BOBBERT, M.F., and A.J. “KNOEK” van SOEST. Why do people jump the way they do? Exerc. Sport Sci. Rev., Vol. 29, No. 3, pp 95–102, 2001. When humans perform maximum height squat jumps, their segmental rotations contribute in a proximodistal sequence to the vertical acceleration of the center of gravity. The same kinematic pattern occurs in a forward dynamic model of the musculoskeletal system when muscle stimulation is optimized to maximize jump height. This paper examines why this kinematic pattern maximizes jump height in humans, given the design of the human musculoskeletal system.