What Is The Definition Of Fosbury Flop In Track & Field?
1. The Fosbury Flop is a high jumping technique in which athletes jump backward, head-first, belly-up over the crossbar. The move is named after Dick Fosbury, the athlete who debuted the technique at the 1968 Olympic Games, winning gold.
What Is The History Of The Fosbury Flop?
Before the Fosbury Flop, jumpers primarily used a straddle approach, a derivative of the Western roll. In both techniques, athletes clear the bar parallelly feet-first and facing the bar to some degree. Variations dictate off which foot the athlete jumps, but the leg closest to the bar is the most common.
After Dick Fosbury introduced the Fosbury Flop, many high jumpers quickly adopted the technique, including 28 out of 40 competitors at the next Olympic Games in 1972. Today, the vast majority of high jumpers use the Fosbury Flop.
What Does A Fosbury Flop Look Like?
The Fosbury Flop consists of a long, straight approach run ending in a small curve, a push off of the innermost leg, and a twisting motion so that the arms and head clear the bar first, with the back facing the bar. Then, the jumper arches their back to pull their hips over the bar, followed by a concave motion to lower the legs over. The jumper lands on their back, rolling backward.
Why Does The Fosbury Flop Work?
According to many physicists, the Fosbury Flop works because it maintains a lower level of gravity compared to the earlier methods.
Because athletes arch their backs while clearing the crossbar, their center of mass remains under the bar. Additionally, because the center of gravity needs to be lower than it would for a different approach, athletes need less vertical force than those who use a different method.
The change in landing materials from sand to a cushioned foam pad made the Fosbury Flop possible. Because harder landing materials necessitated a more careful landing, a backward, head-first method had not been feasible before.