You can fill a week of leg workouts with many options. Discover how to do broad jumps and whether they are good.
Broad jumps are an exercise where you start from a static position and jump forward.
This movement will mostly work your quadriceps (front thighs) and to some extent your calves, glutes (butt), and hamstrings in an explosive way.
In turn, broad jumps can be good for building muscle, improving muscle power, improving jump height, and improving athletic performance.
A difference with the classic jump squat exercise is that leaning forward makes broad jumps focus slightly more on your calves and slightly less on your glutes and hamstrings.
Additionally, by jumping horizontally instead of vertically, broad jumps could be just a bit easier on your knees and lower back.
Something you do want to keep in mind is that broad jumps are still a relatively rough exercise. They are not for everyone.
How to do a broad jump exercise
Before heading to the actual movement, you want to make sure you warm up sufficiently.
Additionally, some people will like doing broad jumps on a softer surface and/or while wearing shoes that absorb the shocks to some extent.
With these things in mind, take the following steps to do a broad jump:
- Stand upright with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
- Lower your body as far as comfortable by folding your legs.
- Lean slightly forward. You can lift your heels slightly and move your arms back if needed/desired.
- Stretch your legs explosively so you jump forward. You can swing your arms forward if you want to jump farther. It also tends to be a good idea to keep your spine straight.
- Land with your legs slightly less than stretched.
The main technique attention point for broad jumps is landing with your legs at least slightly less than stretched.
Additionally, keeping your spine straight can make broad jumps more comfortable.
Muscles worked with broad jumps
The main muscles broad jumps work are your quadriceps (front thighs) and to some extent your calves, glutes (butt), and hamstrings (back thighs).
You can also say your erector spinae (lower back) muscles have to work to a tiny extent during broad jumps.
If you swing your arms you will also engage your shoulder muscles to some extent.
This generally does not influence how much you engage your legs. You will just be able to jump farther.
Explosive exercises like broad jumps can be great for improving muscle power. This is basically how much force your muscles can generate in a short time frame.
However, broad jumps can also help resistance training beginners and potentially intermediates grow and strengthen the main muscles above.
The recommended broad jump sets and reps depend on what training goals you have.
To improve quadricep muscle power, you should do around 1 to 5 broad jumps for 3 to 20 sets.
If you want to see muscle growth instead, you would aim more for 5 to 15 broad jumps for 2 to 15 sets.
For both training goals, something like a quality weighted vest could help you challenge your muscles more which can potentially increase your gains.
Broad jump exercise benefits
While broad jumps are not for everyone, they can still offer nice benefits to the right people. Some of these include:
- Stronger muscles: Broad jumps can help you grow your quadriceps and improve muscle power in this area.
- Improves athletic performance: Improving your leg muscle power with broad jumps could help you run faster. In turn, your performance in many sports can improve.
- No equipment or location required: You can likely see nice results from broad jumps without spending money on fitness equipment or being in a specific location.
- Better bone density: As long as you don’t overdo it, the shocks from broad jumps can help you improve your bone density.
- Balance & coordination: Broad jumps can help you train your balance and coordination skills to some extent.
If these benefits align with your training goals, you like broad jumps, and your body can deal with the shocks, this exercise can be a good addition to your routine.
Broad jump alternatives
There will also be people that are not ready for broad jumps yet and/or don’t like the exercise that much.
If these things apply to you, you can also consider one of these broad jump alternatives:
- Jump squats
- Box jumps
- Explosive calf raises
- Jump lunges
- Regular squats
To choose between these exercise options you can think about what muscles you want to train in what ways.
Are broad jumps a good exercise?
Broad jumps can be a good exercise for growing, strengthening, and improving muscle power in your quadriceps and calves.
Additionally, broad jumps can help you strengthen your bones if you don’t overdo it.
At the same time, you also need to know that not everyone will be able to deal with the shocks involved in broad jumps.
Even if your body should be able to deal with broad jumps, it may be smarter to choose different exercises that are also effective but involve a lower injury risk.
You could also simply prefer other plyometric leg exercises. Personal preference matters too when putting together your workout routine.
What do broad jumps do?
Broad jumps can improve the size and power of your quadricep (front thigh) muscles and make your bones denser.