Long Jump technique

Carl Lewis of the USA
There are four main components of the long jump: the approach run, the last two strides, takeoff and action in the air, and landing.
Speed in the approach, and a high leap off the board are the fundamentals of success. Because speed is such an important factor of the approach, it is not surprising that many long jumpers also compete successfully in sprints. A classic example of this long jump / sprint doubling were performances by Carl Lewis of the USA.
The approach
The objective is to progressively accelerate to a maximum speed for takeoff. The chief factor for maximising the distance traveled by an object is its velocity and flight angle at takeoff. Top level jumpers usually leave the ground at an angle of twenty degrees or less; therefore, it is more beneficial for a jumper to focus on the speed component of the jump. The greater the speed at takeoff, the longer the trajectory will be.
Approaches can vary between 12 and 19 strides on the novice and intermediate levels, while at the elite level they are closer to between 20 and 22 strides. The exact distance and number of strides in an approach depends on the jumper's experience, sprinting technique, and conditioning level. Control and coordination in the approach is crucial as the athlete needs to get as close to the front of the takeoff board as possible without crossing the line with any part of the foot.
The last two strides
These prepare the body for takeoff while conserving as much speed as possible.
The penultimate stride is longer than the last stride. The competitor begins to lower his or her center of gravity to prepare the body for the vertical impulse. The final stride is shorter because the body is beginning to raise the center of gravity in preparation for takeoff.
The last two strides are extremely important because they determine the velocity with which the competitor will enter the jump.
The objective of the takeoff is to create a vertical impulse through the athlete's center of gravity while maintaining balance and control.
This phase is one of the most technical parts of the long jump. Jumpers must be conscious to place the foot flat on the ground, because jumping off either the heels or the toes negatively affects the jump. Taking off from the board heel-first has a braking effect, which decreases velocity and strains the joints. Jumping off the toes decreases stability, putting the leg at risk of buckling or collapsing from underneath the jumper. While concentrating on foot placement, the athlete must also work to maintain proper body position, keeping the torso upright and moving the hips forward and up to achieve the maximum distance from board contact to foot release.
There are four main styles of takeoff: the kick style, double-arm style, sprint takeoff, and the power sprint or bounding takeoff.
The kick style takeoff is a style of takeoff where the athlete actively cycles the leg before a full impulse has been directed into the board then landing into the pit.
The double-arm style of takeoff works by moving both arms in a vertical direction as the competitor takes off. This produces a high hip height and a large vertical impulse.
The sprint takeoff is the style most widely instructed by coaching staff. This is a classic single-arm action that resembles a jumper in full stride. It is an efficient takeoff style for maintaining velocity through takeoff.
Power sprint or bounding
The power sprint or bounding takeoff is very similar to the sprint style, but there is one major difference. The arm that pushes back on takeoff (the arm on the side of the takeoff leg) fully extends backward, rather than remaining at a bent position. This additional extension increases the impulse at takeoff.
Action in the air and landing
There are three chief flight techniques for the long jump: the hang, the sail and the hitch-kick, each technique set to counterbalance the forward rotation experienced from take-off. Once the body is airborne, there is nothing that the athlete can do to change his-her direction and consequently where he-she will land in the pit. However, it can be argued that certain techniques influence an athlete's landing, which can have an impact on distance measured. For example, if athletes land feet first but fall back because they are not correctly balanced, a lower distance will be measured.
The sail technique is one of the most basic long jump techniques. After the takeoff phase is complete, the jumper immediately lifts the legs into a toe-touching position. This allows the body to sail in the air, effectively accompanying the momentum achieved by the leap.
The hang technique works by lengthening the body to make it as efficiently long as possible. Here both the arms and legs are extended to reach a maximum distance from the hips at the leaping point. This position is held until after the jumper reaches the apex of the jump, at which point the athlete will snap the legs forward into a landing position.
The hitch-kick is also known as "climbing" or "running in the air". This technique counteracts the athletes rotational velocity by cycling the arms and legs during the flight, and is also the most complex technique.
When landing, the competitor’s main objective is not to fall back in the landing pit. The jump is measured from the location in which the body contacts the sand closest to the takeoff point. For this reason many jumpers will work on keeping their feet in front of the body at a maximum distance from the hips. Upon landing, competitors will often use their arms in a sweeping motion to help keep the legs up and the body forward, and/or push their legs hard into the sand and rotate the body sideways: this slows the vertical (downward) momentum of the bottom and also rotates it to the side of the athlete, trying to ensure that the heels are the furthest back body part.