The latest version of the Complete High Jump videos is now available for digital download. Details »

A Critical High Jumping Mistake 75% of Jumpers Make - Part II

Hey Jumpers,

What I am going to talk about is your rotation over the bar. The reason everyone seems to worry so much about "kicking their legs", "clipping the bar with their heels", or "sitting on the bar" stems from the exact same mistake: not rotating enough over the bar.

The high jump flip over the bar is not caused by the same motions allow someone to do a back flip. In a back flip, at takeoff you throw your arms up and backwards, drop your head back as you arch your spine, and quickly bring your knees to your chest.

In a high jump, the moment you takeoff from the ground your body should be in almost a vertical line, straight up.

Here's the key...

A split second before, when your takeoff foot just hits the ground on your last step, your body should be leaning away from the bar at a pretty good angle. Why? Because you just ran a curve. The curve forces your body to lean and you should hold that lean all the way until your takeoff foot hits the ground on your last step.

In that split second that your foot is on the ground during your final, takeoff step, you are going to go from a lean away from the bar as I mentioned, to straight up. That change in angle will make your body flip over the bar as you leave the ground.

This allows you to jump straight up at takeoff to get the maximum height possible from your jump, but also flip over the bar so you can take advantage of the flop technique.

With the right amount of rotation, right as your center of gravity (roughly your belly button) passes over the bar, your shoulders and knees should be roughly even with each other. Most jumpers will find that their knees are at least 4-6" (if not more) below their shoulders at this point.

Well of course you'd have to kick your legs like crazy if they are hanging that far down! And of course your heels are going to clip the bar, and of course you are going to want to start your kicking motion as early as possible (sitting on the bar) to have enough time to get your legs out of the way. Watch this YouTube video for an example of good (near perfect actually) rotation:

The solution to all those problems? Correct rotation, and that comes from going from a lean, to straight up at takeoff. So, if you need MORE rotation, tighten your curve or keep your curve the same and take more speed into it. Or, a quick fix, focus on dropping your inside shoulder a bit during your curve to pull more of your body away from the bar.

Got it? Rotation is the key to successful jumping. Best of luck,


Back to Archive

©, 2012 - All Rights Reserved
High Jump Tips Newsletter - High Jump Videos