The high jump is divided into the following four phases:
- Take off
- To generate optimum (not maximum) speed
- Approach run is J-shaped – straight at first (3-6 strides) then curved(4-5 strides)
- Foot plant for the first strides is on the ball of the foot
- Body lean is moderately forward for the first strides
- Velocity is increased continuously throughout the approach.
Approach Phase – Final Strides
- To prepare for the takeoff
- Stride frequency is increased continuously
- The body leans inward, the angle is dependent on the approach speed
- Forward lean is reduced and body is upright
- The Centre of mass is lowered moderately in the penultimate stride
- An active drive of the right foot in the penultimate stride.
Take Off Phase
- To maximize vertical velocity and to initiate necessary rotations for bar clearance
- Foot plant is active, quick and flat with a ‘down and back’ motion (1)
- Take off the foot is placed naturally
- Time on the ground and the bending of the take-off leg are both minimized
- The knee of the free leg is driven up until the thigh is parallel with the ground
- The body is vertical at the end of the take-off (2).
- To clear the bar
- Take off position is held “freeze” as the body gains height (1)
- Leading arm is fixed or reaches up – across and over the bar
- Hips are raised over the bar by arching the back and lowering legs and head
- Knees are spread to allow more body arch.
- To land safely and avoid injuries
- Head is drawn towards the chest
- Landing is on the shoulders and back
- Knees are apart for the touchdown.
APPROACH, PLANT, TAKEOFF & PENETRATION, ROCK-BACK & STRETCH/TURN, BAR CLEARANCE & LANDING.
- In the approach and plant phases the vaulter accelerates to maximum controllable/transferable speed and smoothly positions the pole for the takeoff.
- In the takeoff and penetration phase energy from the approach is transferred to the pole.
- In the rock back and stretch/turn phase energy is stored in the pole then utilized to raise the vaulter.
- This is assisted by additional muscle actions.
- The bar clearance phase is the completion of the vault and the start of preparation for a safe landing.
Grip and Carry position
- To hold the pole correctly for the approach run and plant.
- Hands are shoulder-width apart.
- The right hand is higher on the pole.
- Both arms are bent, the right hand is close to the hip.
- The tip of the pole is above head height.
- Elbow of the left arm points to the side.
- The upper body is upright
- To position the pole in preparation for the takeoff while minimizing the loss of speed.
- The tip of the pole is lowered gradually and smoothly in the last third of the approach.
- Plant commences on the penultimate contact of the left foot with a forward push of the pole. (1)
- The right arm is raised quickly, the hand pushing close to the head at the contact of the right foot. (2)
- The body is upright with the shoulders square to the box.
- To transfer maximum energy to the pole.
- The foot plant is active and on the entire sole.
- The body is completely stretched with the right arm fully extended.
- The Upper (right) hand is directly above or in front of the takeoff foot. (1)
- The thigh of the free leg swings actively forwards. (2)
- To transfer maximum energy to the pole.
- Vaulter “freezes” in the takeoff position.
- Long pendulums are created around both the shoulders and the hips. (1)
- Left-arm is pushed forwards and upwards. (2)
- The right arm is fully extended.
- To achieve maximum bend of the pole (storing energy)
- To position the body to utilize the stored energy.
- Both legs are bent and drawn to the chest.
- Both arms are extended.
- Back is roughly parallel to the ground.
Stretch and Turn Phase
- To use energy from the pole to lift the vaulter.
- The body moves from the “L” to the “I” position.
- Right arm is extended, left arm bends with the elbow on the right side of the pole.
- Hips pass close to the pole. •Turn is commenced with the pull of both arms.
- The body turns to face the bar.
Bar Clearance / Landing Phase
- To gain maximum height after the release of the pole and clear the bar.
- Push-off from the pole is with the right arm.
- Bar is crossed in an arched (1) or bent (2) position.
- Body is straightened after crossing the bar.
- Landing is on the back.