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The Biggest, Most Common High Jump Mistake I See
If you will indulge me, I think I can illustrate the most common
high jump mistake with something as simple as a forward slash,
backward slash, and a vertical line. This mistake costs the
average jumper 4" - 8" of height...if not more.
Draw a line right down the middle of your body, from your head to
your belly button. Now, imagine the high jumpbar to the right of
| = Your body line when you plant
/ = Your body line when you takeoff
Do you see the problem? If you are standing still and want to jump
as high as you can, would you jump straight up or jump forwards and
up at the same time? Straight up, of course. So why would you take
off leaning towards the bar? To get rotation, right? You go from
almost straight up at plant and then try to drop your shoulder and
head as you take off to start a flipping motion.
Let's redraw this setup with the correct motion:
\ = Your body line when you plant
| = Your body line when you takeoff
What's the different? Well, you are going from a lean to vertical
(to cause the flipping motion) but, instead of taking off on an
angle with your shoulder and head dropped ("diving" over the bar"),
you are jumping straight up getting maximum height.
If you are jumping under 6'3", record yourself jumping, and watch
carefully. Chances are, right as you plant your legs are still on
an angle, but your body is straight up. Then, as you takeoff, to
get the rotation over the bar, you have to drop your shoulder and
head to try to get the flipping motion as you takeoff.
What you should be doing is planting with your body in a straight,
leaning line away from the bar. Then, right as you takeoff your
body rotates to straight vertical allowing you to jump straight up,
but also giving you the flipping motion necessary to clear it.
In the next email we'll talk about how to get that perfect lean
with a good, smart approach.