Inside Pole Vaulting #6 –
Basic Training for the Pole Vault!
By Bill Falk
Perfecting technique is a given if you expect to improve in the pole vault. However, you must also train for the pole vaulting event. I suggest vaulting 2 to 3 times per week plus training another three days. You'll be amazed how quickly your heights improve when you become faster, stronger and more explosive. You have to sprint, lift weights and do some basic drills to prepare yourself for the pole vault.
I want to explain basic pole vault drills I consider all-important to your development. I'm not going to cover specific weight lifts or sprint workouts right now, although these drills include some weight lifting and sprinting. Drill twice each week during preseason. Cut down to once per week during your pole vault season.
Basic Drills To Improve Pole Vaulting
Since 90% of your success depends upon how good your Approach Run, Plant and Take-Off are, these drills are designed to improve those phases.
1. Step-Ups – The Perfect Simulation of the Take-Off
Use a box or anything sturdy that is 12" and 18" off the ground. Start with two feet on the ground, stand erect and alternate lifting each foot onto the box. Do 10 reps twice. Increase speed and number of reps as you improve. Later on, hold dumbbells, a medicine ball or some weight and practice the planting action as you step-up.
2. Run In Place – Improves Approach Run Quickness
Run in place as fast as possible. Land on the toes of your feet. At first, do once for 10 seconds. Do two or three times later on.
3. Dribble A Soccer Ball – Teaches Coordination
Dribble as fast as possible for 20 meters once. Do more as you get better at it.
4. Two Step Jumps For Height – Helps You Get Up at Take-Off
Take a right step then jump straight up as high as possible off your left foot. Reverse feet and jump off your right foot. Increase the number of jumps over time.
5. Short Run Long Jumps – Great for Improving Your Take-Off
Jump into a sand pit taking three left steps. Repeat from three right steps. Jump once off each foot. Increase repeats gradually.
6. Quick Skips – Great stride builder
Fast skip for 20 meters. Repeat 3 times after a couple of weeks. It's important to do as fast as possible. Land on your toes to simulate how your foot strikes the ground.
7. Quick Hops – Build Power, Strength and Coordination
Hop on your left foot for 20 meters, then hop on your right foot for 20 meters. Increase length and reps gradually. Land on your toes. I think this drill and Step-Ups are the most important drills.
There are many more great drills, but I believe you will improve rapidly if you include the above group in your practice routine. I want to remind you that sprint drills and weight work are also vital, and we will cover both in future articles.