This year’s UK U20 No.1 at high jump, long jump, shot and heptathlon takes us through her top five high jump drills

Morgan Lake tops the UK under-20 rankings for the high jump, long jump and shot put as well as the heptathlon.

The 17-year-old is next in action at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Eugene, USA, but before heading out to the States she shared her top five drills for the high jump with Athletics Weekly.

Side-on take-off drill

“I use this drill for controlled acceleration, rhythm and to keep my shoulder high at take-off.”

side on take off 1

1. Set out five markers along the side of the high jump bar, each slightly further apart from another. Start with a relaxed running position.

2. Each stride should get quicker. Push the ground behind you and bring your arms back ready to jump.

3. Take off keeping your shoulder nearest to the bar as high as you can and keep your take-off leg straight.

Pop-up drill (high bar)

“This drill is done to give me confidence in jumping at a high bar.”

pop up 2

1. Set the height of the bar above your personal best and approach the bar from a four or five-stride run. Exaggerate your running action by running as tall as you can and keeping your centre of gravity high.

2. When you take off look above the bar and drive your knee away. Keep your knee and arms high and stretched above your head.

3. After you land from the jump continue your run in a semi-circle away from the high jump bed.

Straight leg drill on a circle

“This drill is a good one to keep me standing tall and also helps with my lean into the curve.”

straight leg 3

1. Set out markers for a 10-stride circle. Keep your body as tall and straight as possible, arms above hip level and pick your toes up.

2. Try to make your strides bouncy and not too long, push the ground behind you and use your arms to lift.

3. Lean into the circle – foot strike should be under your body and try not to let your strides get too far in front of you.

High skips on track straight

“I do this drill for ground contact and fast reaction from the floor.”

high skips 4

1. This drill can be done using a single or double-arm shift and you should alternate your take-off leg. Use a short run into the first stride and take off with your leg out in front of you and, with your heel first, push off using the ball of your foot.

2. Skip as high as you can, keeping your body straight and your knee held up in front of you.

3. Push on to the next stride and repeat the movement trying to stay in the middle of the lane.

Back-over drill

“We do this drill to work on body movement and position over the bar.”

back over 5

1. Start with feet shoulder-width apart and give yourself room between yourself and the bar. Try not to stand too close. Shoulders and arms should be relaxed and keep your back straight.

2. Bend your knees and squat. Try not to let them turn inwards and keep your heels on the ground. In one movement push through the balls of your feet and jump as high as you can, making sure you use your arms.

3. When you have gone as high as you can, drop your shoulders over the bar in an arch position, lift your hips and pick up your knees. This should be a fast movement.