Pole vaulting is one of the most easily recognizable track events. With the use of a pole that is usually twice the size of the athlete, the athlete propels himself upwards in an attempt to go over a pre-defined height. It looks easy, especially if you are watching the Olympic athletes, but we all know that lots of hard work went into their training to make the movement as seamless and graceful as seen on TV. A certain amount of dedication, discipline and physical fitness is required to achieve this feat.
- Work on your endurance training. Train for running and sprinting, since these two skills are absolutely essential in making sure you get the right momentum to propel yourself upwards and forward. Your speed while running is your main source of strength when you need to pole vault. You can strengthen your training by going to a track or a road that is at least a quarter of a mile in length. If you are on a track, you can start at the point where the track is just beginning to curve. With the pace of brisk walking, start walking and as soon as the road straightens out, sprint in full speed. Every time there is a turn, brisk walk, and every time the track straightens out, sprint. You can do this cycle for around three revolutions around your track. Once you are about to end, on your last sprint, run with the fastest speed you could possibly muster. Rest for a few minutes and do 6 cycles of this exercise. If you do this regularly, it should significantly improve your running and sprinting skills.
- Improving your jumping skills. Your jump will aid you to push yourself upward and forward. You need two jumps before you finally cross that height marker when you pole vault. Your first jump shall launch you high up into the air, which may seem like you are flying, from afar. You can practice your jumping with your pole vault so that you are comfortable running, jumping and holding on to your pole in the track. While holding your pole with its tip up in the air, jump as high as you can repeatedly until you reach your quarter mile marker in the track. You can do this for 4 times with after each repetition, you walk your way back up to your starting point.
- Strengthening your shoulders. A key body part to your pole vaulting skills is your shoulders. Exercise programs that are meant to strengthen your shoulders are a must. One example is to use dumbbells with your back straight, and you sitting down. Place your hands straight up above your head and shoulders. Remember that for this routine to be effective, the weight that you use should enable you to do at least 15 repetitions. You should do at least 3 sets that would give you 45 total presses. You can also do lateral raising of your arms to your shoulder’s height, also in 3 sets of 15 raises. If you have access to a pull-up bar, or otherwise known as a chin-up bar, you can work on those, as well. You can pull yourself up the bar by grasping it at arm’s level. Pull yourself high enough so that the bar is at level with your upper shoulder. Three sets of 15 pulls would also do the trick.
- Helping your legs. Aside from the sprint training, you can help build up the strength of your legs by doing leg presses. This will help you both in running and in jumping. You should be on a raised incline. Again, select the weight wherein you can do several presses. You must also have a spotter for this. Once you are seated on the leg press, have your spotter release it. The weight will go towards you and eventually force your bent knees to touch your chin. Push the weight gently and steadily until your legs are straight. Then gently release your pressure until your knees are again bent until your chin. Pause for a few seconds or so and the press it up again. 3 sets composing of 15 presses should do the trick.
With correct and appropriate training, remember that proper rest and diet should best accompany your exercise routine.