When I used to do the high jump, one of the things that plagued my progression was the curve. It’s something that my coaches tried to work with me on for years. I had been able to win the state level championships in Queensland, Australia and break the state record at 14 years old with a jump of 1.92m when I was 14 years old, simply by turning sharply before hitting the mat and aiming for the centre of the bar. I failed attempts regularly. However, the odd attempt would cause me to run a curve and clear the bar successfully.
When I was 15 years old, I was taught to run the curve and became much more consistent. Over the following years, I would go onto clear higher heights and win more competitions. There were a few factors that contributed to my high school success in the high jump, but running the right curve was one of the most important factors for me improving my consistency and gaining extra height to clear the bar.
How do you know if you are running the high jump curve correctly?
You should be able to accelerate around the curve.
If you feel like you are running quite slow into the bar, it’s likely that the curve isn’t aiding you in your high jump technique. The last 3-5 steps in the high jump should see you accelerate so that your body gets thrust off the ground and lifted to higher heights.
You will need to find the sweet spot, as you need to have a curve that will allow you to control your speed and place your take-off foot in the right position so that you can execute the jump.
You should be approaching the bar with your opposing shoulder at a 60 degree angle or less.
Running the curve well with the right speed that is controlled will allow the centripetal force to lift you off the ground. If you notice that you are upright when you are at the bar, it’s likely that you are approaching the bar too slow or that your curve isn’t tight enough to make your body arrive at the bar/take-off area at the right angle.
You should be able to remain tall around the curve.
You shouldn’t be in a crouched or slouched position as you approach the bar. Ensure that you remain tall and control the force that is trying to thrust you over the bar.
It’s important to know that running the curve correctly will automatically position your body to execute the fosbury flop technique.
Hopefully you have found this helpful. If you would like to share anything more on the high jump curve, please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Thanks for reading.