When you think of high jump, no one uses the straddle roll anymore.
The last time we saw that technique being used was Vladimir Yashchenko (2.33m & 2.34m World records from 1977-78) or Valeriy Brumel (2.23-2.28m World records from 1961-63)
In the long jump, most Elite men (if not all) use the hitch kick. The Hang technique is still commonly used in women.
If you want some great examples of the hitch-kick, go to the previous articles on Irving Saladino or Ivan Pedroso 9 meter Long Jumps.
When was the last time you saw a world class man use the Hang technique in the long jump?
I say USSR’s Robert Emmiyan from the late 1980’s.
Here is his long jump from the 1987 World Championships on YouTube:
UPDATE: Sorry, the video is no longer on YouTube.
He even jumped 8.86 meters in ideal conditions – Altitude and +1.9m/s wind – using the hang technique, just 4 centimeters shy of Bob Beamon’s 8.90 WR from 1968. Here is that video on YouTube:
Look at the height off the board! I’ll bet his vertical jump is over 48 inches.
It wasn’t until the 1991 World Championships when Mike Powell broke the World record in the long jump in a great dual with Carl Lewis.
Hang or Hitch-kick?
I’ve seen too many high school and College kids try to hitch kick or “run in the air” that resembles a Dayron Robles shuffle in between hurdle steps.
The Hang or Hitch-kick technique serves three purposes: (1) balance, (2) prevent forward rotation once you leave the board, and (3) preparing for an optimal landing position. That’s it. “Running in the air”, without ground contact, does nothing to increase your jump. Nothing can be done to change the flight path once the foot has left the board.
You will need a lot of height off the board and a lot of air time to do a PROPER one-and-a-half stride or two-and-a-half stride hitch kick.
So if you feel pressured to change technique, focus on your runway speed and height off the board.
After all, the long jump is simply the 17 step sprint with a high jump at the end of the board!
Great Long Jump Coaching article
Athleticscoaching.ca has a great 6 page article on CHARACTERISTICS OF THE LONG JUMP TECHNIQUE (PDF File) by Dr. Heinz Weidner, Dr. Harmut Dickwach.
Summary of the article:
The authors from the German Democratic Republic discuss the run-up, take-off, flight and landing phases in a model target technique of the long jump and list some performance prerequisites for the event. The article is a translated summary of the text that originally appeared in Der Leichtathlet, No.27, July 1989. Re-printed with permission from Modern Athlete and Coach.