Španović: “My legs are my main assets”Long-jump queen Ivana Španović needs to stay small in order to achieve big results.
“Take-off power isn’t the only key factor in the long jump,” says Ivana Španović, who won bronze in the long jump at the 2013 athletics World Championships in Moscow. “Your run-up speed is just as important. So my legs are my main asset. In the build-up to competition, I work on them every day in two training sets, each of which lasts for hours. The gym is my second home.”
The Serbian, 23, has to strike a balance between her power and her weight. “Because you have to dynamically make your body as small as possible in the air, I’m very careful about what I eat and weigh myself regularly. If you’re a half pound overweight, you’re already at a disadvantage. The lighter you are, the further you can jump. It’s as simple as that.”
Španović has recommended the following exercises for an optimal workout:
Exercise 1 (Photos one and two): Abs training with a difference: going against gravity increases the pressure on your abdominal muscles and lessens the strain on your spine.
Exercise 2 (Photos three and four): Put more spring in your step for a better take-off.