The Importance of the Standing Long Jump

With the 2013 NFL Combine coming up, isn’t it interesting that the fastest 40 yard times come from players with the best Standing Long Jump AND the Standing Vertical Jump?  (using stats since 2000)  And the irony is some of these players have terrible sprint biomechanics (but who cares?  they are still faster than you)

Monday’s guest post by Joel Smith on 3 Reasons the Squat is NOT the Cornerstone of Strength Training for Sprinters proves a good point.

It’s not all about raw strength (i.e. max strength)!

It’s not all about the squat or bench press!

Explosive power is key!

I feel plyometrics, traditional weight lifting, and Olympic lifts (i.e. all three) are vital for a sprinter.  They all have its place in the development of a sprinter, at any level.

Standing Long Jump Numbers

You have to go back to the 1900-04-08 Olympics and USA’s Ray Ewry to appreciate the SLJ (with jumps of 3.21, 3.47, and 3.33 respectively).  His WR in the standing long jump was 3.48 m or 11’  5”

The Current World Record for the standing long jump is held by Norwegian Arne Tvervaag with 3.71 meters or 12′ 2.1" and he wasn’t even a horizontal jumper!

The “WR” for the NFL Scout Combine SLJ is 11′ 5" (same as Ray Ewry’s PB) by Justin Fargas (2003) and Scott Starks (2005)

In 4th grade, I was “discovered” as a jumper because I could standing long jump 10 feet (3.048 m) by clearing the mat.  (30 years later, I could still SLJ 10’ into a sand pit, but what does that prove about my sprinting speed?)

A good article to read is Nigel Lewis’ The Importance of the Standing Triple Jump from 2010.

Standing Long Jump

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Jimson Lee

Jimson Lee

Coach & Founder at
I am a Masters Athlete and Coach currently based in London UK. My other projects include the Bud Winter Foundation, writer for the IAAF New Studies in Athletics Journal (NSA) and a member of the Track & Field Writers of America.
Jimson Lee
Jimson Lee
Jimson Lee
  • It’s interesting I just got done doing a little research on the combine and the testing exercises (

    What’s interesting is that the SLJ has a stronger correlation with 40 times than the VJ does. In fact I have found other studies that come to the same conclussion, the SLJ is a better indicator of speed than the VJ!

    You also have to remember that at the combine, the athletes HAVE to land on their feet and cannot bounce around, compared to a track style SLJ where you land in a sand pit with LJ landing mechanics. I think that landing in a pit with LJ landing mechanics adds anywhere from 4-10 inches to a jump. I believe we would see a lot more 11 feet+ jumps at the combine if they were allowed to land this way.