The long jump was not practiced as a separate event, but was part of the penathlon. The jumper landed, just as today, in a sandpit. It was created by hacking the hard sand of the stadium over a length of a bit more than fifteen meters.
A major difference with the long jump today is that the Greeks held jumping weights or 'halters' of 1,5 to 2 kg in each hand. Thanks to these halters the athletes jumped further and landed more steadily. Experiments have shown that, with the modern jumping technique, the weights reduce the length of the jump and hinder the run-up. Clearly the Greeks practiced a standing long jump, with their two feet together, in which case the halters do offer an advantage. The take-off is made more powerful by swinging the halters forwards. Swinging the weights backwards produces a counterweight while landing, so one does not fall forwards.
Willy Clarysse. (2013 August 8). Ancient Olympics - Long Jump. Retrieved from http://www.history.pku.edu.cn/olympics/eng/TC003EN.html
Standing long jump
A standing long jump is often used as a functional test to assess leg power, but the test may underestimate the athlete’s true potential if the athlete does not use the best possible technique. The selection of takeoff angle is one of the most important technique variables. Masaki Wakai studied the effects of changes in takeoff angle on performance in the standing long jump. The aim was to identify the optimum takeoff angle and to explain the underlying biomechanics of the standing long jump.
Performance in the standing long jump is evaluated by the total jump distance, which is the horizontal distance from takeoff line to the mark made by the heels at landing. The total jump distance is the sum of three component distances; takeoff distance, flight distance, and landing distance
Wakai, M. and Linthorne, N.P. (2013 August 8). Optimal take-off angle in Standing Long Jump. Retrieved from