High jump

I am a high jumper.
Here are my stats

Standing vertical leap- 32"
Standing long jump- 9’6"
Running vertical- 44"
Running and hurdling straight over something- 5’3"
High Jump- 6’2"- average 6’
All from last year- my sophomore year in high school

You see my stats. Is there potential from just the abilities there I have listed to go higher by Improving my technique and approach? Is there enough jumping ability to go 6’6"?

I need some advice, because I need to know if I should focus more on my jumping or technique. My coach says that I am “sitting” over the bar right now. I just basically run and jump however I can. I am also not flexible at all, I can barley reach toes with my hands, and I can only hold a back bridge for 10 seconds because I feel so stiff. I dont have a specific jump coach, basically the older kids coached me my sophomore year and freshman year. I am a junior now.

HJ is a pretty dynamic event and flexibility certainly helps. There was a girl who HJed with me in high school who did the same thing- great jumping ability but she sat over the bar. Our coach did a lot of stability ball bridges with her to help with this and her technique has improved a huge amount in just one year. (She jumped 4’4" in her first HS meet and now, at the start of her junior year, she has already jumped 5’6")

Yes of course there is potential for improvement- there always is.
What kind of lifting do you do? Any plyometrics?

As for technique I have usually found it is easiest to focus on one thing at a time. I think over the bar technique should be one of the last things on the list, because if you are not jumping as high as you could or if your run-up and take-off angles are poor, great technique over the bar is irrelevant and can’t necessarily save a poor jump.

You are jumping well for your age right now. Just keep workin hard. 2 guys from my high school team were where you were at right now, and one of the guys jumped 6’4" his junior year, the other went to the CIF state meet as a junior and jumped 6’8". Of course everyone is different, but just a scenario to give you.


right now i am doing-

Lots of stadium runs, sprint drills, heavy lifting.

I am not specifically doing plyos, I am going to start next week. I have a pretty good base, and strength is good.

I jump rope a lot, I started of so slow, now I do them by the thousands daily. I dont even bother to count.

The thing I’m really working on right now is drills and flexibilty. I pretty much do my plyos on stadiums by doing frog leaps, 1 legged hops and things of that sort.

Also, this is probaly not a good idea, but I walk around all day with a 10lb weight belt on. I use to do it it with ankle weights when I was younger, and later I had to find out what a foolish mistake I made by missing up my left knee. The ankle weights are put away for good. I also jumprope with the weightbelt, and noticed a significant improvement.

as for lifting, I am training everything right now. Every muscle group, 3 times a week, heavy intense lifting

I train 7 days a week, but eat well and dont over due it. Live by carl lewis quote:
“some people say no pain no gain, i say get proper rest and your best”

Got it from the back of a wheaties box.

Non intense days I just do tempo, heavy stretching and stuff like that

probably not a good idea to do your high intensity 3 day/week full body lifting… If you are gonna do 3-day total body, vary the intensity at least to give your CNS a break… other-wise, with all the stuff you are doing, plus the 3-day high intensity total-body routine, you will surley fry your CNS in no time… just be careful not to over do it…

I dont target the same muscle group everytime. I Also lift Monday, wed, friday

Monday - Back, Bicep
Wed - Chest, triceps
Fri - Shoulders
lower body

I dont ever do a total bodyworkout. Usually if I feel sore, I will stretch, do temp or workout a muscle that does not feel sore. It actually is going well, all the protein I consume is probally helping me recover. But yeah your right, I still have to be careful I dont overdue it. I also dont lift much lower body, since I get so much through plyos, all the drills and jumprope.

question- what is CNS?

Central Nervous System.

ohh ok… well, it sounds like you are using a body-builders split… I suggest you switch to more compound lifts and possibly alter your routine to an upper day, and then a lower day the next time you lift… or you can do full body twice a week… Just a suggestion…

Is that good though? To do a full workout in 1 session? Can you still target specific muscles in an intense workout with out overdoing it? Like lets say you go heavy on shoulders, triceps, and then after that I’m usually worked. I usually dont have enough energy to efficently workout my back or any other muscle group.

wot is the best way to stop early rotation(when your back faces the bar to quick)?

Best to drive the knee up, hold until you are at your high point the break into the ‘layout’.
(having a good core helps)

Although this would be hard for some people to do, it is achievable through drills, concentrating on just driving the knee up and 'holding the postion. Eventually adding layout once the drill is mastered.

(your matty is far to floppy to be able to do this yet…you’ll have to sort him out wid some core stability work mate) :slight_smile:

thanks T it is all taken on board!

I’m just curious… how tall are you and how much do you weigh?


You have more than enough power potential if your CMJ is 32". But what abt your reactive VJ?? What is your best vert after dropping from various box heights? If that is considerably lower than your CJ then you need that up to imprve height over the bar. My guess is that you need to focus on technique. Do you have any vids of you jumping?

My technique for a one leg jump is laughably bad. I’m a basketball player vs. a high jumper if you hadn’t noticed it, but the statement still applies.

I do have some videos of my jumping. Unfortunately, they’re old. This is December. At that point, I was barely able to jump off one leg:


I just rechecked them to make sure they work and I apologize for how incredibly low quality they are.

I’ve been working with a really good ART guy who is also helping me do some rehab/realignment exercises.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any new videos since then, but one thing we have pinpointed is that if you watch my one leg jump you can see my right ankle basically collapse on the step before takeoff (old sprain that my body still apparently tries to protect by shutting down). I also don’t optimize my arm swing/swing leg etc.

I’m relearning to jump off one leg as my body gets realigned. Still got a ways to go but there have been improvements.

There is a ton of room for improvement on my reactive jump height. I literally am jumping 2/3 of my CMJ height measured by a reactive jump pad and that’s with high (.35-.50) contact times. I’ve stopped my depth jumping and drop jumps for now as my ART guy thinks it was too advanced for the imbalances I’d built up and that I was going to get hurt if I didn’t fix them first. Shin splints to deal with as well :frowning:

Anyway, I’m very open to listening to what high jumpers do to achieve their soaring heights. Their relative strengths/workouts, etc are all interesting to me. Sometimes I wonder how much extra weight (even muscular upper body weight) would hinder their ability to display power on the run in their event.

Now if I can just get the difference between my CMJ and my running vertical to the same kind of differential as hijump here 32 inches>44 inches!, I will be one darn happy basketball player. Although I’d probably joyfully knock myself out on the rim a few times.

Best wishes,

I forgot to mention… I agree you are probably dead on right about a large problem being technique


Just remembered that I did have a couple pathetic attempts at sprints and a one leg jump I did for evaluation:


Right click these links and click save as so you can watch them with controls on your desktop.

I’ve got a weird hip rotation thing with my right foot on the sprint as well. And no laughing, I haven’t done any track sprints for 8 years! I apologize in advance for the horrendous sound of my elephant feet. You’ll see what I mean. God, that’s bad. I’m slowly getting better from the focus on glute training, hip flexor stretching, and some RFI work.


P.S. Sorry to jump in on your thread with this tangent, hijump

I too have started to do high jump this year, and my standing vertical is 32 inches as well. On the other hand I tried for the first time last week and only got 5’2. People say I was doing a “Cannon ball” over the bar. I am also interested to hear advice of other high jumpers.

I can be first on the varsity team with a 5’6, so I guess I could do that one day since I have a decent vertical