Being quick over the first five yards is crucial in most sports.
Over the past few months, you have noticed me getting stuck into all sorts of mobility projects (one of which I am currently around half way through) and where they capture the imagination of some interested in sports/athletic performance, I thought something a little more explosive and a little more difficult may be of interest.
The standing long jump is a test of explosivity in the horizontal plane which has decent carryover in predicting and improving starting speed over the first 5 yards and especially over the first step.
Depending on the literature you read, excellent standing long jump distances for men (landing on feet rather than on the backside in a sandpit) are from 2.5-2.8 metres and upwards. For women, excellent scores are around 20% less. The world records are respectively 3.73m and 2.46m. The men's record is long even compared to the excellent range.
Here you see a video of me testing my standing long jump. You can see I'm going all out - I actually ended up with muscular soreness in my lower abdomen after this session, which was 7 days ago. I managed a jump of 2.8m the set after the ones shown. Pretty respectable but can be better so I have set myself a challenge to break this distance in a month.
With jump training twice a week in addition to my strength, power and mobility training, I'm curious to see if I can make a difference to this test and subsequently, to my speed over the first few steps.
Unlike my mobility challenges where I start with lots of room for improvement, here I start off quite competent meaning returns, if I can make them in such a short time period, will be more marginal.
Do you think I can jump further in just a month? I don't know. That's half the fun.
I hope you enjoy the change of pace with the new challenge and I hope that you'll set about improving your standing long jump with me.
Arton "Gunning for 3 metres" Baleci
Float Sting - The Athletic Transformation Specialist, Manchester