Here’s how to jump higher for high jump, secrets that helped me to go 6′ 8 1/4″ in high school & 7′ as a decathlete in college at only 5′ 10″ with very little work in the high jump (usually 1 day every 3 weeks).
I love the high jump, it wasn’t till I got hurt (knee injury) running the 110HH in high school, that I had to stop jumping as much. So, I had to rely on pure jumping ability and technique to jump high. Because of the pain (& practicing for 9 other events) I couldn’t practice high jump really at all (which sucked cause I thought I would be able to go 7′ 4″+, oh well… Lol)
How To Jump Higher For High Jump
1. Start by working on individual leg strength. In the high jump you don’t have the ability to use both legs like basketball or volleyball, so you need to not only work on overall leg strength by doing “squats” or double leg jump training… you need to be sure that each individual leg has the ability to handle it’s own weight “so to speak”. Do single leg exercises to be sure that each leg is strong enough in its own right.
2. Work on your approach (most important factor). Your ability to reach higher heights is going to be directly related to how good of an approach that you have. The high jump comes down to this: your ability to transfer speed & force into takeoff. The faster, stronger, and quicker you can contract your muscles at take off… the higher heights you will be able to clear. Sidenote: If you aren’t strong enough you can’t increase the speed of your approach because you won’t be able to transfer that speed into your takeoff & you won’t be able to get into the right “position” at takeoff either.
3. Do depth jumps. Depth jumps are when you jump off of a box at a particular height, then hit the ground and take off to the top of another box. This type of jump will help you to work on contraction speed (critical to jump higher). It will also help you to get stronger in your lower body.
4. Eat 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. You don’t want to be “too heavy” as a high jumper, but you do want to have enough lean muscle. The only way to maintain (or increase) the amount of lean muscle that you have is to eat enough protein. Also, as a jumper you put a lot of stress on your muscles, if you don’t eat enough protein your performance will suffer and recovery time will suck. You need protein to repair & recover & develop fast twitch muscles.
5. Work on hip height over the bar. Getting good hip height over the bar can add inches to your clearance heights. Do box take offs and work on timing for getting your head back, getting your back arched, and lightly squeezing your butt cheeks over the bar. Just standing up on a box and doing standing jumps over the bar will help you to learn how to do this without having to do full jumps every time.
6. Penultimate stride is critical. The penultimate stride sets up the jump. You load your muscles for takeoff, you lower your hips so that you can start to rise into your takeoff, you create the final position for optimal centrifugal force, and you transfer speed into the jump.
Now that you know how to jump higher for high jump (the biggest secrets), you can work on increasing your vertical and clearing higher and higher high jump heights. It takes work (& rest is just as important as working hard), but I have faith that if you get started you can increase your ability, vertical, and clear higher heights.