Fosbury Flop – how to manuever in the air….

Fosbury Flop Tips To Raise The Crossbar.

Fosbury Flop technique exists because humans aren’t meant to fly. Our ancestors developed other skills like running and hiding to gather food and prevent demise. The stratosphere and soaring jumpers were not in the equation.

Embed from Getty Images

Any airborne knowledge gained by our ancestors soon perished and the wind stopped blowing through their hair when they went splat, from a crash landing.

Embed from Getty Images

High jumpers today, however, manipulate the developed running skills to soar over high crossbars but it’s not easy, and it’s still not natural.  In explanation, here’s how high jumper’s fly through the air.

Embed from Getty Images

Fosbury Flop Blocking

Blocking starts at takeoff but also carries into the first part of the flight.  Moreover, as a high jumper, you gather momentum and stop it quickly at the right angle to move the momentum upwards. This is the blocking movement.

Embed from Getty Images

Critically, you should hold the block and your arms should have hands as high as the eyes with a 90-degree bend.

Embed from Getty Images

Additionally, the knee block looks like a 90° angle as well with the knee at the hip level. Furthermore, the knee block crosses your body slightly and points away from the crossbar. The knee doesn’t start across the body but will swing that way naturally.

Embed from Getty Images

Most importantly, hold the angles after you leave the ground. Don’t drop the knee. Hold it in the same place.

Furthermore, the angles should all stop at their ending at exactly the same time.

Embed from Getty Images

Finally, your head should stay away from the bar as far as possible during these moves.

Fosbury Flop Initial Flight

Now, your plant foot is off the ground and liftoff has happened.  Professional jumpers try to hold their upper body facing the crossbar as long as possible. This movement keeps the COM (Center-Of-Mass) moving upward and not towards the crossbar.

Urgent note: DO NOT THROW YOUR BACK TOWARDS THE CROSSBAR. This movement kills all COM vertical lift. The correctly run curve will take the jumper over the bar naturally. No need to help it.

Embed from Getty Images

Don’t flail your arms around.

I mean, imagine how much momentum you would lose if you started flailing while flying?

Embed from Getty Images

Let the work you’ve done in the J approach take over.  In reality, you will naturally twist in the air from running the curve angle correctly and your backside will face the bar.

Embed from Getty Images

By leaning away from the crossbar until foot plant, a rotation will naturally happen and start to bring your lower half of body up to meet and go above the top half of your body. Furthermore, you will somersault backward…..naturally! You don’t have to do anything.

Embed from Getty Images

Again, hold your blocking angles and let the twist and rotation happen on its own.

Fosbury Flop – The Crossbar

Keep holding the angles until your hips start to get near the crossbar because it allows the body to continue to move up.

Embed from Getty Images

As the hips near the crossbar, it’s now time to arch! Arching means to throw your head back as far as possible and arching also means to bend backward at the hips.

Embed from Getty Images

As a matter of fact, arching allows you to gain a few inches while your Center-Of-Mass travels under the crossbar. Furthermore, the more arch, the higher you can get above your COM.

Fosbury Flop – Knees Above Crossbar

As your body continues to rotate and you are arching, your knees will approach the crossbar.  You will be at a point where your knees are bent and hopefully high above your head. Your basically hanging upside down in the air with a huge bent knee angle.

Embed from Getty Images

Even though you’re rotating, it won’t be enough to clear your calves. You’ll have to throw your head back up and try to press your chin on your chest. this helps the legs straighten at the knees and gives the calves and feet room to clear the crossbar.

Embed from Getty Images

After your legs and feet clear the bar, you will still be rotating so bend your knees again to speed it up and land more safely.

Embed from Getty Images

Fosbury Flop – Into The Pit

You want to still be rotating when you enter the pit so your lower extremities will go over your head as you land.

Embed from Getty Images

Furthermore, your landing should be on your upper back but not in a jarring fashion. This is because your upper back hits the mat while your legs go over your head and rotate you into an all-fours position where your hand and feet are touching the mat together.

Embed from Getty Images

Caution, if you notice a landing another way, it means a part of your J-approach is incorrect.

Fosbury Flop – The Aftermath

You will want to be on all fours when you finish landing because it makes it easier for you to jump in elation while yelling. Your confidence will soar as you complete a successful high jump.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images


Please donate to…..

High Jump Video Analysis


…..and email me your high jump video to I will provide the following analysis information:

  1. High jump approach analysis
  2. Running form analysis
  3. Penultimate step analysis
  4. J Approach analysis
  5. Takeoff analysis
  6. Flight analysis
  7. Top three opportunities for improvement
  8. Top three strengths
  9. High jump drill recommendations for you to eliminate your opportunities
High Jump Life Takeoff Analysis Illustration
Takeoff Analysis from High Jump Life

Here’s a sample of what you’ll get:



Add Your Flight Knowledge (Comment)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.