Exercises to Get Better at High Jump

By Max. D Gray. Updated: September 4, 2017
Exercises to Get Better at High Jump

The most appropriate exercises to get better at high jump are those that allow you to increase the explosive power in your legs. It is also very important to improve your running speed, as the height you can achieve with the jump will largely depend on this. To help you achieve your goals, at oneHOWTO we want to suggest a series of exercises to get better at high jump.

You may also be interested in: How to Choose the right Athletic Shoe

Running for high jump

Before explaining the best exercises to get better at high jump, we should tell you that your speed when you start the jump should be your top speed so you can achieve optimum results in terms of the height. Therefore, any exercises that improve your running speed are a good idea. Therefore, apart from the specific exercises for high jump that we suggest below, it's important you run every day and improve your speed by taking short sprints.

In addition to speed, to improve at the high jump leg strength is also very important. Therefore you have to work the muscles of your lower extremities in the gym.


Another important part of high jumping is the J-curve technique. According to a study conducted by the Serbian Journal of Sports Sciences[1], the most important way of improving efficiency in high jump is by monitoring the speed during the horizontal velocity at the beginning of take off and the vertical velocity of the take off phase. This can be improved by strengthening not only your legs, but what's more important, your ankles.

The first exercise that we suggest to improve your high jump is stepping in order to improve your explosive power. Try to do it as fast as you can. Do 3 sets with 20 repetitions each time.

Exercises to Get Better at High Jump - Polyometrics

Another exercise to improve at the high jump is leg extensions with both legs. To do it you'll need a bench. Sit on the edge with your palms resting on the seat. Begin the exercise with your legs raised and bent in towards your chest.

Then begin to extend your legs so that they are parallel to the ground. Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions each time.

To improve at the high jump it is also very important to practice doing all kinds of jumps, not only vertical and very high ones but also ones where the objective is to jump as long as possible horizontally with other shorter, faster ones. This last recommendation applies to both long jumpers and high jumpers.

Doing squats with weights is another exercise to improve at the high jump. Follow this link to read this article in which we explain how to do it. You should separate and slightly bend your legs to start and bear the weights at approximately the height of your head.

One final exercise we suggest to get better at hig jump regarding the actual jump are leg raises with ankle weights. Securely fasten ankle weights with buckles. Then lie face up on a mat on the floor and start by raising your right leg slowly, without bending it, until it forms a 90 degree angle with the ground. Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions with each leg.


The J-curve

The high jump run needs to have a perfect relationship between the speed of the run and the radius of the curve. The more you lean the more horizontal force you'll have to apply on the ground. According to a study[2] by Track Coach by Jesús Dapena, from Indiana University U.S.A, states that the radius should be as follows: r=v2/6:8 for men and r=v2/4.8 for women. You can do the math to find your perfect radius for the curve. The same study also states that it is better. It is said that the most efficient is to a straight line plus circular arc for the effectiveness of the high jump.

Therefore, in the best exercises to get better at high jump when it comes to the approach and take off of the jump, you will need to practice it in an actual field. Use the ankles to lean on the floor, concentrate on the bar and start the curve, stepping one foot right in form of the other. As you curve, concentrate on the step that comes before the last, this stride should be longer as it will help you in take off.

Exercises to Get Better at High Jump - The J-curve

Flexibility for horizontal speed

When tanking off it's also highly important to use horizontal speed to go over the bar, as the studies mentioned above point out.

Therefore you will need to work on trunk and spine flexibility. To do so, one of the best exercises is to lie face up on a mat, go into arch position, holding your hands beside your neck, and with your feet on the floor. Lift your trunk so it is flat and completely parallel to the floor.

Exercises to Get Better at High Jump - Flexibility for horizontal speed

As with all training it is very important to be consistent when it comes to performing these exercises to improve at the high jump. Therefore, we recommend making a realistic plan that suits your possibilities.

If you want to read similar articles to Exercises to Get Better at High Jump, we recommend you visit our Sports category.

  2. Dapena, Jesús, M. Ae, and A. Iiboshi. "A closer look at the shape of the high jump run-up." Track Coach 138 (1997): 4406-4411.

Write a comment about Exercises to Get Better at High Jump

What did you think of this article?

Exercises to Get Better at High Jump
1 of 5
Exercises to Get Better at High Jump

Back to top