The Importance of Jumps and Sprints

Track and field athletes looking for a competitive edge might want to experiment with 20-yard sprints or a short set of countermovement jumps before tossing the iron ball for distance. According to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, both strategies can produce results when performed after a basic warm up.

Scientists had 10 experienced shot putters warm up with stretches and jogging. They threw a shot put 4 to 6 times without giving it their maximal effort. After that, they did 3 all-out puts with a minute and a half rest between each attempt. Then with 3 more minutes of rest, some of these athletes performed a quick series of 3 maximal countermovement jumps. Others sprinted for 20 yards. Their next attempts at shot putting averaged about 2 yards further.

True Strength Moment: Sprinting produced better results than jumping in this study, but it isn’t always practical to get in a quick 20-yard dash when you’re about to compete. Try both techniques and measure off your extra distance to get a good idea of what you might be able to do when every put counts. For tips on planning a lower body power phase, check out today’sPerformance Blog at