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Harthill Primary School

‘A school at the heart of its village’


How fast can you jump a mile? 


Background science

The main muscles used when you jump are the quads, glutes, hamstrings and calf muscles. The glutes and hamstrings are the muscles that extend the hip when you stand up straight. When you point your toes before leaving the ground, you use your calf muscles. But it's not just the lower-body muscles that do all the work. In fact, the muscles in your upper body work with your lower body to propel you up and off the ground. While their contribution is minimal compared to the glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves; the muscles in your shoulders, arms, back and chest do play a role in how high and far you can go. And last, but certainly not least, you use your core muscles. Since power, athleticism and coordination is required to perform this move successfully, you will need to rely on your core muscles to generate explosive power to propel you upward. Jumping forward requires a lot more energy than walking or running so sustaining jumping over any distance will be hard.


Think about how long it takes to recover from some jumping as well as calculating how far you can jump. 


The task 

Plan an investigation to find out how fast you can jump a mile. Think about

How you will measure it. 

How you will record results. 

How you will ensure your rests between jumping are sufficient without being too long.

Reflect on your investigation afterwards thinking about how it went. If you were to carry out another investigation, what would you do differently next time? 



What else could you investigate now? 

Could you seek a pattern? Do family members with longer legs jump a mile faster than those with shorter legs? Do younger family members jump a mile faster?