DAN BRAMBLE’S LONG JUMP TRAINING AND TECHNIQUE
AW: What are your particular strengths as a long jumper and what do you think you need to do some more work on?
DB: My strengths have always been my explosiveness off the board and with plyometrics. The thing I’ve constantly had to work on is runup speed/structure. It’s more so in the last couple of seasons that this has come together and I’ve started jumping more consistently over the eight-metre mark.
AW: What are the cornerstones of your training?
DB: I’d say key for me are gym, technical sessions, for example, runups, short approach jumps and lastly drills and sprint sessions.
AW: What are your go-to plyometric exercises?
DB: Hurdle bounds: a fun way to test and increase your lower leg power ... by fun I mean slightly scary!
Hops: a single leg exercise, good for strengthening both legs separately.
Stride bounds: these work on striking the ground efficiently and moving forward which is important when it comes to penetrating through the board.
Pogo jump: a lower leg exercise working on quick ground contact and maximal height from near straight legs.
AW: How important are weights in your training and what are your key exercises?
DB: I feel that gym is important for power athletes as it helps maintain strength through the season, for me my key exercises are cleans, squats and step ups because I feel they’re most relevant to long jumping.
AW: How much running do you do in your training?
DB: For a jumper I do quite a bit of running, mostly speed work but quite a bit of speed endurance too – to keep the fitness levels up throughout the season.
AW: What are your favourite sessions and the ones that you dislike most?
DB: It’s got to be the jumps and plyos sessions. I’m naturally bouncy so doing these sessions can be tiring but worthwhile and a lot of fun. The sessions I do not like are the speed endurance ones. They never seem to get easier!
AW: If you could choose four or five conditioning exercises for the long jump what would they be?
DB: Ab circuits: a strong core is crucial to jumping efficiently at take-off and landing especially the leg shoot.
Stretching: this keeps the body mobile so the right angles can be achieved on the runway and takeoff.
Skipping for height drills: helps to replicate a good take-off position.
High knee drills: helps you stay tall
on the runway.
AW: The long jump is a tough event, what do you do to minimise injury?
DB: For me, stretching and drilling are key ... putting your body through that much stress and not being flexible and efficient is almost a recipe for disaster. So, stretching and staying quick on the ground would be key.
AW: What about nutrition?
DB: I don’t follow a specific plan but I know what to cut out and what works best for me, which is less of the things I enjoy, like sweets, pizza… and more of the things my body needs!
AW: Do you use sports psychology?
DB: Not particularly. I do have a few cues I use such as deep breathing and relaxing the shoulders before jumps. I tend to use a lot of visualisation too in the warm-up and between rounds to really instil what I need to do.