The Crossover Step Is The Most Important High Jump Approach Step
Actually, the Crossover Step is the third-from-last step. Specifically, it is the 8th step in a 10-step approach. It is the step BEFORE the penultimate step.
It’s Hard To Execute
Above all, a difficult venture at full approach running speed.
Furthermore, the high jump crossover step moves significantly more horizontally in order to support the foot-plant angle and to steepen the curve for lean.
Imagine that, running a full-speed approach relatively straight, then suddenly taking your outside leg horizontally across your body to a far inside plant.
In contrast, most beginning jumpers just blow the step and run a straight line.
When executed correctly, it puts the jumpers’ body into a preparatory position to perform the penultimate and ultimate steps.
The ultimate step needs the penultimate step to be aligned correctly. Additionally, the penultimate step needs about a 56-degree foot plant angle with heavy sideways lean. Without the significant horizontal movement from the high jump crossover step, the penultimate step foot/plant angle and lean can’t be achieved.
One lean leads to another and we all know how vital sideways and backwards lean is at the beginning of ultimate plant!
How To Execute The High Jump Crossover Step
The curve starts in step 5 of the “J” approach. However, steps 5, 6, and 7 should be just a little curve or drift. This means the foot/plant angles increase slightly but just a few degrees. They are a drift from the straightaway.
The steepening spiral starts when the foot/plant angle increases 10-degrees to hit the crossover step, 19-degrees to hit the penultimate, and 30-degrees to hit the ultimate step.
The dramatic change needs a lead-in. Like the penultimate needs a preparatory body position from the crossover step, the crossover step needs a preparatory position from its previous step or steps.
This preparatory position comes from the upper body. In other words, the shoulders should turn and face the far high jump standard on steps 6 and 7, NOT the lower body!
The shoulders and hips separate if you will. Shoulders face one way and the hips face another way.
When the two angles happen correctly, the rest of the body falls into the correct horizontal change of direction easier. The hips will fall in-line with the shoulders and progressively heavy sideways lean happens.
Problems When It Falters
Some jumpers also change foot/plant direction dramatically at the crossover step leaving little room for more foot/plant angle changes later. In this example, jumpers lean heavily on the crossover step but come out of the lean on the last two steps. Again, poor rotation over the bar.
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