Broad Jump: Combine Prep
National Scouting Combine
Precision Sports Performance
The broad jump, also known as the standing long jump, is the most effective test of horizontal lower body power. Even though the vertical jump gets more attention, current thinking by coaches and scouts view the broad jump as more important than the vertical at predicting on field performance. The power produced during a broad jump is the same that is produced while running, making it a strong predictor of running speed.
When setting up for the broad jump your stance should be the same as that for the vertical jump. Feet should be lined up directly under your hips, hands should be reaching over your head with your body fully extended upward. Getting this full extension before coiling and uncoiling for your jump makes use of the elastic quality of the muscles involved allowing you to maximize your power production.
As you start your jump, your hands are going to be brought forcefully down as you bend at your knees and hips into a partial squat position then, without hesitation, jumping forward with forceful extension at the ankles, knees, and hips while throwing your hands forward. When jumping, make sure to minimize the vertical component of your jump. This will help you avoid wasting energy jumping vertically when horizontal distance is what is being measured.
“When jumping, make sure to minimize the vertical component of your jump.”
As far as the landing is considered, the simplest way to think about it is to reverse the mechanics of your jump. As you land bend at the knees and hips to soften the landing and bring your hands back down to control and balance your body. Even though there is no score for it, having a quality landing shows coaches and scouts that you have an elevated level of coordination and body control that is crucial to on field success.
Once again, practice is key. The more coordinated your movement is the more power your body can produce. With the growing weight of the broad jump it is a test you do not want to take lightly. Not only will improvements in power production lead to a higher score, but also better on field performance.