Updated: Nov 23
Starting on a journey into triple jumping is an exciting yet intricate process. As a new triple jumper, there is little to no information about how to jump and get better besides going to the gym and weight lifting.
I can remember starting triple jump and getting little to no advice about this mysterious event. Then I started learning more, (AFTER COLLEGE... seriously that feels late), and I finally started seeing personal bests and progress. So let's go through 9 mistakes you can take care of for this upcoming season to see results.
Triple Jump Mistake 1 To Avoid. Being "Toe-y":
The Mistake: Landing too much on your toes, or front of your foot can cause a braking effect during your jump and is an easy way to injure your ankles.
The Solution: Focus on landing flat or slightly heel first on your foot. This not only reduces strain on your ankles but also helps you transition smoothly into the next phase of the jump.
Triple Jump Mistake 2. Not Pushing Through:
The Mistake: Forgetting to push up through your toes and squeezing your glute after making contact with the ground can limit your forward momentum.
The Solution: Train yourself to first land flat but then finish by pushing through your toes during each contact and take off after the board. This action keeps your speed and momentum as you propel through your jump.
Triple Jump Mistake 3. Forgetting About Arm & Shoulder Flexibility:
The Mistake: Neglecting shoulder and arm flexibility hinders your ability to use your arms effectively during the jump. Of course strength is important but you want enough flexibility in your shoulders and arms to be able to lift you off the ground.
The Solution: Incorporate shoulder and arm stretches into your warm-up routine. Adding isometric holds in the gym with your arms back can also help strength and flexibility at the same time. This improves movement, allowing you to utilize your arms to their full potential.
Triple Jump Mistake 4. Mistaking Tight & Weak Muscles:
The Mistake: Overlooking and excusing range of motion because a muscle is "tight" sometimes means that they muscle is actually weak. In triple jump you want to be strong, stable, fast and elastic. Lack of flexibility and strength can lead to challenges getting in and out of positions, even including missing distance on your landing.
The Solution: Test your range of motion and strength. See how one side of your body perofrms compared to the other side. Then, integrate stretches that target tight feeling muscles on your body. For triple jump there is a big emphasis on ankle mobility, hip mobility, hamstring length and strength, back flexibility and shoulder flexibility. Improved elasticity enhances your landing technique and helps prevent injuries.
Triple Jump Mistake 5. Technique Neglect with Strength Gains:
The Mistake: Assuming that getting stronger and faster means you can neglect your jumping technique.
The Solution: Avoid this triple jump mistake by continuously working on your technique, even as you become stronger and faster. Strengthening alone won't guarantee success; it must go hand in hand with impeccable technique.
Triple Jump Mistake 6. Worn-Out Training Shoes:
The Mistake: Using worn-out training shoes can compromise your performance and increase the risk of injuries.
The Solution: Invest in a new pair of training shoes regularly. This might sounds crazy, but when jumping a lot you might need to get a new pair of trainers every 3-6 months if you train year round. At least a new pair of spikes each year. Fresh shoes provide better support, helping you maintain optimal form and prevent unnecessary strain.
Triple Jump Mistake 7. Triple Jumping in Sprint Spikes:
The Mistake: Trying to triple jump in sprint spikes lacking proper padding can lead to discomfort and reduced shock absorption.
The Solution: Use dedicated triple jump shoes that offer adequate cushioning and support. These shoes are designed to handle the unique demands of triple jumping.
Triple Jump Mistake 8. Not Lifting Specifically for Triple Jump:
The Mistake: Neglecting specific weightlifting exercises tailored for triple jump can hinder your overall performance.
The Solution: Include lifts that utilize single leg. In sprinting and jumping, you are only ever on one leg, so why strength train only on two? Use the gym to supplement your event.
Triple Jump Mistake 9. Always Fouling:
The Mistake: Not addressing fouling issues in practice and assuming it won't happen in competition.
The Solution: If you always train with cones during practice, it can help to start putting down tape boards to practice consistently hitting and working through the board. Work diligently during practice to refine your approach and takeoff to reduce fouling. Consistent practice will build confidence for fouling-free performances in competitions.
Did any of these mistakes sound familiar or completely new? Let's be real. Triple jump is hard. It's technical, challenging but it is fun when you start to understand your body and how you can move farther and faster through the air. By steering clear of these specific mistakes, you're setting yourself up for success in the challenging world of triple jumping. Remember, every step you take brings you closer to reaching new heights in your triple jump journey. So lace up those triple jump shoes, focus on what you can control, and get ready to soar to success!