame for track and field in 2011. Some of Mike’s former athletes are now successful coaches at the high school and collegiate levels.

Great News! Michael G (Mike) Is offering his Triple Jump Video Texting Service once again! Here’s how it works; send Mike a video text of each jump, he’ll look at it and send you a text right back with information on what to do to jump farther on your next attempt! Click to learn more about his Triple Jump Video Texting Service.



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