Fosbury's approach advanced the high jump by spreading the jumper's body away from his center of mass, allowing him to clear higher and higher bars. As a result, the Fosbury Flop may be sports' sole huge leap forward that simultaneously serves as a tremendous leap backward. The flop is so named because of the backwards somersault that many high jump champions have done after clearing their highest bar.
The Fosbury Flop was first popularized by American high jumper Dave Fosbury, who dominated the event in the 1970s and 1980s. Before Fosbury, most high jumpers would roll over on their backs after hitting the board or would simply fall to the ground. The new technique allowed Fosbury to remain airborne for longer and thus clear higher and higher bars. It was also much safer for the athletes: while falling backward might injure your head, landing feet first usually doesn't hurt as much as it does if you land on your back.
In 1989, Fosbury was defeated by Russia's Vladimir Kolesnik. At the time, this was considered the end of his career, but soon after he switched to running hurdles. He became one of the best runners in the world and won several medals at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
Now aged forty-two, Fosbury still participates in high jumping competitions around the world.
A high jumper practicing the straddle method, which was the first high jumping technique taught to Fosbury (Photo credit: Wikipedia). Hurdler 49 has published a fantastic post with nice footage about the last outstanding high jumper to employ the Straddle Technique at an era when the Fosbury Flop was widespread. I recommend you check it out!
The high jump is one of the most important events in track and field, with the highest-scoring athletes winning most of the time. It is so important that many national teams have full-time high jump coaches.
The modern high jump can be traced back to Harold Anderson, who in 1895 invented "the flying leap". This new technique allowed athletes to clear the bar at shoulder height, making it possible for them to compete against men who had been using the straddle approach previously. Although this seemed like a great idea at first, the flying leap was soon abandoned in favor of the straddle, since it was more effective.
Around 1910, German athletes started using a new technique called the "spike", which remains popular today. The spike is a series of rapid downward jumps used to propel the body upward after it hits the floor. This allows the athlete to reach higher heights than if they simply jumped up straight away after taking off from the ground.
Finally, in 1936 American Don Lash introduced the "flop" into competition practice.
The first time the feet landed in the high jump, which had to be trained before the first performance, was a feat of talent and even daring, track foot contacts a short leap... high jump run on turn... In the 1968 Olympics, the feet hit the ground to achieve a back arch stance, forever altering the high jump. The sport's greatest heights were now reached with ease because of new materials available for competition shoes.
The first thing you need to know about how the body is built to jump is that it is made up of many different muscles, called muscle groups. These can be divided into two main groups: those that cause movement (such as flexing the knee or extending the leg) and those that control position (such as holding your arm straight out in front of you). A third group controls both movement and position at the same time: e.g., pressing down hard on the footboard while jumping. Each of these groups has several muscles within it. For example, the quadriceps are the four large muscles located in the thigh that extend the leg; the hamstrings are the two smaller muscles at the back of the thigh that bend the leg.
The first task when learning how to jump is to learn how your own body is constructed. Find a clear space where you will not be injured and practice making contact with the floor under each foot individually. You should be able to do this repeatedly until it becomes second nature.
Vertical leaping is essential for both spiking the ball and guarding against opponent spikes. A great vertical leap is something that certain athletes are born with. The majority of people must develop and perfect it just like any other physical talent. You may get an outstanding vertical leap with a few basic workouts and strategies.
The importance of vertical jumping cannot be overstated for those who play offensive or defensive positions in basketball, football, and baseball. Spikes are what give these games their official name: soccer, cricket, rugby, etc. A player needs to be able to jump high in order to score points, defend against opponents' shots, and catch fly balls hit into the stands.
Even if you're not going for style points, vertical jumping is still important for improving your game. Research shows that players who can jump higher are also likely to be faster runners and more aggressive on defense. That's why strong legs are critical for success at all levels of sports.
In addition, higher jumps mean catching airborne balls with your hands instead of your feet, which requires better control and coordination. Finally, a player who can jump high will have an advantage over his or her peers when competing in dunking contests or trying to defeat opposing fans' out-of-court attempts at creating mischief.
Overall, vertical jumping is vital for successful sports performance. It's something that many people hate doing but that only improves with practice.