Vertical jump vs broad jump is not an easy query to answer as both have their respective significance in athletics.
While vertical jump to broad jump comparison is often a questionable topic for sportsperson, both these exercise forms are relevant to their respective sports.
Both these exercise forms are performed by sportsperson to improve their playing abilities. Nonetheless, broad jump is synonymous to track and field. As far as vertical jumps are concerned then, they cover varied sports (such as basketball, volleyball, running, tennis, badminton and many more).
In this article, I shall discuss what a broad jump stands for. I shall also throw light on vertical jump. The major differences between both these exercise forms shall also be discussed.
FYI: Broad jump is now termed as long jump. This change in terminology came into effect in the year 1969.
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Vertical Jump vs Broad Jump Article Contents:
1) What is Broad Jump or Long Jump?
2) How is Broad Jump Performed?
3) What is Vertical Jump?
4) How is Vertical Jump Performed?
5) What Muscle Groups does Broad Jump Target?
6) What Muscle Groups does Vertical Jump Target?
7) Which Sports get the Most Benefits from Vertical Jump?
8) Which Sports get the Maximum Benefit from Broad or Long Jumps?
9) Vertical Jump vs Broad Jump – Conclusive Analysis
What is Broad Jump or Long Jump?
Known by the name of broad jump and then changed to long jump, this is a track and field event. This event involves the concerned athlete taking off from a standing line after a short run-up and landing onto the feet.
The distance thus traveled in the air is termed as the long jump. It is also popularly known as a horizontal jump. In the year 1896, this event was included in the Olympic Games for men. In the year 1948, women were also encouraged to participate in this event (Olympic Games).
The Greeks were known to have introduced broad jump in their games. So, this event has been in track and field since the very inception of the Olympic Games in ancient Greece.
Nowadays, broad jumps are performed with the athlete standing at one point (static) and then jumping forward. It is not a recognized athletic event, yet, some sportsmen follow this to improve their game.
How is Broad Jump Performed?
Broad jump or long jump is similar to each other. It is the name change that is an eyesore to some. We have already discussed the same in the above paragraphs.
Under this sub-header, we shall discuss how a broad jump is actually performed. So, the long or broad jump (as is officially recognized in the sporting league) is typically a 4-step process.
Let me walk you through each of these steps in brief:
The first step towards achieving a broad jump is to gather a run-up. Over here, you are approaching the jumping board with full speed. The ideal steps or strides that you need for achieving the desired velocity are in between 17 to 25.
The idea here is to cover as much ground as possible in the air before touch-down. So, the faster you stride and the closer your take-off is from the jump-board, the further your body shall travel.
Moreover, you also need to achieve an 18 degree to 20 degree angle while taking off. This angle is an ideal perquisite to allow your jump to enjoy the maximum length.
Step # 2:
In the next stage of broad jump, you need to concentrate on the 2-lengthy steps that are mandatory before take-off. The first of the two steps is quite long while the second one is short and calculated.
The first step allows your body to prepare for the long glide. Hence, the center of gravity is maintained by the athlete at an all-time low. Thereafter, the second step is short as the center of gravity is raised ever so sharply.
Step # 3:
The third stage in a broad jump is the take-off stage. Over here, the athlete is all set to loft his/her body in the air to achieve the longest possible distance traveled in the air.
Over here, the foot placement before the starting board is important. The foot should be planted firmly onto the ground before take-off. When you do so, you shall jump the longest (as per your personal ability).
If the heel hits the ground before the loft then, the total distance traveled shall be reduced dramatically. If you launch your body via the ball of your foot then, you may fall flat onto the ground (as your body tends to lose its balance).
Step # 4:
In this step, you need to maintain a forward airborne motion of your body. Do not land onto your heels and then sit back on the ground during landing. If that happens then, your jump length shall be vastly diminished.
To get the maximum benefit, you need to sail (your body) forward and then hitch-kick while landing. This in turn shall enable you to get the maximum length to your long/broad jump.
The Good Old Broad Jump:
The most common way to perform broad jump is to stand just behind the start line. Without moving your arms (or by moving them – counter-movement), jump in the air by bending your knees ever so slightly.
The jump should be in a lengthwise manner and not high in the air. The aim here is to cover maximum distance before landing on the ground. There is no run-up taken by the athlete.
PS: This is not officially recognized as a sporting event. Broad jump has been transformed into long jump (as I have mentioned above).
What is Vertical Jump?
When you talk of vertical jump then, it is a leap in the air from either a static or a counter movement position. The idea here is to jump high in the air. You bend your knees ever so slightly in order to propel your body high in the air.
The explosiveness of your lower body is ideally measured via the means of this jump form. As there is no run-up involved in this exercise form, you can be rest assured that no special equipment is needed to get the job done.
You stand next to a wall and paste some chalk onto your fingertips. Use the fingertips of your dominant arm for the same. While jumping up, raise your dominant arm to touch the wall at your highest reach.
To measure your standing reach, stand next to the wall and reach out high in the air. Make a mark with your fingertips (of the dominant arm). Subtract your highest reach with your standing reach to calculate your vertical jump. Vertical jumps are a boon for your overall physical fitness.
How is Vertical Jump Performed?
There is more than a single way to perform and measure a vertical jump. Ideally, there are two types of vertical jumps – the Sargent Jump and the Counter Movement vertical jump. There is a third version as well – it is termed as a Run-up Vertical Jump.
Let me walk you through each of these in brief:
The Traditional Vertical Jump:
@ Also known as the Sargent Jump, this is the primary method of measuring vertical jump.
@ You need a piece of chalk, sports shoes, sport wear, a wall and an inch-tape.
@ First measure your standing reach. For this, smear the fingertips of your dominant arm with chalk. Then, extend your arm overhead to touch the wall at the highest point.
@ Measure this distance using an inch-tape. This is also your standing reach.
@ Now, place your knees shoulder width apart and crouch low in a springing posture. Jump up and raise your dominant arm to touch the wall with your fingertips.
@ Assuming they are marked with chalk, the highest point of contact is your vertical leap.
@ Subtract your vertical leap with your standing reach. The difference is your vertical jump.
The Counter-Movement Vertical Jump:
@ The process remains the same as is in the case of the Sargent Jump. So, you first measure your vertical reach by extending your dominant arm against the wall.
@ Now, you need to measure your vertical jump. Place chalk on your dominant arm. Crouch low bending your knee slightly and jump high in the air.
@ The only variation is when you lift your body off the ground. In this method, you swing your arms (both the left and the right arm) as a propeller.
@ The height that you achieve is definitely more than what you can achieve via a Sargent Jump. Mark the highest point with your dominant arm (on the wall).
@ Take the measurement and subtract your maximum reach with the standing reach. The end result is your counter-movement vertical jump height.
Running Vertical Jump:
@ The process is once again the same. The only difference is the added run-up.
@ Place some chalk onto the fingertips of your dominant arm. Raise your arm and mark your standing reach. Measure the same via an inch-tape.
@ Thereafter, take a short run-up towards the wall. When you are just a few inches away from the wall, jump high in the air.
@ Raise your dominant arm as your body rises high in the air. Placing chalk on your fingertips, mark at the highest point at the wall.
@ Here, you use your run and vigorous hand movement for achieving the vertical jump.
@ The final result is calculated by subtracting your highest jump height from the standing reach.
What Muscle Groups does Broad Jump Target?
When you talk of broad jumps then, your entire body is worked upon. The major muscles of the lower body are engaged the most. A few muscle groups of the upper body too are engaged (although not so much).
Here are the muscles that are engaged the most when you perform a broad jump:
The Quadriceps Femoris:
As you take a run up before the jump, the quadriceps muscles are engaged the most in a broad jump. Popularly known as the front thigh muscles, the quads help you jump and run as they connect your knee to the hip joint.
They are a dense muscle group that comprise of Rectus femoris, Vastus femoris, Vastus lateralis, Vastus intermedius and Vastus intermedius Tensor. They are the thickest muscle group in the entire body.
The muscles at the back of the thigh region are termed as the hamstrings. When you walk, jump or perform any climb related movement then, these skeletal muscles are put to play.
The hamstrings allow you to bend the knee, rotate the hip and even extend the hip joint. So, when you take a jump, the hamstrings are in play.
Biceps femoris, Semitendinosus and Semimembranosus are the three major muscles that make-up the hamstrings. These muscle fibers are small and they tend to contract and expand as per your command.
Muscles of the Calf:
The third major muscle group to be worked upon when you perform broad jumps is the calf. The flex action of the foot is governed by the calf muscle. In fact, running and jumping too are governed by your calf muscles.
When you jump in the air, the calf helps flex your toes. The upward thrust to your body is provided by the calves. Soleus as well as the Gastrocnemius muscles of the calves are activated the most when you perform broad jumps.
The Hip Flexor Muscles:
When you perform a broad jump, you extend your feet forward and then tuck your knees close to the chest during the landing phase. This is when your hip flexors are in motion.
The muscles involved here include psoas, Sartorius, iliacus, rectus femoris and pectineus. Knee extension and hip flexion is performed via these five muscles of the hip area.
What Muscle Groups does Vertical Jump Target?
The muscles that vertical jump target are quite similar to the muscles targeted by long jump or broad jump. As it is an activity that helps you explore your body’s explosive potential, muscles of the lower body are primarily involved here.
When you jump high in the air, the explosive power is generated via your front thigh area. So, your quads are at work when you jump high.
The major muscles that are involved include Rectus femoris, Vastus Intermedius, Vastus lateralis and (both right & left) Vastus medialis. They are activated when you spring upwards.
Another muscle group that tends to get activated when you jump vertically in the air is your glutes. The muscles include Glutes maximus, Glutes medius and Glutes minimus.
These muscles are supported in their movement by the Iliotibal tract, Gluteal tuberocity, Ilium, sacrum and femur. The combined effect of the upward thrust of the human body is undertaken by these muscles.
The spring action that is delivered via the upward propelling motion of the human body is delivered by the hamstrings. These are skeletal muscles that are located at the rear end of the thigh.
Biceps femoris, semimembranosus and semitendinosus are the three muscles that are involved in this action. Leg extension and bending the knee during take-off (vertical jump) is controlled by the hamstring muscles.
Planter Flexion by the Calf Muscles:
This is the last and final muscle group that is fired-up when you take a vertical leap. The foot placement at the time of the leap compels your toes to dig into the ground. This allows your body to sail upwards in an explosive manner.
The muscles of the calf play a major role in delivering the energy to your thigh and calves for the upward propulsion. So, the involvement of both the soleus as well as the gastrocnemius is prominent here.
Which Sports get the Most Benefit from Vertical Jump?
There are several sporting events that can benefit from vertical jumps. Let me walk you through a few of these in brief:
It is a universal fact that almost each and every serious (I’m not hinting at competitive) basketball player swears by vertical jumps. Dunking a ball, dodging a player and blocking a pass – all of these require a player to be able to jump high in the air.
Another sporting event that is quite similar to basketball is volleyball. This also requires the player to move in an explosive manner. Vertical jumps tend to extract the explosive element in the human body. So, volleyball players would benefit greatly from vertical jumps.
NFL & Rugby:
The last and final sport that would benefit the most from vertical jumps is NFL. Well, football in America is different from soccer. It requires explosive power from the athlete to be able to play the sport well. The same rule applies to rugby as well.
Which Sports get the Maximum Benefit from Broad or Long Jumps?
Static broad jump has no place in official sporting records. It is superseded by long jump or triple jump. Nonetheless, static broad jumps are practiced even today by athletes to excel in sports.
Here are the following sports that you can excel in if you perform broad jumps regularly:
Track & Field:
Static jumps can really help you excel in long jump or triple jump. In fact, the explosive power that is generated via broad jumps tends to assist track and field athletes majoring in sprint races (100m or 200m). Your high jump would also increase.
Tennis and Squash:
The lengthening of strides is quite evident when you play squash or tennis. So, when you perform broad jumps, you tend to improve your performance in both tennis and squash.
Soccer & Hockey:
When you play sports such as soccer or hockey (field) then, you need to be quick and explosive on your feet. Broad jumps are an ideal means of helping you achieve this aim.
Vertical Jump vs Broad Jump – Conclusive Analysis
When the question arises which of the two exercise forms to choose from then, the answer is – both. Basically, both broad jump as well as vertical jump tends to help an athlete develop explosive strength.
So, if you really want to do well in any sporting event then, you should include both broad jumps as well as vertical jumps in your workout regime.
While specific sports prefer either of the two (such as vertical jumps for basketball & broad jumps for a 100m dash) both these exercises have immense benefits for the concerned athlete.
Hence, it is in your best interest to include both these in your workout plan!