How to practice high jump: 15 steps (with pictures)

How to practice high jump: 15 steps (with pictures)
How to practice high jump: 15 steps (with pictures)

High jump is one of the disciplines of athletics. It is classified in the category of jumps. This sport demands a lot from the athlete. He must know how to stay calm and focused. He must be able to perform a high jump taking advantage of his momentum run. Finally, he must succeed in landing on the mattress at the end of his jump without injuring himself. This sport requires training and practice to be able to achieve it in the best possible way.


Part 1 of 3: improving momentum running

High Jump (Track and Field) Step 1

Step 1. Practice the backswing

To perform a high jump successfully, the backswing must be the engine that propels the athlete upward when initiating the jump. In order to harness the energy generated by running in the jump, you need to practice and repeat this run so that it becomes as natural as possible. Practice running to a mat in a gym imagining that there is a bar right in front of the mat.

High Jump (Track and Field) Step 2

Step 2. Run to the mat

Note that many high jumpers choose a run-up that takes ten strides. So make sure you are at least ten strides from the height mat. For athletes who are just starting out, it is advisable to have a longer swing run, i.e. fifteen to sixteen strides. Thus, the athlete has a better chance of reaching maximum speed at the end of his run-up.

  • Know how to run in a curve. You will need to think that you will have at least nine running strides, then the next will be to trigger your jump. Following your dominant leg, you will run from the right if your dominant leg is the right one and therefore if your dominant leg is the left one you will start your run up to the left of the jumper.
  • Remember to take your marks for your run-up. The method is simple, you have to put a heel on the ground near the jumper at the level of the middle of the height bar. Then you put the heel of your second foot at the toe of the first foot, then you put the heel of your first foot at the toe of your second foot and continue, and so on. The marks of a run for a woman can be broken down as follows: 2.5 to 4 m from the high jump mat to the right or left and 10 to 17 m to the back. For men, the marks of the run-up are: 3.5 to 5 m from the high jump mat to the right or left and 15 to 21 m to the back.
High Jump (Track and Field) Step 3

Step 3. Start the race

To start your backswing, start with your non-dominant foot to propel yourself. It happens that some high jumpers start with their torso bent forward and gradually, in three strides, straighten up. Start in whatever position is most comfortable for you. Note that if you are just starting out, it is best that you start your swing run standing upright and upright.

  • Run on a "J" path towards the high jumper. For your run up, you will need to do it on a “J” shaped trajectory. Over five strides, in a straight line, you accelerate faster and faster towards the jumping mat. Then you initiate a turn, in three strides, towards the middle of the bar to find yourself parallel to the bar.
  • Keep your backswing constant from start to finish at top speed. Do not vary your speed, no sudden acceleration or deceleration.
High Jump (Track and Field) Step 4

Step 4. Project yourself towards the height mat

On the ground push off with your non-dominant leg, push off with your non-dominant leg. During the jump phase, your non-dominant leg will gradually extend as the opposite knee moves up.

Do not try, the first times, to complete the jump in its entirety. Just at the end of your backswing in a “J” path, kick your dominant leg to land on your own two feet on the high mat

Part 2 of 3: Passing the Bar in Fosbury Flop

High Jump (Track and Field) Step 5

Step 1. Use the Fosbury flop technique

For information, know that this technique was invented by the athlete Dick Fosbury. This high jump technique became famous when its author used it to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games in Mexico in 1968. The Fosbury flop technique involves performing the high jump back to the high mat. The majority of high jumpers, of all levels, use this high jump technique.

High Jump (Track and Field) Step 6

Step 2. Run up to the bar

At the end of your backswing along a “J” trajectory when you are parallel to the jump bar, start your Fosbury flop by rotating your back so that the bar ends up in your back. back. When you initiate your jump, your knee of your dominant leg rises vertically as your non-dominant leg pushes up to get you off the ground. At this point, rotate your pelvis to have your back facing the bar while lifting yourself up to the sky. Repeat the movement until it becomes natural.

High Jump (Track and Field) Step 7

Step 3. Pass the height bar

When passing the height bar, tilt your upper back and head towards the height mat. Keep your chin clear and away from your body to avoid injury. Arch your back while passing the bar. Go forward and raise your pelvis up above the height bar. As you follow the movement, your head will follow the movement. As soon as your hips have passed the bar, bring your head back to your chest and keep your legs up.

  • As you jump into the part where you curl the barbell with your body, remember to bring your legs up. Right after your pelvis part passes the bar, kick your legs up to quickly pass the height bar.
  • Pay attention to your arms. To optimize your jump, make sure they are alongside your body throughout the jump phase in order to control your center of gravity.
High Jump (Track and Field) Step 8

Step 4. Of course you land the height mat

Once the jumping phase has passed comes the landing phase on the high mat. You will need to land on top of your shoulders for a safe arrival on the high mat. Know that in the fall, your body will follow the movement. Your arrival on the mat can turn into a backward roll. In this case, don't panic, just let it go.

  • If you roll back on your landing, consider swinging towards the shoulder furthest from the bar. During the landing, you will prevent the pressure of the fall from diffusing entirely into your neck.
  • Remember to keep your mouth shut. If you don't, you run the risk of biting your tongue.
High Jump (Track and Field) Step 9

Step 5. Pay attention to your reception

When you are going to come into contact with the height mat, be careful that your knees do not come up in your face. While following the movement of your fall, try to keep your legs apart from each other. Remember that it will be a reflex of your body to “curl up”.

When your body passes the bar, you can touch it and cause it to fall. Depending on when and how you drop the bar, it may come in contact with you as you fall. If you feel that you have touched the bar, remember to protect your face with your arms during the fall phase to avoid any injuries from the bar

High Jump (Track and Field) Step 10

Step 6. Advance your jumping technique

To improve your bar height as well as your high jump technique, you will need to practice a lot. It is a demanding sport which requires physical qualities (running speed, relaxation during the jump) and technical (restitution of the energy of the race in the jump, rolling up the bar, landing safely). Ask the athletes and coaches for advice. Note that if you can have a person watching you during your jump, they can then describe your performance to you and this will be very useful for you to improve.

  • In order to motivate yourself, increase the bar height by 3 cm by 3 cm. Do not underestimate a rise of the bar of 3 cm, by the time you reach the bar you will understand that it is quite sufficient.
  • For athletes who train regularly, it is common to see them write down all the training they do. Thus, by noting the different information of their training, they are able to see if they are progressing or not. In the event of regression or stagnation, they can, by talking with other athletes or coaches, find the keys that will lead them towards a curve of improvement in their performance.

Part 3 of 3: Pass the bar with scissors

High Jump (Track and Field) Step 11

Step 1. Jump in scissors

Maybe you are a beginner and passing the bar with the Fosbury flop technique is too complicated. No worries ! A simpler and more affordable technique for beginners is the scissor jump technique. The run-up remains the same, it's just the jumping phase that's different. To pass the bar, you position yourself at the end of the swing run parallel to the bar. You jump into a seated position with your back straight and push yourself up with your non-dominant leg to lift yourself up. At the same time, you bring your other leg upward to pass the bar. Finally, you bring your non-dominant leg straight up to pass the bar.

To start with the scissor jump technique, it is important to position the height bar very close to the mat, in order to avoid any accidents. Once the technique has been acquired, it is possible to move the bar aside for greater heights

High Jump (Track and Field) Step 12

Step 2. Perform the momentum run

As with the Fosbury flop technique, the swing run is the same. You need to run a run that has a “J” path. By respecting this running technique, reach the bar at maximum speed with a smooth run to best attack the jumping phase.

High Jump (Track and Field) Step 13

Step 3. Pulse your jump

Previously, you lifted off the ground with a push to the ground with your non-dominant leg while raising the knee of your other leg. With the scissor technique, you still give pressure into the ground with your non-dominant leg to take off, but you propel your dominant leg up. Your dominant leg should be straight. It should form a right angle, if not slightly sharp, with your torso as if you were sitting.

At the end of your run up, when you trigger the jump phase you are parallel to the height bar. At this point, you will perform a "sideways" jump which should allow you to pass the height bar

High Jump (Track and Field) Step 14

Step 4. Perform the scissor jump

Bring your straight non-dominant leg back to your other leg. This movement is similar to a closing chisel, hence the name of the technique. Remember to maintain the position with your legs straight out in front of you and your chest straight. With your running speed, the momentum given will cause you to pass the bar and land on the height mat.

High Jump (Track and Field) Step 15

Step 5. Practice

Repeat this jumping technique as many times as it takes to get the hang of it. Once you achieve it easily, gradually increase the height of the bar. When you find that you have reached your highest bar with this technique, look into a more elaborate jumping technique to pass new, higher bars.


  • If at bar height most of your jumps drop the bar, lower the bar a few inches. Thus, you will be able to polish your technique without being stressed by the risk of dropping the height bar. It would be a shame to stagnate, or even regress for that.
  • As with all sports activities, you have to warm up to start. Go for a run, stretch, then do small preparation exercises (accelerations, leaping strides, jumps without a barbell).
  • If you do not have access to a high jumper, check with the town hall where you live. They will be able to inform you if schools and high schools are equipped, or even advise you on an athletics club. Do not expect to rent such equipment, it is not common and it takes a lot of space. Don't worry, you will always find an athletics club not too far away that will always be happy to help you.
  • When you regularly pass the same bar height without great difficulty, raise the bar. Do competitions, there is nothing better to stimulate yourself to pass higher bars. Finally, do not dream, you will not progress by one centimeter every week (you are not a machine!), You will have levels (bar height) where you will stay for a long time before progressing and sometimes it will be. the reverse is normal!
  • Sometimes you won't be in great shape to train. Do not insist ! You could injure yourself and find yourself immobilized for a long time.
  • When jumping with the Fosbury flop technique, keep in mind to raise your legs when passing the bar and always land on your back.


  • To practice high jump, you need the appropriate equipment and in good condition. Do not try to DIY a jumper using a bed mattress and a broom, you could seriously injure yourself.
  • Be careful, if possible, have someone close to you when you are doing the high jump. If you have a problem, this person can help you or call competent people.
  • This article is for people who are new to high jump. To want to practice seriously and frequently, a trainer or a club are necessary.
  • If you are anxious about landing your first jumps, you don't need to put more mats around it, you just have to start slowly and take the time to be confident, gradually increasing the difficulty. No worries ! At first you will come to the height mat standing on your feet.
  • Obviously, no high jump without a high mat. It is not for nothing that a high mat is needed, it is for your safety.

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