Posted in High Jump, Instruction, Technique

High Jump Waggle

M-F Athletic / Everything Track & Field

High Jump Waggle Momentum Starts Before The Approach.

Every jumper goes through a funny high jump waggle or pre-movement to start the approach. This happens after the jumper sees the jump. It also happens before the jumper begins the straightaway part of the J approach.

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The pre-movement is the same as the movement that happens before a golf swing. Golfers address the golf ball, waggles his or her wrists, then starts the swing.

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The high jump waggle happens automatically when practiced. When its familiar, it’s a great way to fight through stress and pressure. Like in a heated competetion. The jumper’s adrenaline is pumping and his or her thoughts are scattered. Once the jumper uses the high jump waggle, everything calms down.


The pre-movement can have many different forms and funny movements. Its purpose establishes rhythm and ease tension before the jumper starts the straightaway.

High Jump Waggle
Waggle Start
In general, the purpose of the waggle keeps tension from building into the athlete’s body before starting. Tension is a huge killer of movement. Most teachers advise that small movements are typically better than large movements. It’s important to do the same thing every time before starting the approach.

Speaking about this, leaning back is the most preferred technique used by jumpers.

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Olympic Champion Derek Drouin walks calmly into his mark.

World Champion Marya Kuchina leans backward, as mentioned before.

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I’ve also seen other jumpers pretend to catch bouncing balls before their start.

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Legendary Input.

Tom Watson, world-famous golfing legend says this about the waggle.

having a waggle before you start is important to avoid tension and establish good rhythm.
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Every jumper waggles in order to get his or her rhythm correct and to eliminate tension. The pre-movement is fun to watch but ultimately critical to the jumpers consistent approach starts.

Finally, email me a video of you high jumping and I will provide the following 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


Former collegiate high jumper and current high jump coach. I love teaching and sharing useful information. I love the sport of high jump and track & field events in general. Looking to help as many high jump enthusiasts as possible!

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