BIOMECHANICAL ANALYSIS OF THE HIGH JUMP AT THE SIXTH WCA IN ATHENS

  • Uwe G. Kersting
  • Adamantios Arampatzis
  • Gert-Peter Brüggemann
Keywords: high jump, center of mass energy, energy transformation

Abstract

Introduction: The main purposes of this study were 1. To determine the importance of initial conditions and take-off phase characteristics on jump performance. 2. To determine to what extent the initial conditions are effectively used by jumpers at the world class level. Methods: Data for this analysis were collected during the men’s high jump final competition at the 1997 Track and Field World Championships. A total of 26 successful jumps by 12 athletes were analyzed. The data was collected using 4 synchronized video cameras (50 Hz). Results and conclusions: On the basis of the total initial center of mass (CM) energy and the take-off characteristics, two relatively homogeneous groups could be identified. The take-off phase characteristics which are determined by the loss of CM energy during take-off and from the transformation of the approach energy to jump energy (transformation index) are very important for determining jump height. The initial energy of the CM determines the height an athlete can achieve. The actual jump height is strongly influenced by the take-off characteristics of the athlete. Both groups achieved the same jump height. Group 2 produced higher initial energy values. Group 1 demonstrated more efficient take-off characteristics. It was found that many athletes did not use their initial conditions optimally (Fig.1). The optimal energy decrease was calculated for the analyzed athletes as between 4 and 5 J/kg (Fig.1).