Improving my hop was probably the best thing that improved my triple jumping distance when I was in my teens. In the beginning, the local coaches taught us that we had to “hop, skip and jump”. Hopping usually meant doing a hop with a straight leg. The thought of having your leg continue in a natural motion for your body’s mechanics doesn’t usually cross anybody’s mind. But if you look at the top triple jumpers, you will see that they all incorporate the hitch kick into their triple jump technique.
How powerful is the rotating hop?
To give you an idea, here is what I was able to accomplish as a youth.
- 14 years old – 12.65m – No rotating hop.
- 15 years old – 13.65m – Rotating hop.
- 16 years old – 14.07m – Rotating hop.
There are a few other factors to consider, such as muscle development and speed. However, I can honestly say that the incorporation of the rotating hop allowed me to extend the distance of my hop and also carry through the velocity through to the next phase of the triple jump.
What happens when you don’t use the rotating hop?
Your velocity slows down.
It is very difficult to accelerate through the phases of the triple jump if you are jumping with a stiff leg. It is similar to running a race with straight legs vs leg movements in a circular motion.
You’re forced to jump upwards instead of horizontally.
This is important. In triple jump, you need to jump horizontally to maximise your distance. By jumping with a straight leg, you have to jump up to make sure that your foot doesn’t scrape the ground.
How can you improve your triple jump technique with a rotating hop?
It does require practice. There are a few fundamental things that you should aim to achieve when doing a rotating hop.
- Keep your toes up.
This will allow you to perform the movement better.
- Aim to bring your heel underneath your glute.
This will allow you to maximise the horizontal distance.
- Accelerate out of the phase.
You will need your muscles to build strength so that you can control the movement.
Remember, the hop is the most important phase of the triple jump.
If you want to maximise your distance in the triple jump, you must be able to execute a flawless hop so that you can transition to the other phases of the triple jump. The rotating hop will allow you to do this.
Below is a video that you can use to practice the rotating hop to improve your triple jump distance.
You can also check out this post which has triple jump hopping drills that you can practice.
Want to get faster and more powerful so you can improve your triple jump performance?
Below are items that you should purchase and incorporate into your triple jump development program so you can improve your jumping distance in the next 3 months.
One of the common injuries that triple jumpers get is a bruised heel. Once you get this, it makes it more difficult to improve your triple jump performance since you will get pain every time you land on your foot. And it will knock your confidence.
To help minimize the risk of getting a bruised heel, you can get heel protection insoles for your shoes.
Specialized triple jump shoes will give you added protection and comfort on your foot and especially around your heel. If you are doing triple jumps that require you to handle alot of force on your jumps (Typically when you start jumping over 13 metres), then you will need to invest in triple jump spikes.
Improve your triple jump training.
If you are fairly new to the triple jump, this ebook will help you with training insights to get you to the intermediate level quickly. You will definitely improve by at least 30 cm, however you should see yourself improve by 1-2m over the next 12 months.
If you are intermediate or advanced in triple jump, then you will want the knowledge and guidance from elite-level triple jumpers and coaches.
Buy the series from World Class Triple Jump series to take your triple jump performances to the elite level.
Learn about the mentality from triple jump world record holder Jonathan Edwards in his book “A time to jump.”
Get a free “Triple jump cheat sheet” to beat your personal best in the triple jump!
Sign up to learn more about the exercises, drills, and techniques that will help you win in the triple jump!