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Paleo Fitness Beginner Power Move: The Broad Jump

The broad jump is an outward jump, or a distance jump (think jumping across a stream); it’s not a vertical leap. Jumping is a necessary endeavor in almost all sports and other recreational activities, so it’s important to know how to jump properly. Jumping is a tremendous tool for developing explosive lower body power and improving the rate of force production.

Here are the steps to the broad jump:

1

Assume a shoulder-width stance; initiate the jump by hinging at your hips, just like you would a kettlebell swing, and throwing your arms back behind you.

The movement that most closely mimics the broad jump is the kettlebell swing because you direct the force outward. In fact, you can think of your kettlebell swing almost like a broad jump where you don’t leave the ground.

2

Explode forward (don’t forget to swing your arms!) and spring off the balls of your feet; let the sway of your arms guide the movement.

Be sure to synchronize your arm swing with your hip hinge. You’ll have to experiment a little with the amount of torso lean in your jump to find that “just right” position.

3

When you land, make contact first with the balls of your feet (your feet should land slightly apart) and roll gently back onto your heels and into a partial position to disperse the impact.

Whatever you do, don’t lock your knees because they act as natural shock absorbers.

If anything feels wrong with the broad jump, stop immediately. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that you’re doing something wrong.

If, for any reason, you have issues with jumping — whether it be knee-, back-, or hip-related — don’t jump! And if you have prominent movement restrictions or dysfunction, especially with your squatting or hinging, then jumping probably isn’t the best option for you. Stick with the lower impact variations until your movement quality improves.

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