Long Jump Approach.

Hey guys…
In the past i have only used a 7 step approach in the long jump. My PR is 22’0.
I realized that 7 steps for me is only 85 feet which is 25 meters. Since full speed isnt reached way beyond that point i thought that this was way too short of an approach with the speed i have and that has been the reason in college i have been stuck under 22’0. However i do understand that there is a certain point where if you take too many steps technique can be thrown off and fatigue can occur before takeoff. CORRECT?

Anyhow… yesterday i went to an open meet and took 9 steps instead of 7 which is approx 32 meters. Since i have never practiced with these steps my steps were way off which casue me to stutter step and obviously lose alot during takeoff. BUT… i still managed to jump 6.64 which is 21’9.5 which is an indoor PR. for me. ince i stutter step i can almost guarentee i have another foot and a half in me. Now i am assuming i jumped this distance becasue of the extra 2 steps which allowed me to pick up more speed even though i stutter stepped.

I would like to hear members thoughts on this. Also how do you determine what is the ideal amount of steps to take in an approach? I am a 6.5-6.6 FAT 55 sprinter if that is of any importance.

Also another note for those that care. lol.
i also opened up in 22.75 for my first 200 of the year yesterday.


 How do you count your steps???

I have yet to see a sprinter who can cover 32 meters with 9 steps! This would equate to 3.55m per step!

My run up is about 33m and it takes me 16 steps to get to the board.

A long jump run up should be a controlled acceleration, and the idea is not to reach your absolute top speed but a high speed at which you still have full control and that thus allows you a proper takeoff.

You might therefore benefit from a slightly longer run up, so you have more time to gradually build up to this speed.


hahaah. i am 7’5 thats how i take so little steps. Just playing i meant 9 rights which yes is 18 steps. Sorry for not clarifying.

Considering your speed I would say that 18 steps for 32 meters is too much unless you are extremely short. This indicates that you are accelerating into your run up like you do out of the blocks in a sprint with high stride frequency and short stride length. I would suggest to take the opposite approach with slower and longer strides in the beginning and a steady and controlled increase in frequency and thus speed towards the board.


Number of steps is a relative matter. If you start slowly and build, more steps would be necessary than if you start more quickly and reach your optimum speed earlier. I’ve known some jumpers use 22-23 steps if they begin very slowly. Others as few as 16 if they start quickly. If you go longer and slower, I’d suggest a check mark early on to help with hitting the take-off board properly.