Rowing the hands?

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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Unread postby Sebes » Tue Mar 07, 2006 4:01 pm

Bubka wasn't perfect AVC Coach. Remember he was trying to jump 6.40.

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Unread postby PaulVaulter » Tue Mar 07, 2006 7:03 pm

Locking the arms will put more energy into the pole at the instant of take-off. True.

Locking the arms at take-off will lead to passive phases at later stages of the vault and a lower total amount of energy into the pole, and thus into the vault.

Remember every action in the vault will directly affect what happens later, you can't just vault in the here and now.
Aim high, then at least if you miss you won't shoot yourself in the foot.

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Unread postby AVC Coach » Tue Mar 07, 2006 9:09 pm

Bubka wasn't perfect AVC Coach. Remember he was trying to jump 6.40.


Bubka was using the 6.40 model though. There wasn't a book written called "Beginner to Underachiever".

Locking the arms will put more energy into the pole at the instant of take-off. True.

Locking the arms at take-off will lead to passive phases at later stages of the vault and a lower total amount of energy into the pole, and thus into the vault.


Good point PaulVaulter. I don't think a vaulter can swing as fast with a stiff bottom arm. If you're running at 9.5 m/s and gravity pulls at 9.81 m/s then you have to add energy to the system by swinging faster or you're not going to come off of the pole with very much speed. That's the goal right? Shoot off the top with max speed. Maybe I'm crazy, but I see it work day after day.

I coach a lot of kids. Some are faster than others, but they are all trying to learn how to come off the top of the pole with maximum speed for their ability level.

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Unread postby IndyCoach » Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:22 am

AVC Coach wrote:
Bubka wasn't perfect AVC Coach.

Good point PaulVaulter. I don't think a vaulter can swing as fast with a stiff bottom arm. If you're running at 9.5 m/s and gravity pulls at 9.81 m/s then you have to add energy to the system by swinging faster or you're not going to come off of the pole with very much speed. That's the goal right? Shoot off the top with max speed. Maybe I'm crazy, but I see it work day after day.

I coach a lot of kids. Some are faster than others, but they are all trying to learn how to come off the top of the pole with maximum speed for their ability level.


running is a velocity or speed and gravity is an acceleration. The jumping off the ground along with the running change the velocity vector to add energy to the pole. Straight arms don't, in theory, absorb the energy nearly as much as bent arms. They will act like a shock absorber and lose some of the energy of the run. The greatest loss of energy, based on physics, is a late plant or being under.

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Unread postby swtvault » Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:38 am

You guys are flat wrong. Have fun rowing and jamming your bottom arm.

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Unread postby jomrus » Wed Mar 08, 2006 11:21 am

Nice constructive post, thanks.
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Unread postby Carolina21 » Wed Mar 08, 2006 11:25 am

Yeah, I really don't think jamming the bottom arm is the way to go. It puts you in a terrible position to try to swing, in fact you would have to unjam the arm in order to actually swing, and I would imagine no matter how quickly you can unjam that arm you still lose energy and the vault happens soo fast there is absolutely no time to loose. The vaulters goal should be to continuously move the pole to vertical, any movement or anything that stops or slows the pole from accomplishing this is not helping you. Remeber your run / velocity what ever you want to call it is what bends the pole, not your bottom arm.
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Unread postby AVC Coach » Wed Mar 08, 2006 11:39 am

running is a velocity or speed and gravity is an acceleration. The jumping off the ground along with the running change the velocity vector to add energy to the pole. Straight arms don't, in theory, absorb the energy nearly as much as bent arms.


I understand the concepts of speed, velocity and acceleration. I was making a point that once a vaulter leaves the ground, the laws of gravity are working against him/her and the vaulter has to do something to add energy to the system to decrease deceleration if they want a pop at the top. (Yes, I know these same laws govern the run too.)

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Unread postby IndyCoach » Thu Mar 09, 2006 11:08 am

In a free take off a straight bottom arm wouldnt be doing any jamming just helping the vualter stay behind the pole. Yes it will bend slightly, but should be started straight. Atleast, that is what I have been able to see so far

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Unread postby jomrus » Thu Mar 09, 2006 1:02 pm

IndyCoach wrote:In a free take off a straight bottom arm wouldnt be doing any jamming just helping the vualter stay behind the pole. Yes it will bend slightly, but should be started straight. Atleast, that is what I have been able to see so far


I agree tat a straight arm at the plant does not mean "jamming the arm". It's just an active way of loading energy into the pole. Rather than absorbing with a bent arm.
JR+MS=JR&MR

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Unread postby master » Thu Mar 09, 2006 1:46 pm

IndyCoach wrote:In a free take off a straight bottom arm wouldnt be doing any jamming just helping the vualter stay behind the pole. Yes it will bend slightly, but should be started straight. Atleast, that is what I have been able to see so far

I just went to the Stabhochsprung website and looked at many of the most recent jump videos there. I used the "Reihe" link version which displays a sequence of stills. What I see for the most part is different than you describe. The vaulters extend their bottom arm fully forward during the plant motion, but at the time of the pole hitting the back of the box (or pole begginning to bend), the bottom arm is not locked at the elbow but rather is bent as needed to accommodate their body's position relative to the pole.

My understanding with regard to transferring the kinetic energy of the approach to the pole is that should be attempted to be accomplished with the top arm. That is asking a lot of the top arm. To help with this, at the time of take off, the entire extended body should become as rigid as possible. It will not be able to maintain that position, but that should not keep the vaulter from trying to become rigid. (Note, a vaulter can stay behind the pole using this technique without locking the left arm at take off.) The torso will penetrate faster creating the typical curved position (the C or reversed C depending on which side you are watching from). This position, with the extended take off leg, is then the set up for the whip-swing portion of the jump which will transfer even more energy into the pole as potential energy in the form of the pole being bent more.

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Unread postby rizlab » Thu Mar 09, 2006 1:53 pm

I've seen lots of people vault, and nothing looks more wrong than having a bent arm at take off, it looks like the pole is too stiff and your pussyfooting around, Steve lewis Uk, 19 yrs old; 5.40m. He doesnt do that tequnique, infact all the national vaulters i have seen dont do this collapsed arm business, you've lost the majority of your energy you put in running, after you take off. at take off it is critical to have this J shape i.e straight arms and trailing take off leg.
when i vault high enough, to hit jesus... ill be happy.


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