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Crafting the Perfect High Jump Approach
It's time to talk about the approach, and you'll be amazed how
simple it is. But first, before I forget, I have received a half
dozen emails over the last week about training programs. Not
necessarily high jump training programs, but vertical jump
improvement programs. I had heard about a few, so I spent my
evenings this week checking high and low for as many vertical jump
systems as I could find, I emailed the creators of each one and asked
them specific questions about how their systems applied to high
jumpers. There is good news and bad news...
Let's start with the bad. The by far best one was 1) expensive ($97)
and 2) had a long, hyped up sales letter (which I can't stand).
The good news is that from what they said and some of their
customers said, the system is pretty much ridiculously good
and should work incredibly well for high jumpers. I mean,
they've got a friggin' testimonial for their system from the guy
that actually invented jump soles. Crazy. Another nice thing is that
they offer a double money back guarantee which means they either
have a failproof product or they're stupid. If you want to check it out,
here is the link:
Ok, onto the good stuff...
The approach is made up of two parts, the straight away and the
curve. The straight away is for accelerating, the curve is to
create the lean.
Let me say that again...the straight away is when you should
accelerate. Once you have started your curve, there should be no
more changes in speed. You should glide through your curve, leaning,
maintaining your speed so you can focus on takeoff.
Question 1: How fast should I go then?
Speed is key, you need speed because you want to convert as much
horizontal momentum into vertical motion as possible using your leg
strength. However, length strength varies. So, the answer?
Whatever you feel comfortable with. However, as you get stronger,
you will be able to increase your speed and, thus, your vertical
Question 2: How tight should my curve be?
You curve creates the lean away from the bar that creates the
rotation over the bar as you plant and drive straight up, as we
talked about last week. So, the answer is this. Try a curve and
see where you land in the pits and where you knock the bar off. If
you aren't landing high on your back/neck or are knocking the bar
off with your legs, tighten the curve to increase your lean, which
will increase rotation over the bar. If you are spinning out of
control over the bar, open up your curve a bit.
Question 3: How long should it be?
The straight away should give you enough time to get up to speed
and then about two steps before you start your curve. The curve
will vary depending on how tight you make it. Don't be intimidated
by other people's approaches. Everyone has a different length and
curve radius. Once you find a mark to start from, measure it, and
bring the measuring tape to the next meet. Meets are NOT the time
to be fiddling with your curve.
I may talk more about this in the next email, but I'll leave it at
that for now. Best of luck this week everyone!