When you look at most track athletes what do you see? The sprinters are shredded to the bone and have a respectable amount of muscle. Same goes for the throwers and the jumpers. The repeated bouts of jumping and sprinting have caused the fast-twitch muscle fibers to adapt and grow. That’s because jumping is an essential human movement. It helps improve performance, explosive power, builds muscle and reduces the risk of injury.
Jumping for distance will not only ignite your fast-twitch muscle fibers and prime your central nervous system for explosive movement but it will train your muscles and CNS to fire better when you’re under the barbell at the squat rack, too.
To do it right, stand behind a mark on the ground with your feet slightly apart in an athletic stance. Use a two-foot take off, swinging the arms back and bending the knees to provide a forward drive. Make sure to hinge forward with good posture to activate the posterior chain (hamstrings and glutes) as well as the quadriceps. To get the most out of this exercise, make sure to explode into triple extension at the ankles, knees, and hips, with an aggressive forward arm swing. At the end of the jump quickly flex the hips, knees, and ankle joints while trying to land as softly as possible in a balanced and athletic position.
Perform 2-4 sets of 2-4 reps of broad jumps before any workout.