Friday, March 20, 2015

Improving Performance off the Runway

muscle up.jpgMany pole vault techniques are similar to that of gymnist. There are several simple drills a vaulter can do that does not require you to be an expert at gymnastics but still be able to perform them in a proper manner. For these exercises you will need a long rope hanging from at least 20 ft high and a high bar. The first exercise can be done on either a high bar or rope (the rope is preferable). The vaulter will  reach as high as they can with their top hand approximately 18 inches lower than that with their bottom hand. The grip on the rope should be the same as if you are gripping a pole at take off. The vaulter will then simply swing their feet to their hands, to continue the drill the vaulter will let their shoulders drop without throwing their head back. They should finish in a position where the vaulter is upside down with their swing leg is straight and parallel to the ground and the opposite knee should be bent. This drill will assist with the swing right after take off. To take this same drill one step further,the vaulter will swing and extend.his drill is often referred to as a Bubka for the previous men’s world record holder Sergei Bubka. The vaulter will grasp the rope as previously described and swing back dropping their shoulder without throwing their head back, the vaulter should tuck both knees close to their chest and then shoot both feet up. The finished position should be a rigid body completely vertical to the ground. In order to hold this position the vaulter needs to tighten their core and glutes. This drill mimics the swing and extension felt during the vault. One more exercise that simply strengthens a vaulters shoulders and will assist in the vaulters overall performance in the vault. This exercise is known as a muscle up or a giant. A high bar is needed for this drill, the vaulter will hang from the bar with hand slightly farther apart than shoulder width. The vaulter must then in a quick and powerful motion do a pull up and then continue to push their body above the bar.

rope swing.jpgIt is not always possible for pole vaulters to get as many reps in on the runway as they need, because of this it is very important for every vaulter to do exercises off the runway that will help strengthen their performance.By doing this the vaulter will have better quality reps each time step on the runway which will make up for the lack of repition.

These simple drills will help to improve any vaulters performance by not only strengthening them but also getting used to what is normally an uncomfortable position. The vaulter also will learn how to have a greater control over their body by engaging their core. I would highly recommend these exercises to any vaulter, you will see results.  

Strawderman, Mark. "The Pole Vault Swing-Up." National Pole Vault Coaches Association. National Pole Vault Coaches Association, 1 Jan. 2015. Web. 16 Mar. 2015. <>.

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