January 11, 2008, Newsletter Issue #98: Use Your Arms!

Tip of the Week

The last three steps are the most difficult for the body, and even more difficult to coordinate with the arms. On the penultimate step of the high jump, jumpers should have both arms back behind the body, elbows bent, in preparation for the drive and block at the same time as the takeoff.

To teach this coordination to jumpers, teach them to walk ten steps, counting them aloud with a regular arm swing, and on the count of eight, hold the arm that is back behind the body, on the count of nine, the other arm comes back to meet it, and on ten, the final step, both arms come forward, driving the body up and off the ground. Have athletes repeat this sequence over and over, and then have them do it with a pop or tiny jump on the end to simulate the actual take off.

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