Track Coach

The Problems of the Triple Jump

Lecture Notes from Leonid Shcherbakov 1983

Lecture given at the Institute of Sport and Physical Culture, Moscow, USSR.


The triple jump with an approach is an event where great horizontal speed, dynamic loads on the ground and flying phases are seen. Forces can reach 1000kg or more on the legs. The higher the level of mastery the tougher the technique. The triple jump consists of an approach and three takeoffs. Our lecturer was Leonid Shcherbakov, two-time Olympian.

Technical Aspects

The initial position – The approach is begun with the hands on the knees and a relaxed running start is begun. The length of the approach is between 30-45 meters. Top speed is achieved at the first takeoff.

The approach – There are three parts in an approach – an increase in speed, stabilization of pace and frequency with acceleration in it and the attacking phase where speeds of 10-10.5 meters/second are attained.

The jumps – The last three strides before the takeoff are most important. The last five meters is what the coach should watch. A highly desirable 40-45m time is 4.8 seconds. The time needed for the last three strides is 0.4 seconds.

On the first jump the body is bent a little backwards. The foot lands from the heel. The takeoff foot is a little ahead (one foot) of the plumbline of the body for the landing of the hop.

The angle of the plumbline is 2 feet for the step takeoff. The angle of the plumbline is 2.5 feet for the jump take-off. You lose three meters with the landing of the hop but you gain two meters with the takeoff and end up one down. Horizontal speed is lost in the support phases.

  • The length of the last three strides of the approach should all be the same.
  • The hips lead the action.
  • At the top of the hop you change the legs.
  • Arm action is the same as the running action.
  • Greatest loads are at the end of the hop.
  • The second takeoff is done in the form of a stride.

Strength Preparation (elite athletes)

  • Squats with 170kg/375 lbs.
  • ½ squats with 240kg/529 lbs.
  • Platform step-ups with 100kg/220 lbs.

Practical Applications – Teaching the Triple Jump

Task 1

Create an image of what you are going to teach by using visual aids.

Task 2

Have the athlete do the activity from a stand to see strengths and weaknesses.

Task 3

Teaching the hop technique, imitation exercises are performed in a circle first with standing jumps and then into the pit.

Task 4

Hops with a jump into the pit

Hops with landing on two feet

Different jumps on one leg

Hops from 10-35 meters

Task 5

To teach the technique of the step

Use 3-5 steps for approach into the pit

Then use high hurdle step for 100m with attention paid to amplitude and length of steps

Task 6

Attention is paid to the leg in the third takeoff

Different long jumps up to competitive speed

Steeplechase and high jumps from takeoff leg.

Task 7

Use different speeds up to competitive speed for jumps.

There are several directions the training can take:

    • Build up strength through jumps or special exercises
    • Use varying paces
    • Use varying hops
    • Use mixed variations (big hop/small step, small hop/big step).

Running with attention paid to the development of speed qualities

Develop running speed, jumping ability, running technique and power

Combine the acquired knowledge with the triple jump

Methodologies may be divided or used as a whole.

Practicum for the Triple Jump

  • Demonstrator had done 16.90m (55’5.5”)
  • 350 sessions/year
  • 30 competitions/year
  • Use long jump preparations

In standing long jump arms do not go higher than shoulders

Use swinging leg jumps from the right and left

Practice a sweeping arm action

For coordination – jump backwards, 180°/360° spins.

Drills for the Hop

  • Take three steps then hop, hop on the same leg
  • Hop and jump, attention is paid to the hop
  • Practice active landing – paw at the ground, Americans land flat-footed
  • Don’t hurry the phases of the flight
  • 5R’s to the pit or 5L’s to the pit
  • RLRLR or LRLRL to the pit
  • Amplitude of the stride is large with a powerful takeoff
  • Practice the hop and step from boxes
  • Hops and skips with weights
  • Squat steps for amplitude
  • High knee exercises for ankles (top athletes use up to 50kg for this exercise)
  • Step-up with weights
  • Platform jump-ups

Stage Controls Tests for the Long Jump

  • 40m for time – this is the length of the run-up
  • Long jump with 8-10 strides – this tests jumping ability
  • A five-step jump with a six-step approach to test jump endurance – use only with the push-off leg, 23.4-24.5m is a good distance
  • Depth jumps like the triple jump
  • 150m tests speed endurance
  • Jump reach
  • Squat with bar
  • Thrusts – clean and jerk or snatch – use only one time in a training session, the squat is the most simple.