Broad jump workouts are a great plyometric exercise that advances your CrossFit or calisthenics game and provides an effective cardiovascular movement for your general fitness. This simple exercise works multiple muscles simultaneously, specifically the muscle groups in your kinetic chain. So if you’re aiming for a full-body workout, broad jumps deserve a spot in your training session.
In essence, the broad jump exercise can help you achieve maximal power, speed, strength, acceleration, and coordination between your lower and upper extremities. For this reason, broad jumps are ideal for intermediate lifters and fitness enthusiasts who want to power up on strength and athleticism.
This Ultimate Guide Will Cover:
- How To Broad Jump
- Broad Jump Benefits
- Common Broad Jump Mistakes To Avoid
- Broad Jump Muscles Worked
- Broad Jump vs Long Jump
- Our Trainer’s Suggested Reps, Sets, & Programs
- Broad Jump Variations
- Broad Jump Alternative Exercises
- FAQs About Broad Jump
How To Broad Jump
What You’ll Need:
- Bodyweight: The broad jump exercise is ideally performed with bodyweight only. No equipment is needed. For the flooring, choose a skid-proof surface where you can land safely and accurately.
Step 1: Find Your Stance
Stand on the ground with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your head and neck in a neutral position with your chin tucked. Distribute your whole weight across your toes and heels. Keep your arms on the side during the starting standing position.
Step 2: Prepare To Jump
To prepare for the jump, swing your arms backward to gain power and momentum. Engage your core as you bend your hips. This will allow you to increase your jump distance during the forward momentum while making a safe landing.
To execute jumping forward flawlessly, press the balls of your feet off the ground and jump forward. This effectively activates your higher threshold motor units for jumping prowess.
Step 3: Make The Jump
As you take off, aim for a quarter squat and hinge your hips then swing your arms back into position. As you jump, extend your arms diagonally and stretch them out as far as you can. Doing so will help you swing with more momentum and get the most out of your broad jump.
Step 4: Land Safely and Accurately
Once you’re mid-air, push your feet forward, bend your knees, and push your hips forward. This time, extend and swing your arms forward for balance. Position your body to a frog squat as your feet land on the ground.
When you bend your knees, it will allow your legs, not just the heels, to absorb the shock of the jump safely without putting pain on your knee joints or ankles.
3 Broad Jump Benefits
1. Technique Cross-Over To Other Exercises
The broad jump is a highly functional and natural movement that you can combine with other exercises. Considering its movements from the time you jump to the time you land, the broad jump makes a great finisher for full-body or lower body training.
By and large, this improves the reaction of the fast-twitch muscles fibers in the body, allowing you to move instinctively on a whim.
2. Improves Neural Output (Nerves)
Broad jumps are especially applicable to lower body exercises like Squats and Deadlifts. It’s noteworthy to remember that higher neural output provides more efficiency and effectiveness in strength training. This also impacts other vertically oriented jumps and improves hip extension for related exercises.
3. Improves Overall Body Conditioning
Better mobility equates to more strength and muscle growth. Performing broad jumps not only improves your flexibility, agility, strength, and overall sports performance but adds muscle mass to your lower extremities while burning fats efficiently. In the end, you can have more energy for everyday activities.
Common Broad Jump Mistakes to Avoid
Looking Down Before The Takeoff
This common mistake often happens when the individual is too conscious of the take-off or prematurely focused on a safe landing. Keep in mind that the body follows where the eyes go.
So if you’re always looking down, this will result in a shorter jump and will prompt you to only focus on what’s right in front of you instead of what’s further ahead. Looking ahead and focusing beyond your anticipated pit will effectively correct this mistake.
Poor Use of Arms
Swinging the arms in a timid fashion with a short range of motion ultimately results in a less powerful stance, jump, and landing. To fix your position, you want to really extend your arms as if you’re swinging from a trapeze. This will naturally lengthen your torso, utilize your arms, build more power on your hips, and execute the jump with more gusto.
Landing with Straight Legs
Landing with your legs straightened out is a great way for your feet and ankles to absorb all the shock from the jump – and this is not entirely a good or comfortable practice. Doing this can also put you off and push you backward. Instead, aim to land in a low squat form or frog position where you bend your knees to allow your full legs to absorb the shock.
Broad Jump Muscles Worked
Broad jumps activate the following muscles during the movement:
- Hip flexors
- Erector spinae
The broad jump is a full-body movement that recruits your upper and lower body at the same time. From the starting position, your hip flexors, glutes, and core are already activated. As you jump, your body recruits your quadriceps, knees, and hamstrings as the primary muscles engaged.
Your shoulders are also involved to some extent as you bend your knees and build power through your arms. Throughout the whole movement, the erector spinae plays a major role in power, strength, and coordination.
Broad Jump vs Long Jump
Broad jumps are utilized for strength, power, and agility. They target the quads, glutes, calves, hips, and hamstrings as the primary muscles involved. The starting position is standing on the ground, where all power and momentum are attained from the legs and arms. You can easily incorporate broad jumps into your workout training as a finisher and casually perform on any non-skid surface or ground.
When it comes to long jumps, it’s all about speed, strength, and agility. This has a three-part course which entails the runway, the take-off board, and the sandpit. With an additional 40m runway for the sprint, the athlete can propel a farther jump while landing safely on the sandpit. In the Olympics, athletes are given six attempts to achieve their best record.
Our Trainer’s Suggested Reps, Sets, and Programs
For General Fitness
Broad jump workouts are convenient and are ideally performed in low volume. Since your whole leg muscles are incorporated into this movement, a couple of jumps would suffice to strongly finish off your regular program. For functional purposes, aim for 3 to 5 reps for 3 to 10 sets.
For Muscle Endurance
Performing broad jumps repeatedly and consistently can help you achieve muscle endurance over time. If you’re serious about getting stronger legs, knees, and hips, perform broad jumps for more or less 12 reps for 3 to 4 sets.
Broad Jump Variations
The following variations below can be conveniently done either in a commercial gym or in the comfort of your home. Every exercise featured helps improve explosiveness, which you can use to your advantage for better lifting or sports performance.
Seated Broad Jump
This broad jump variation increases strength and power in your legs and hips. It requires the same placement of the feet shoulder-width apart, yet it’s more challenging than a standing broad jump. So when done successfully, this tones lower muscles, including the calves, glutes, and core. It recruits the upper body as well and improves coordination overall.
Burpee Broad Jump
This broad jump variation exercise combines upper body strength with lower body agility. This recruits the following muscles: deltoids, trapezius, forearms, lower back, and latissimus dorsi. Overall, this exercise requires power and strength as an effective plyometric and calisthenics movement.
Single-Leg Broad Jump
Similar to the Burpee Broad Jump, the Single-Leg Broad Jump requires a high level of explosive power and strength using one leg at a time. When done properly, this exercise improves stabilization by recruiting stabilizer muscles and activating the core more. Performing with one leg improves unilateral training, in general, to help you focus on the right muscles.
Broad Jump Alternatives
Broad jump workouts require space and excellent flooring. With either one out of the equation, it can be challenging to perform broad jumps properly. To remedy this, you can turn to other exercises that recruit similar muscles one way or another and can help you improve on jumping movements.
A jump squat has the same finishing and starting position as broad jumps. They also have the feet shoulder-width apart. This exercise is known to boost aerobic and cardio fitness – an excellent alternative to a broad jump if you have a smaller space but want to do some explosive action. This also improves mobility, strength, and sports performance.
Something more challenging than Jump Squats is definitely the Box Jumps. This recruits the whole lower extremities, giving it more power and strength, not to mention better leg muscle definition. It also makes you springier and effectively raises your heart rate for some cardiovascular goodness. This requires you to jump forward but on a higher platform.
Standard back squats seem simple enough, but don’t underestimate its benefits. When executed consistently, they strengthen tendons, bones, and ligaments. They improve muscle mass if you’re partially concerned with aesthetics. They also recruit a high amount of energy, especially when done with heavyweights, so expect strong quads after such time.
Lunges are one of the fundamental exercises you can perform on the ground in lieu of other exercises. This is not only a flexible movement you can do just about anywhere, but it also targets multiple muscles for your own benefit. Lunges are great for strengthening and toning. This achieves a greater range of motion by working on your hips, quads, and calves.
Full Squat Countermovement
This alternative exercise is one of the simplest jumping exercises you could perform to assess your jumping skills. It may not propel a jump forward, but this recruits lower muscle groups and heavily relies on your quad power as your feet land on the ground. Up in the air, it uses your arms to propel movement and jump as high as possible. Expect to be partially fatigued with every subsequent rep.