The Triple Jump Take Off: Which Foot Is Best?

Should An Athlete Use Their Dominant Foot For The Triple Jump Take-Off?

Which foot should a young athlete use for the triple jump take-off?

Should they use the same foot that they use when long jumping – their dominant leg? Or should they use the opposite foot so that they end up using the dominant leg for the “jump” portion of the sequence?

The Triple Jump Sequence

A triple jump is made up of a “hop – step – jump” sequence. There are three “take-offs”: one for the hop, one for the step and one for the jump.

The athlete will either do a right foot hop, then a right foot step, then a left foot jump OR a left foot hop, then a left foot step and a right foot jump.

As you can see, in each case, the first two take-offs will be on the leg they start with, with the final take-off done on the other leg.

Triple Jump Step Blog

The Jump Take-Off

The jump phase of a triple jump is like a long jump. Therefore, should an athlete aim to do the jump phase off the same foot as they would for their long jump? It makes sense, doesn’t it?

It would simply mean that an athlete starts the hop on their opposite foot so that the final phase is done on their “long jump foot”.

It may sound like it makes sense, but this is not the best way to go.

Which Foot To Hop With?

I recommend beginning (hopping) with the same take-off foot that is used for long jump.

This means the athletes will hop and step off their strongest foot and need only do one take-off from their non-preferred side. Done the other way, they will need to perform two take-offs from their non-preferred foot and only one take-off from their strongest foot.

Another consideration is that landing from the hop and launching into the step is often the part that most young athletes have trouble with. It is much better done with the preferred side than the non-preferred side.

The easiest part of the triple jump is the jump phase. If one phase has to be done with the non-preferred leg, this is it.


The first take-off in a triple jump sequence should be done from an athlete’s preferred leg. This will usually be the same take-off leg that they use when long jumping. This will mean that they hop and step off their preferred leg, and jump from their non-preferred leg.

Further reading

3 Articles That Will Improve Your Triple Jump Coaching

How To Help Kids Conquer Their Biggest Triple Jump Fear

Triple Jump Resources

Coaching Young Athletes Digital Resource:

Triple Jump Phase Landings Quick Reference Guide

If this post helped you please take a moment to help others by sharing it on social media. If you want to learn more I encourage you to leave questions and comments or contact me directly.

Darren Wensor is a sports development professional, coach educator, specialist coach of young athletes, and founder of the blog Learn more about him here and connect with him on TwitterFacebookLinkedin, or via email. Check out Coaching Young Athletes on YouTube, the Coaching Young Athletes podcast, and the Coaching Young Athletes E-Book Series.

Click here to subscribe for free to the Coaching Young Athletes email list and receive a complimentary mini e-book!

Do you want that little bit extra? Learn about Coaching Young Athletes membership HERE.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Tagged , , , , ,

4 thoughts on “The Triple Jump Take Off: Which Foot Is Best?

  1. Pat Pence says:

    If in addition to triple jump, you also do long jump (or high jump or pole vault) and are prone to shin splints, you might consider starting the triple jump with your other (non long jump) leg. The advantages (besides distributing the work load) are that you will learn to control the height and distance of your first jump.


    • Pat Pence says:

      I would like to add that as a youngster, I would ride my skate board in the “goofy foot” position where I pushed off with my left leg but would use my right leg as the control leg at the back of the board…such that when I leaned for a turn, a left turn would be with my back toward the inside (left side) of the turn. Most skateboarders (non-goofy foot) use their push off leg as their control leg (at the back of the board). Based on my skateboarding style, I found that I high jumped, long jumped and pole vaulted best off of my left leg. I am right handed so when I played basketball, I was more successful and could attain better height when performing a lay up from the right side while jumping off my left leg.
      Back to skateboarding, I never felt comfortable with my non push off leg (either side) at the front of the board. In soccer and football (field goal kicking and punting), I had much more kicking power with my right leg but strangely enough had a much cleaner (direct) shot when kicking with my left leg so perhaps this is why I favored starting the triple jump with my right leg. Finally (coming back to track), I always started from the blocks with my left leg forward.
      I hope this background information helps someone who is interested in the horizontal and vertical jumps. For my height (5′-9″) I was probably more successful at long jump (22′-11″) and high jump (6′-2 3/4″) vs triple jump (45′-11″). If I wasn’t battling shin splints, perhaps I could’ve been better at triple jump (by starting with my left leg).


    • An interesting alternative perspective Pat. Thanks for contributing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: