2-Foot Approach Mechanics on Full Approach Vertical (FAV)

Updated: Apr 24, 2020

Tyler Ray (Vertical Jump Expert) Project Pure Athlete Inc

Ricky Norton (Performance Coach) Norton Performance Training Systems

Tyler Standifird (Asst. Biomechanics Professor)


For this particular study a few areas of interest between two distinct groups of jumpers were examined.   A 6 person study using 3 athletes from an “elite” category (tested 48” or higher on their full approach vertical pre-test 2 days prior) and 3 athletes from an “advanced” category (tested between 40-45” on their full approach vertical).  The athlete approaches the take-off by accelerating through a 3 or 4 step run up. The athlete then takes a large step (penultimate) into their final two contacts (plant foot and block foot). This varies depending on the athletes’ limb dominance (ie. right to left or left to right).  The management of the athletes’ center of mass is an important aspect of jump height. It is hypothesized that athletes in the more elite category will have better control of their COM in relationship to their step sequence as evidenced by a more upright posture at the contact of the plant foot and a longer penultimate stride.  


Elite: 3 athletes who tested 2 days prior with a 48” or higher FAV

Advanced: 3 athletes who tested 2 days prior with a 40”-45” FAV

*SIMI software (Atkyis) was used in conjunction with one high speed camera (120 hz) and two force plates (Bertect) to collect data during 3 jumps on the force plates.

The athlete moves through their full approach creating horizontal acceleration

Prior to the final two contacts (plant and block foot) the athlete takes a large penultimate stride.  This stride is measured using SIMI software (Atkyis) use in conjunction with the high speed camera set up perpendicular (side angle) to the athletes’ approach.  

At the point of peak force of the plant foot (first contact on the force plates) the angle of the trunk was taken as well as the eccentric and concentric forces, including loading rates and time to peak force. 

The same is examined in the second contact (block foot), followed by the take-off angle at toe-off.  

The Elite group covered 23% more distance through their penultimate stride.


  1. The Elite group displayed less trunk flexion during contact of peak loading of their lead (plant foot).

  2. The Elite group was 30% faster to produce peak force than the Advanced group.

  3. Loading Rates were 35% faster in the Elite group 

  4. Elite group had an 8% higher concentric force on the plant foot.

  5. Elite group had a 15% higher force on their block foot.


As hypothesized, a longer penultimate stride into a more extended contact position during the plant was observed in the Elite group of jumpers.  This taller contact position may lends itself to managing the athlete’s centre of mass more efficiently in relation to the points of contact. These variables also show a carry-over into the amount of force being applied through the duration of the plant sequence.  There are more factors to consider moving forward, but this initial study helps to outline two very crucial elements of jumping high off of a 2-foot full approach. The most elite jumpers execute their jump with a longer penultimate stride and a more upright posture.  Welcome to your blog post. Use this space to connect with your readers and potential customers in a way that’s current and interesting. Think of it as an ongoing conversation where you can share updates about business, trends, news, and more.

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