The Importance of the Standing Triple Jump

When I challenged Asafa Powell to the Standing Triple Jump, I didn’t expect him to take me seriously.  After all, he tore a pec muscle during testing week.

Along with the Standing Long Jump, the Standing Triple is a great explosive plyometric exercise.  I do this on a flat grass surface with an old pair of spikes with 7 or 9mm spike needles.

This article is guest blogged by Nigel Lewis, a Senior Level 4 Athletics Performance Jumps and Combined Coach in the United Kingdom.


Some Essential Triple Jump Drills

THE STANDING TRIPLE JUMP – This is a drill that can be used once the initial introductory learning stages have been learned and reinforced. I still use this drill with my more experienced jumpers as an extension of their warm up. It serves as a reinforcement drill (i.e. shaping and chaining drill) and also as a part of the dynamic stretching component of the warm up.

From a line placed at approximately 7-9 meters from the pit the jumpers are encouraged to:

  1. Maintain an upright upper torso throughout the phases
  2. Ensure that the hop and step landings are on to a ‘flat foot
  3. Ensure that the landings-[lets now call them take-offs, because that is what they become at the moment of contact are balanced and coordinated
  4. Ensure that these take-offs are active and there is a ‘pawing’ back of that foot and ankle with an effort to DRIVE into the next phase.
  5. Ensure that whatever arm action has been adopted [alternate single arms or a double arm action] that these actions are rangy and dynamic and help in the balance and coordination of the whole of the movement forwards.
  6. Ensure that the hop is long and low and that the landing leg is ‘pre-tensed’ in readiness for the landing
  7. Ensure that the step phase is ‘shaped’ well and that a wide held stride position is evident in the mid-flight phase. I ask them to ‘float the step’. They must keep the lead thigh at the parallel.
  8. Ensure that the step landing is again prepared for and that the lead leg is dropped under the hips so that there is no ‘blocking’ at the moment of contact.
  9. Ensure that whatever horizontal velocity is left that the jump phase is dynamic with a good leg chute [see note below]

NOTE:  Many jumpers attempt a hang style jump phase-often with poor effect because they have no speed left and their hips have dropped placing them in a poor take-off position. I advocate a stride jump shape as opposed to a hang shape in this last but very important phase. Once they get stronger and faster that stride jump shape can be adapted to a hang style.

There are several specific drills that can be practiced to learn what effectively becomes a hop-step-step triple jump style. All that is missing from this drill is the drawing through of the step landing leg to ‘meet’ the lead leg which is preparing to chute forward.

This standing triple jump is a major reinforcement drill and I use it to highlight the key essentials of triple jump technique. This drill contains many of the ‘keys’ that open the doors to other phases of the jump.

About the Author

Nigel Lewis is a Senior Level 4 Athletics Performance Jumps and Combined Coach in the United Kingdom and is a Senior Coach Education Tutor for UK Athletics. He has produced many technical manuals on Long Jumping, Triple Jumping and Plyometric Training.

He was the Jumps Coach to Botswana and Wales at the last two Commonwealth Games in Manchester 2002 and Melbourne 2006 and has coached at the highest level.  Click on http://www.longjumping.co.uk for further details.