How to Gauge Your Leg Strength
Many sport leagues, including the National Football League, use the standing broad jump to measure the athleticism of its athletes. At the annual NFL scouting combine, for instance, it is used as a test of sorts to measure the strength of a player’s legs. It can be postulated from the length of an athlete’s standing broad jump how strong they are.
There are many reasons to perform and perfect your standing broad jump. One is, of course, to achieve your best jump possible at competitions and tests (like the NFL skills combine). Another reason to practice the standing broad jump is because the exercise actually improves your legs in and of itself. The more that you practice it the stronger your legs will become. Gauging your improvements at the exercise is also a great way to track how successfully your current workout programs are.
Below are a few tips on standing broad jump training. Use these to improve the distance of your jump and the strength in your legs. You will become a better overall football player by doing so.
Practice the Standing Broad Jump
As with any other specific exercise, the best way to improve your standing broad jump is by practicing it.
Focus on technique while practicing your standing broad jump. Perfect practice makes perfect. The more you focus on great technique over distance, at least initially, the better your jumps will be in the future.
Take each phase of jumping into account during practice. These are countermovement, propulsion, flight, and landing. Each phase has a slightly different technique that can only be learned through dedicated practice. The most important phase to perfect? The countermovement or initial downward phase. Dip down, lean forward, swing your arms and use this momentum to transition into the propulsion phase.
Use Other Exercises
Performing other exercises on a regular basis can help you build up the muscles that are used in the standing broad jump. A few of the best exercises to improve your training include:
- Dumbbell Jump Shrug – Stand and hold a pair of dumbbells in front of your thighs with an overhand grip. Bend slightly and shift your weight slightly forward. Keep your back and arms straight while you thrust your hips forward. Shrug your shoulders and jump upwards at the same time
- Front Squat – Stand and hold a barbell across the front of your shoulders. Hold it with elbows forward and upper arms parallel with the floor. Push your hips back to begin the move and then lower your body towards the floor. Stop when your thighs are parallel with the floor before quickly pushing back up to the standing position.
- Counter-Movement Jump – Start in the athletic position (the same as standing broad jump) with feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent. Bend your hips and knees to dip your body downwards. Swing your arms back simultaneously before swinging them back up as you straighten your body and jump. Reach for a mark alongside a wall, landing with your knees slightly bent.
- Dumbbell Jump Squat – Stand and hold a pair of dumbbells (a reasonably light weight) by your sides. Lower your body until your thighs are parallel with the ground. Bend forward at the hips so your shoulders are slightly in front of your feet. Push off with your feet, exploding upwards in a jump. Try to jump as high as you can. Sink smoothly into a landing with your knees and squat again immediately. Repeat.
Standing Broad Jump Training
The standing broad jump is an excellent exercise to practice on a regular basis. It is a great move to strengthen your lower body or test and track your leg strength. If you are at a high level of football, it can also be a skill that is tested to gauge your athleticism. Whatever your reason for standing broad jump training, the tips and exercises above will ensure that yours is as long as possible.
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