Drew's High Jump Approach


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Lets talk about the approach...

- The average approach has 8-10 steps.  This varies from jumper to jumper.  However, it can depend on one's ability to accelerate.

- Remember, the jumper should be taking off of one foot, not two.

- The jumper should build up speed throughout the approach.  The last step is the quickest, most explosive and shortest distance.  That second to last step is called the penultimate step and this is where the second to last and the last step should be the shortest and quickest.  

How do I get my steps?

-This will vary from jumper to jumper in how comfortable they feel.   Some will get a mark, measure it, and go off of this measured mark every time.  Others (like me), will run back their steps and get a different mark each time they practice or compete.  These marks are most likely in the same area that a measured mark would be, but it will vary depending on how one feels that day.  

My style- walk out 12 steps from the standard going along with the plane of the bar.  Mark that as a gauge for the width of the curve.  I From there, get your planting mark.  You get this from going 2' x 3' away from the standard.  Then go from where your plant would be and run back 10 steps.  I run back using that 12 step width mark to gauge my curve and my mark.  Your mark should be in line with or close to that 12 step width mark.

Here is a diagram.  I know it's not the best, especially with the curves from either side, but it gives you a pretty good idea of the approach.  I am a right sided jumper, so I take off to the right of the mats and off my left foot.  If you are a left sided jumper, you jump from the left side of the mats and take off your right foot.  

  Note:  Drawing not to scale.

Take Off
 Focus On:
     Knee Drive (up!)
     Arms- Drive up- double block (as if you were dunking a basketball)
     Head- Once you are up in the air, throw the head back, this will force the hips up in the air, then once you bring your chin in and the legs will come up and over the bar.
Picture courtesy of this nice high jump site

You should look something like this... in the air (but not me, my butt always hits the bar because I do not get my hips high enough).

Q: What will help you work on take off and exploding up?
A: Scissor kick jumps

   More about this:
  • Promotes aggressive plant to bar
  • Promotes powerful leg and arm drive
  • Not as stressful on body as flop
  • Safer
  • Beginners can develop confidence and correct mechanics of the approach, curve, plant, and take off!!!!



Andrew Krug

email: krug3810@mail.plattsburgh.edu

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Last Updated: 12/10/2009

© 2009 Andrew Krug