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Illustrated High Jump Technique

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Approach - straight run
Illustrated High Jump Technique

Great Britain's Kelly Sotherton runs straight ahead during the early phase of her approach, at the 2008 World Indoor championships. Notice her erect running stance. The white marks on the track are checkmarks.

Michael Steele/Getty Images
A standard 10-step approach will begin by pushing off with the takeoff foot. Jumpers will generally start slowly and accelerate throughout the approach. Again, the approach speed can be tweaked if needed, but it should remain as consistent as possible. Somewhat like a track runner, the high jumper can start in a bit of a crouch, but he/she should be running fully erect by the third step. Continue to accelerate while running in a straight line until the fifth step, which should land on your second checkmark. Prior to hitting the mark, turn your foot slightly to the middle of the track, pointing the toe in the direction of the nearest standard, to initiate the curve toward the bar.
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