Fosbury Flop

Fosbury Flop

The Fosbury Flop is a style used in the athletics event of high jump. It was popularized and perfected by American athlete Dick Fosbury, whose gold medal in the 1968 Summer Olympics brought it to the world's attention. Over the next few years the flop became the dominant style of the event and remains so today.Before Fosbury, most elite jumpers used the Straddle technique, Western Roll, Eastern cut-off or even Scissors-Jump to clear the bar. Given that landing surfaces had previously been sandpits or low piles of matting, high jumpers of earlier years had to land on their feet or at least land carefully to prevent injury. With the advent of deep foam matting high jumpers were able to be more adventurous in their landing styles and hence experiment with styles of jumping.

The approach (or run-up) in the Flop style of high jump is characterised by (at least) the final four or five steps being run in a curve, allowing the athlete to lean in to their turn, away from the bar. This allows the centre of gravity to be lowered even prior to knee flexion, giving a longer time period for the take-off thrust. Additionally, on take-off the sudden move from inward lean outwards produces a rotation of the jumper's body along the axis of the bar, aiding clearance.Combined with the rotation around the jumper's vertical axis produced by the drive leg (think of an ice skater spinning round on the spot) the resulting body position on bar clearance is laid out supine with the body at ninety degrees to the bar with the head and shoulders crossing the bar before the trunk and legs. This gives the Flop its characteristic "backwards over the bar" appearance, with the athlete landing on the mat on their shoulders and back.While in flight the athlete can progressively arch their shoulders, back and legs in a rolling motion, keeping as much of the body as possible below the bar. When an athlete performs the Flop, it is possible for them to clear the bar while his or her center of mass does not. In fact, the body's center of mass can be kept as much as 20 cm under the bar. [cite book |title=Space Tourism: Adventures in Earth Orbit and Beyond |first=Michael |last=Van Pelt |publisher=Springer |year=2005 |isbn=0387402136 |pages=185] While the Straddle style required strength in the take off knee and could be used by relatively burly athletes (cf. Valeriy Brumel) the Flop allowed athletes of a slender build to use their co-ordination to greater effect and not risk the knee injuries which they had previously suffered from other styles.

Predominantly, athletes using the Flop use a "J" shaped approach, where the first three to five strides head in a straight line at ninety degrees to the bar, with the final four to five being run in a curve as noted above.Some athletes prefer to run all of their strides in a curve and this is known as a "C" shape approach. This was the approach used by Fosbury himself but can lead to errors and inconsistencies in speed, foot placement, angle of approach and body attitude at take-off.

Purists will note that Fosbury himself cleared the bar with his hands by his sides, whereas many athletes cross the bar with their arms held out sidewards or even above their heads, optimising their mass distribution. (See photos) Hence the "Fosbury Flop" can be differentiated from "The Flop".

For similar reasons noted as drawbacks to the "C" shaped approach the optimal speed of approach in the Flop is not a full out sprint. Similarly, increasing the number of strides beyond eight or ten is not recommended unless the athlete has achieved high consistency in the approach and can handle the increased speed.The angle of take-off towards the bar is usually somewhere between fifteen and thirty degrees. The angle must not be too shallow or the jumper jumps too far along the bar, landing on it. If the angle is too wide, there is not enough time to "lay out" in the air.

The "drive" leg (which is thrust into the air first at take-off) is always the nearer leg to the bar. Thus someone who uses a left foot take-off (where the left foot transmits the jump force and is the latter to leave the ground) will approach the bar from its right hand side, curving to their left so that the bar approaches their right shoulder. The right leg will drive into the air and the jumper's body rotates anti-clockwise around the vertical axis to present their back to the bar in flight.

As well as driving the leg and hips at take-off, the athlete should drive or even swing their arms into the air, contributing to the upwards momentum.


External links

* [ Dick Fosbury revolutionised the high jump] (from the International Olympic Committee web site)

* [ Rotation over the bar in the Fosbury Flop analysed & explained by Dr. Jesus Dapena]

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  • Fosbury-Flop — Hochsprung ist eine Disziplin in der Leichtathletik, bei der ein Athlet oder eine Athletin versucht, beim Sprung über eine Latte die größtmögliche Höhe zu erzielen. Die Latte ist vier Meter lang und so auf zwei Ständern gelagert, dass sie bei… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Fosbury flop — Sauteur utilisant le Fosbury flop Le Fosbury flop ou rouleau dorsal est une technique de saut en hauteur pour franchir une barre horizontale. Son nom provient de l athlète américain Dick Fosbury qui a démontré la meilleure efficacité de ce saut… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • fosbury flop — ● fosbury flop nom masculin (de Fosbury, nom propre, et anglais flop, fait de tomber) Saut en hauteur avec franchissement de la barre en position dorsale …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • fosbury-flop — [fɔsbyʀiflɔp] n. m. ÉTYM. 1968, aux Jeux olympiques de Mexico; mot angl. des États Unis, de Fosbury, nom d un athlète américain, et de l argot flop « chute en souplesse ». ❖ ♦ Athlétisme. Saut en hauteur dans lequel l athlète passe sur le dos au… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Fosbury flop — high jumping technique, 1968, in ref. to U.S. athlete Dick Fosbury (b.1947), who used it to win the 1968 Olympic gold medal …   Etymology dictionary

  • Fosbury-flop — (izg. fòsbari flȍp) m DEFINICIJA sport tehnika skoka uvis kod kojeg skakač leđima prelazi preko letvice ETIMOLOGIJA prema atletičaru R. Fosburyju koji je na Olimpijskim igrama 1968. prvi put izveo takav skok …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Fosbury-flop — Sauteur utilisant le Fosbury flop Le Fosbury flop ou rouleau dorsal est une technique de saut en hauteur pour franchir une barre horizontale. Son nom provient de l athlète américain Dick Fosbury qui a démontré la meilleure efficacité de ce saut… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Fosbury flop — noun jumping over the bar backwards and head first • Hypernyms: ↑high jump * * * Fosbury flop /fozˈbə ri flop/ noun A method of high jumping in which the athlete goes over the bar horizontally on his or her back ORIGIN: R Fosbury (born 1947), US… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Fosbury-Flop — Fos|bu|ry|flop auch: Fos|bu|ry Flop 〈[fɔ̣sbərı ] m. 6; Sp.〉 Art des Hochsprungs, bei der die Latte in Rückenlage überquert wird [nach dem US amerikan. Hochspringer R. Fosbury] * * * Fos|bu|ry|flop, Fos|bu|ry Flop [ fɔsbəriflɔp ], der; s, s [nach… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Fosbury flop — /fɒzbəri ˈflɒp/ (say fozbuhree flop) noun a style of high jumping in which the athlete clears the jump facing upwards with his or her back to the bar, and lands on his or her back on the mat. {named after Richard Fosbury, born 1947, US gold… …  

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