How high are elite level high jumpers really jumping vertically?

As a kid who used to do high jump years ago, I’ve always been fascinated by this event. But I’ve never been able to figure this out…

How high are elite level high jumpers really jumping off one leg in comparison to say professional basketball players?

There is something to the center of gravity that is at play. I believe I read somewhere (here probably) that it may even be lower than the height they’re clearing when they go over it.

How high is a 6 ft tall high jumper with good technique really jumping vertically when he clears a 6 ft bar or 7 ft bar? If he didn’t go into the flop I mean, how high would he be able to jump off that plant leg?

Examples are fine by me. I’m not looking for anything gospel just an idea.


Erik Lukas

as any got or know where I could find a video of javier sotomayor jumping his world record, or any of his jumps?

Hey there fellas, did some research and found a site with a few high jump vids, including 2 of Javier (and the WR jump - man that is insane!). Here’s the link - oh no wait, sorry, gotta post this in the videos section. Sorry to break your balls :wink:

Dwight Stones was said(in a number of different articles I read years ago) to have a vj of only about 29 inches. My guess is that at least it was PROBABLY an accurate measurement unlike about 80% or so of the verticals that are claimed these days which include guys taking one or more steps prior to jumping.

Very tough to know what to make of VJ claims, but I tell you what- Stones could have gone higher if he’d just jumped instead of all the negotiating he used to do at key moments (he’d hold up the comp to negotiate a higher bonus if he cleared a record). Also He lost a couple of years in the professional circuit. If he was 29" then you better be skeptical of some of the claims out there. Usually best to look at performances and forget the stuff you can’t really assess for yourself.

Now is that his standing jump? Because high jumpers jump one footed so that may not be too acurrate

I believe that I got that info from a direct quote of his and that the theme of his statement was to illustrate how superior tech could, to some degree, compensate for raw extreme jumping power.

I don’t know exactly , but yes CG (center of gravity) can not reach the heigth of the bar , but it wouldn’t remain so far from it (unless the athlete is a contortionist).

I know thata a cuban volleyball player, Leonell Marshall (he plays in Italy,Piacenza) has a VJ of about 120cm (he touch 382cm ,he’s tall 196,so i think his reach would be about 260). I saw him when he was playing near my city…he’s really impressive.