It’s not a coincidence that the fastest players on the planet have the biggest Broad Jump. Let me tell you that what sounds like a humble drill is way more than just a jump. It can be described as one of the best training methods to becoming a powerful Rugby or League Player.
I always include the Broad Jump in my speed programs because it gives my athletes the best bang for their training buck and can be performed anywhere and without equipment.
The Broad Jump has many benefits but here are my Top 3.
1. EXPLOSIVE STRENGTH
The biggest benefit of the Broad Jump is that it improves the quickness of your fast twitch fibres. The broad jump trains your leg and core muscles to contract very quickly so that you can generate maximum force with each jump. The squat you take before performing a broad jump, allows you to stretch your muscles which will generate a more powerful muscle contraction when you jump. This all relates back to when you are sprinting. As your foot hits the ground, you must be able to generate maximum force into the ground very quickly to propel your body forward. The faster your muscles contract, the faster your body will propel forward.
2. TESTS ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE
The Broad jump is an extremely important test for athletic performance and is a great way to find out how you are progressing with your power training. It measures several important components. First, it evaluates the ability to use strength, because it takes a great deal of strength to jump forward. But athletes have to be able to use their strength quickly; otherwise they won't be able to jump very far. Second, it tests the ability to apply strength in a horizontal direction, which is the key to improving your acceleration
3. IMPROVES ACCELERATION
Horizontal force production is the main component of acceleration. This is the ability to project force forwards quickly which is exactly what you are trying to do when you accelerate. The most popular exercises like the squat, deadlift, power cleans etc train vertical force production, not horizontal force production. When it comes to training horizontal power, board jumps are one of the very few exercises that train horizontal force production.
Now that you are aware of the benefits of including Broad Jumps into your training program, it’s important for you to understand how to perform it correctly to gain the full benefit.
My Key Tips to performing the perfect Broad Jump
1. BIG ARM SWINGS Long levers = more power. Big arm swings will result in more power generated which will assist your lower body
2. EXTEND YOUR HIPS
When you are airborne, extend your hips up and out
3. LAND FLAT FOOTED This will ensure your weight is evenly distributed resulting in a strong and balanced landing
When adding this to your training regime, perform a Broad Jump and as soon as your feet touch the ground, explode off the ground and perform another Broad Jump.
Watch this video to see some Continuous Broad Jumps in action.