How Long Jumper Ruswahl Samaai Prepares For Each Leap (And Landing)
He flew through the air at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, showing great technique and power. The 26-year old long-jumped a distance of 8.22m, earning himself a bronze medal (while fellow South African Luvo Manyonga took the gold). Here, the athlete explains what it’s like preparing for each jump across the sandpit.
“Every jump takes its toll. I’m talking physically and mentally: every time you lift off and land, it takes a lot out of you and your body. It’s not just one or three muscles; you’re activating everything to make yourself fly further, and then, bang, you hit the ground. It’s a big impact. It’s a shock to the system, and you’ve got to dust yourself off and do it all over again.”
Squats are one of the most powerful tools in Ruswahl’s arsenal. Why? Working those muscle groups adds dynamite to his explosive starts, letting him hit breakneck velocity by the time he jumps.
Ruswahl’s Go-to Workout: It’s not just about traditional back squats; add weighted squat jumps to your training. Do 3 sets of 10 reps, starting with 20kg dumbbells.