How High Can a Human Jump?
Cristiano Ronaldo caused gasps around the world with a spectacular headed goal for Juventus against Sampdoria recently. The Portuguese star leapt 71cm (almost 268 inches) in the air and remained suspended for 1.5 seconds, but how much higher than this are humans capable of jumping?
The High Jump Records
Both the men’s and women’s high jump records are among the longest-standing in the athletics world. Cuban Javier Sotomayor leapt 2.45 metres (8 feet ¼ inches) in an event in Spain in 1993.
In the women’s event, Stefka Kostadinova of Bulgaria set the record in 1987. She jumped 2.09 metres (6 feet 10 ¼ inches) in Rome, to beat her own world record.
The Highest Standing Jump
Brett Williams jumped an incredible 1.651 metres (5 feet 5 inches) in Texas, in 2019. Williams said that it took him three years of training to be able to set this world record for a vertical jump.
The student discovered that he could jump pretty close to the previous world record. So, he set about training, using box jumping and heavy squatting to improve the height he could reach.
Highest Standing Jump on One Leg
The next jumping record is perhaps even more remarkable than the ones we have looked at so far. Canadian Evan Ungar broke this record in 2017, when soared 1.346 metres (4 feet 4.99 inches). The record-breaking jump was made after he had injured his jumping leg, meaning that he would later need 5 stitches on it. However, Ungar then used his other leg to jump with, leading to his successful jump.
The Highest Jumpers in Basketball
You might think that basketball players are the people who can jump the highest. Yet, none of them match the figures we have just seen. For example, the highest vertical jump in the history of the NBA is said to be 1.116 metres (46 inches).
Michael Jordan is one of several players credited with this record. Many others are just below him, although there does seem to be a lack of reliable data on current players. Some sources suggest that Wilt Chamberlain once reached 48 inches with a vertical jump.
American Football Jumpers
It is thought that the strength of gridiron players means that they can jump even higher than NBA stars. The record set by an NFL player is 1.116 metres (46 inches), which is the same height mentioned earlier for Michel Jordan.
Gerald Sensabaugh is the player who is credited with being able to jump vertically as high as this. This is the sort of height most of us only reach when climbing a fixed access ladder.
The Volleyball Stars
Volleyball is one of the sports that need players to produce high vertical jumps. One player whose name stands out is Leonel Marshall. The Cuban outside hitter was said to be able to jump 50 inches, which is 127 cm.
18-year old Canadian player Sharone Vernon-Evans recorded a spike-hit of 383 cm (12 feet 6 1/2 inches) a couple of years ago. This puts him just behind Marshall as the sport’s second highest jumper.