To maximize performance, most track athletes break up the triple jump into three specific phases -- hop phase, step phase and jump phase. While it takes every phase to complete a maximal jump, you also can work on one specific phase for improved performance.
Build speed on the approach before starting the jump. While you want to maximize speed, you also need to time your steps to hit the board at the same location in every attempt. Experiment with different starting locations until you find the exact location where you hit the board at the same spot. The speed achieved during the approach helps to carry you into the second phase of the triple jump.
Bound off one leg from the hop phase to carry your momentum to the step phase. Focus on spending as much time in the air as possible to cover the maximum distance during the second phase. Make sure your take-off leg is fully extended to explode and drive off the ground. Keep the take-off leg extended behind the body as the drive leg is parallel to the ground.
Drive your arms in relationship to your legs. For example, if your right leg is forward, your left arm is forward. This helps to increase the amount of force you can apply during the second phase of the triple jump for increased distance.
Perform specific triple jump and second phase drills during every practice session. Sample drills include hop drills, acceleration drills and bounding drills. The extra practice helps to refine your technique for improved overall performance. The drills should combine several skills, such as bounding and hopping.
Use strength training and plyometrics exercises to improve your overall strength, speed and power. The best exercises include Olympic lifts and barbell lifts such as cleans, squats and deadlifts along with plyometrics such as box jumps and single-leg jumps. Incorporate these exercises into your routine triple jump conditioning program.
Improve your speed through running and acceleration exercises. Learning how to run properly improves your overall efficiency throughout the triple jump, including the second phase. Use a combination of interval workouts, speed training and hill running to develop speed.