The current world record in normal high jump is 2.45 metres, set by Javier Sotomayor in 1993.

I read somewhere that in normal high jump, jumpers must take off on one foot. But if you relax the rules a bit and allow jumping with both feet, I guess it might be possible to jump even higher.

How high is it possible to jump allowing taking off with both feet? Is there any such world record?


I remember watching some international high jump competition in TV a few years ago. The Swedish TV commentator then made a comment about one of the high jumpers, that he almost jumped with both feet. The jumper clearly jumped with one foot, but I guess that by just changing his technique a bit he would jump with both feet. The height of his jump was somewhere around 2.30 metres. I would find it surprising if a two-feet jump would be significantly lower than that.

  • Here is a youtube video of a world record high jump off two feet, 2.46 meters: youtu.be/yBCKQevaEmw I haven't found an official record for such a jump; everyone seems focused on the rule that you must jump from one foot.
    – user1910
    Nov 7, 2013 at 2:13
  • 1
    Here's a video, it said the man named 邱江明 won the Guinness World Records by 3.12 meters in 2009: video.sina.com.cn/p/news/s/v/2009-11-06/095060427128.html Jul 13, 2014 at 15:52
  • The book "Sports Mechanics for Coaches" by Brendan Burkett says that elite gymnasts can cross a bar at 9 to 10 feet at the end of a tumbling run. Years ago, I read somewhere that tumbling runs were outlawed from the high jump back in the early 1900's. That may have been the motivation of the "must jump off one foot" rule.
    – Scooter
    Feb 15, 2016 at 16:06

2 Answers 2


I read somewhere that in normal high jump, jumpers must take off on one foot.

Correct. According to Rule 182 of the IAFF's 2012/2013 Competition Rules, the athlete must take off on one foot:

RULE 182 : High Jump

The Competition

  1. An athlete shall take off from one foot.

As you correctly state, the world record for the high jump is 2.45 metres.

A quick search of the Guinness World Records show us that:

The highest standing jump onto a platform was 1.48 m (4 ft 10.27 in) by Jonas Huusom (Denmark) at Gerlev Sports Academy in Slagelse, Denmark, on 27 August 2011.

From a still, standing position, Huusom leaped to the top of 37 firm judo mats stacked one upon the other.

In addition to this record, this wiki page claims that the world record is 1.9m.

Now, there doesn't seem to be an official Guinness record for a vertical, running jump although there are some sites claiming jumps of around 1.55m.

Now neither of these are directly comparable seeing as there is a lot of difference between how the high jump and the vertical standing or running jumps are performed.

That said, with the high jump record being almost 0.5m higher than that of the standing jump I would probably maintain a hypothesis that the one foot jump would be better because of the technique involved, as well as the momentum caused through the bringing up the non-standing leg.

In addition, it appears that the high-jump rules have always requried the taking off being from one foot.

I did once read speculation that a gymnast could do a series of tumbles and somersaults before their final "high jump" which was higher than a one-foot launch but I'd need to see some research or historical evidence to agree with that.

  • 2
    Thanks for bringing up the idea of "a series of tumbles and somersaults". The accumulated rotational energy could then be used for jumping higher (at least in theory, I guess). Jul 16, 2012 at 21:48
  • @ErikSjölund - yes, the theory works but I'm still trying to find some research on the theory.
    – Ste
    Jul 18, 2012 at 9:53
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    Gymnasts perform their tumbles on a spring floor, so their jumps are hardly comparable.
    – jmcampbell
    Sep 19, 2017 at 21:40

The main reason for people jumping off one foot is that they can convert their forward motion into vertical motion better, so you can actually jump higher from one foot.

Additionally, you can convert momentum from the moving leg into additional vertical motion by swinging it forwards at speed and then up as you push up from the other foot.

The record for the Standing High Jump (off both feet) is held by Rune Almén at 1.90m.

  • I believe your answer, but it is not self-evident that you jump higher by jumping with one foot. Do you have any source for that information? Another thing: Although Standing High Jump is interesting I am more interested the case when you are allowed to run before jumping. May 7, 2012 at 19:11

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