Components of Fitness for Long Jump

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A long jumper has a high mesomorph score as they have quite a muscular body, strong thighs, core strength and little body fat. As a long jumper it is ideal to have fast twitch muscle fibres as you need to have a fast run up. The reason for this is the speed which you perform on the run way will convert into the distance in the pit. In addition speed comes into the actual jump as the time it takes from you lead leg taking off from the board to it reaching a ninety degree angle in the air needs to be quick yet controlled. This can be improved my continuous practice of the movement.

Flexibility is required to do this to the best of your ability. A good warm up is included in having good suppleness as your muscles need to be stretched fully to ensure that no injuries are attained, as this will hinder your long jump career. Some long jumpers rely on pure technique as they have slow twitch muscle fibres and it is hard to train them and convert them into fast twitch muscles. * Strength in long jump is vital as on take of you need to gain the maximum controlled height possible to exchange this into distance.

Strong quadriceps’s are key as they are what will produce the height. Putting all the different elements of a jump together can be extremely difficult and to perform a sound jump is very demanding. There are three main stages in long jump, the run up, take off and landing, without these being perfect then your jump may be slouched or imbalanced. Being co-ordinated you need to be able to move more than one body part at the same time. This is required in almost every stage of the jump.

Firstly on the run up you need to co-ordinate between your legs and arms to perfect the technique which then has to be converted into the take of where the lead led has to reach a ninety degree angle whilst the arms are creating height. Those are just two examples of where co-ordination is needed in long jump. Also to be successful you need to have good balance. This can be practiced by standing in front of a mirror or closing your eyes whilst standing on one leg. Balance is important because if you aren’t balanced throughout the jump then it may hinder your distance as it could cause you to cut your jump short.

The reason for this is if you are leaning forward then it encourages forward rotation at the hips meaning you land with your legs further back than necessary. Another thing is that if you are tilted above the hips to either the left or right it could encouragement over movement which will add to the stress and strain of the jump and can cause injuries. Training Endurance is probably mislead in long jump as many people will think that it is not important however if you think about it then you will realise that without hard training you wont be able to compete as well.

Muscular endurance will ensure that the specific muscles, in a long jumper’s case quads, will be able to sustain repetitive contractions over a period of time, there is a rich blood supply that helps to prolong the onset of fatigue and build up of lactic acid. Although this isn’t extremely important in competition you need to ensure that when warming up and doing both dynamic and static stretches so that your muscles don’t get tired by the time it is your turn to jump.

To ensure that your muscles can perform to the best of their ability you need to train them to make them strong and powerful for take off and sprinting. Besides muscular endurance, cardio vascular endurance whilst training is essential as it all goes together to produce the perfect long jumper. Cardio vascular endurance isn’t the most important component of fitness however without it you would find yourself becoming tired when warming up, also to become a faster athlete you need to put 100% effort in training and without it fatigue will be evident and you wont be able to train to the best you can.

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