Top Arm

A forum to discuss pole vault technique as it relates to beginning vaulters. If you have been jumping less than a year, this is the forum for you.

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Top Arm

Unread postby gvn2fly » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:41 am

First of all, I apologize if this topic has been discussed thoroughly already. If so, please direct me to the posts.

What type of resistance is the top arm doing during the vault? How is it changing? I understand that you need to maintain a "strong body" so the top arm should be strong and engaged when planting. I also know this is where energy is being loaded into the pole. But I hear a lot of coaches say that you need to be driving the top arm forward and down towards the mat during the vault. However, this seems like it would impede the chest drive and cause a pre-mature swing. I know I saw in Butler's video that they were doing drills where they were stressing their shoulders moving back. That seems less like a forceful drive forward and more of a controlled resistance? Do you drive that top arm forward after the swing is ending? Does the top arm just need to be solid to facilitate a good swing? Does driving the top arm contribute to the swing? I'm getting confused on the issue. I appreciate any insight. Thanks!


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Re: Top Arm

Unread postby tsorenson » Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:34 pm

here is a forum where this topic was discussed before. ... rm+serious

This is not a question that has a simple answer. Your top arm definitely needs to be "solid" and apply pressure at the plant and throughout the swing. It is the shoulder girdle that needs to relax in order to get a good chest drive/pre-stretch. The arms are always pressing up during the swing (but keep the left elbow facing out so that you don't block), and the shoulder girdle "re-engages" as the trail leg snaps through the chord. This simultaneous snap of the shoulders and the trail leg through the chord will give you the fastest swing possible. You don't want to row your arms forward too far at this point, because it will make it impossible to swing up above your hands if they are way out in front of your body. Toward the top of the swing, as it is slowing down and you are rolling your hips up, the top hand "row" becomes much more pronounced as you try to "close off" the angle between your body and the pole and get in line for the recoil.

Swinging on the highbar/rope/rings can help teach you how to achieve this complex movement.

Good luck!

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