Any tips on getting inverted?

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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Any tips on getting inverted?

Unread postby North_577 » Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:44 am

Background information: I'm a junior in highschool, and its my second year vaulting. To be blunt, my first year i had no idea what i was doing, had no strength, and didn't get much help. I PR'd at 6'6". Over the winter before the next season, i practiced indoor and cleared 9' (with a rope, not a bar; my first meet is Tuesday so i can't give an official PR.) i use an 11'6 110. I'm stuck on how to get inverted, nor have i flexed the pole. I've got a lot of tips that helped, such as the power of my drive, keeping my arms straight in my plant, leading with the chest, not slipping my grip, and "rowing" helped me incredibly. (This doesn't mean I'm doing these things perfectly, but I've at least heard them before.) Also, i work my arms and abs regularly. All this aside, i want so badly to be completely inverted, but by the time I'm along side the pole, it's very late in the jump. Also my left elbow gets in the way on and off again. All I've been told is "give it time," but i at least want to know how to try. Sometimes my plant feels great, i feel time slow almost and i feel like i have all the time in the world before the pole is vertical. But it's not consistent at all. Sorry for all the text, I'll take any help i can get.

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Re: Any tips on getting inverted?

Unread postby vquestpvc » Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:38 am

Ah, the holy grail of pole vaulting for beginners: inverting. Well, you will read it again and again on this site: work more on developing a good approach and take off and inverting will follow. Not to suggest that you won't work on developing the technique of inverting. And let's get it straight, it isn't about strength. It's about developing technique. In my humble opinion, best thing that ever happen to pole vaulting was women. Women will be patient enough to develop the necessary technique which doesn't require above average strength or speed to vault well. Anyway, be sure first of all that you have a sound approach which allows you to run as fast as you can (carrying a pole) and under control. Get away from the pit on the track and run, run, run. "But, inverting is more fun". Yep and so is vaulting higher. Next work on developing a good take off. Pole vaulting is another jump like the high jump or long jump. Practice both of these events: high jump will help develop a good take off foot "through the ground" while the long jump will help develop your approach further using the high jump take off technique. Now, if your foot is constantly "over" in the long jump, it will be "under" in the PV. Don't move back, learn to "shorten" that last step (take off step) so that you're jumping up. After you have worked your take off (without pole) take the pole and do "runovers". Simply put, you are vaulting on the ground. If you don't jump well up on the pole it will not be so forgiving; you will begin to fall to one side or the other. To evaluate yourself with this drill, you should finish in a straight line with some speed that continues you forward. Hey, this is basically how pole vaulting got started; individuals place the end of a stick on the ground to clear obstacles. Now to the good part: Inverting. Are you exhausted yet? When you take off it is suggested that you be in a "C" position. Simply put: at take off your top hand will be high and somewhat behind the ear with the take off foot extended high and back. This position is critical when trying to invert. Have this position and try not to invert (tongue in cheek). With the take off foot extended high and back it stretches out the trail leg causing it to rapidly come forward which helps one to invert. Of course you will help it along, but it has been set up in a good position to whip forward. This is exactly like kicking a soccer ball a long distance. Without stretching the leg out, there is no power to kick the ball very far. Has a light bulb gone off yet? And so, if your take off is "under" you can not stretch out the trail leg making it difficult to invert. You need someone to watch your take off foot, particularly when doing just an inversion drill to see that you're hitting a specific spot that puts you in position to stretch out the trail leg. Of course someone also has to watch to see that your arms are high at take off too. Sorry to be so long winded, but was trying to be thorough. Hey, some people write entire books about vaulting (read some) Hopefully this short blurb with help. Nothing beats practice like practice.

PS......not a big proponent of "rowing" particularly for someone at your level. Rowing, if we are thinking of the same thing, involves using the bottom hand also which can take away from a long powerful swing on the top hand which is more important.

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