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Grant Jenkins
10-04-2004, 11:50 AM
have just attended Track & Field coaching course. During the “jumping” section of the course (i.e. triple and long jump) the lecturer explained how one should land on a flat foot on the board before taking off.

This did not make sense to me and I questioned her whether she thought this was for injury prevention or performance enhancement. She said both, saying that there is less force landing on ones flat foot than on a section of ones foot. She said all the top jumpers did this.

I disagree, but please correct me if I am wrong.

My thoughts are that, for performance enhancement, by landing on the fore foot one can utilise the stretch-shortening cycle of the lower leg muscles (gastrocnemius, soleus etc) for greater force output. It might LOOK as if top jumpers are landing with flat feet (I am not sure) but this might be because the toe-heel landing is happening so quickly that one cannot see this with the naked eye.

On the other hand, for injury prevention, the forefoot – rear-foot landing reduces the load on the skeletal system because the eccentric contraction of the triceps surae muscles will slow the landing of the heel. If one lands on a flat foot then the shock absorption would have to occur with hip and knee flexion. Surely that would be an inefficient method of jumping?

As I mentioned earlier please correct me if I am wrong, or if you have any thoughts.


Regards,

Grant Jenkins
Strength and Rehabilitation Consultant
B.Sc. (Hons) Ex. Sci.
M.A.A.E.S.S., M.A.S.C.A.

PHYSIOKINETICS
Gold Coast, Australia
(+61) 409 625 263

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