May 26, 2006, Newsletter Issue #17: "Lean Away!"

Tip of the Week

One of the more difficult, yet most important sections of the high jump for most athletes to nail down is the coordination of the last three steps. In the last three steps of the high jump, the athlete’s body should be leaning away from the bar. If a coach were to take a picture of the body position on the very last step, a line should be able to be drawn from the top of the head, down the length of the spine and continuing down the takeoff leg to the ground.

This away position allow the jumper to convert vertical speed to horizontal speed with enough space to help the hips, the center of mass, fly on a parabola over the top of the bar and not into the bar. Top help athletes get comfortable in this position at a fast yet controlled speed, have them practice running twelve foot diameter circles around cones.

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