The jumps can be among track and field's most majestic events, as competitors propel themselves vertically or soar horizontally through the air. They can also be the most technical track and field events. Consider the pole vault, for example. Vaulters - like all jumpers - must build the greatest possible speed down the runway, but vaulters must do so while controlling a long pole. They must use strength and coordination to plant the pole and transfer the horizontal energy to a vertical direction. Finally, they must display gymnastic-like body control to clear the bar.
High jumpers also must convert horizontal energy to a vertical liftoff, but with their bodies, rather than a pole. Long jumpers need sprinter-like speed leading up to an explosive takeoff. Triple jumpers do likewise but must control their takeoff energies to execute the three-step jumps.
The articles below offer a variety of advice for a range of jumpers, from beginner to advanced. Potential horizontal and vertical jumpers can learn what's required of novice jumpers, to help determine whether any of the jumping events are a good fit. More established jumpers can discover new techniques to help them improve. Even advanced jumpers can learn some of the finer points from a few of the world's most successful athletes, including world record-holders and Olympic medalists.
Track and field professionals give expert overviews of their jumping events. World record-holder Mike Powell talks about the long jump. Stacy Dragila, the first women's Olympic pole vault gold medalist, reviews the event from start to finish. Will Claye, the 2012 Olympic triple jump silver medalist, gives an overview of the event formerly known as the hop, skip and jump.
- Mike Powell's long jump advice
- Will Claye's triple jump tips
- Stacy Dragila on pole vault technique
- Stacy Dragila on pole vault technique, part 2
Learning the Jumps
Find out what to expect if you decide to take up the high jump, pole vault or long jump, including learning progressions, basic drills and safety considerations.
Learn how to prepare for your chosen jumping event.
Read about drills that can help you jump higher or longer.
Illustrated, Step-by-step Tutorials
Step-by-step tutorials tell you exactly what you need to do during vertical and horizontal jumps. Each step is accompanied by a photo in which a track and field professional performs the technique being described.
Learn the finer points of your selected events.
- Mike Powell discusses long jump technique
- High jump approach technique
- High jump takeoff technique
- High jump bar-clearance mechanics
- Pole vault approach run
- Aligning the vaulter with the pole
- Gripping the pole
- Carrying the pole
- Planting the pole
- Pole vaulter's balance
- Hand pressure in the pole vault
Check out the progression of world records in jumping events, as recognized by the IAAF.
- Women's pole vault world record progression
- Men's pole vault world record progression
- Men's long jump world record progression
- Women's long jump world record progression
Read more about the jumps: