in: Featured, Manly Know-How, Skills

• Last updated: June 1, 2021

How to Jump From Rooftop to Rooftop


Man jumping from rooftop illustration.

So you’re being pursued by spies/and or ninjas who want you dead. They’ve chased you through a building and onto the rooftop. You sprint towards the edge of the building and look down at the tiny cars passing below. There’s nowhere to go…except the roof of the adjacent building. You’re going to have to jump.

You’ve developed the power and strength you need to make this leap, but do you know how to do it in a way that maximizes your chances for survival?

Here’s how to jump from rooftop to rooftop like Jason Bourne.

Assess the situation. Gauge how far the building is from where you are standing. The maximum distance most people can jump, even with a running start, is about 10 feet. If the roof you’re jumping onto is lower than the one you’re leaping from, you might be able to go a couple feet more because of the added momentum.

Jason Bourne running on rooftop.

Sprint. You need to get a running start; without one, you’re not going to go very far. To clear a 10 foot gap, you’ll need at least 40-60 feet of runway. Sprint like the dickens towards the edge of the building.

Man jumping from rooftops. Image from zerogravity

Leap. You’re going to want to jump up and out, so swing your arms back and then jump at a 45 degree angle, letting your arms come forward as you leap. Put your whole body into it. Focus on where you want to land.

Men jumping from rooftops.

Land. At the midpoint of your jump, bring your knees up in front of you so that your thighs form a 90 degree angle with your body. Keep looking at your landing spot. As you near your landing, aggressively straighten out your legs and point your toes; the balls of your feet will hit first and absorb the tension of the landing, keeping you stable. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart with your knees slightly bent. As you land, your knees will instinctively bend, but try to keep them from going down father than a 90 degree angle with the ground. Let your torso sink towards your legs, and place your hands on the ground.

The tuck and roll diagram of man. Roll. You want to roll on your shoulder, diagonally across your back, so you’re rolling from one shoulder to the opposite hip. Tuck your head under your armpit as you go into the roll. Concentrate on rounding your body and making yourself into a ball. Keep yourself tucked as your weight carries you through the roll and keep your knees bent and your weight low as you rise to your feet. Now scan the rooftop for would-be attackers and ninjas or use the momentum from your roll to continue your sprint.

Man climbing on wall.Damn! I didn’t quite make it…So now you’re dangling from the building, holding onto the ledge for dear life. To get yourself to safety, bring your knees into your chest and press your toes into the side of the building. Push your legs up by your toes and pull your body up by your hands at the same time. Really push with those legs—they’ll have much more strength and power than your arms. When your shoulders clear the top of the ledge, move your hands so that your palms are flat against the surface of the ledge, straighten out your arms, and push your body up. Lean forward so that your center of gravity is on the safety side, so you won’t fall to your death if you lose your balance.

Once half of your body is above the wall, bring your legs over the side. Change your pants.

Remember folks, these articles are supposed to be fun. Don’t do anything stupid.


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