The pole vault is a track and field event that requires much strength and skill. It involves a combination of sprinting, jumping, gymnastics and upper body strength. It can be a difficult sport to learn and succeed at. You will need to practice quite often while also performing an assortment of exercise drills to help improve your skills.


Step-ups help you improve your take offs while also strengthening your legs. Place a box that is 12 to 18 inches in height in front of you. Stand with both of your feet in front of the box. While standing straight, lift your left foot onto the box and then back down. Then lift your right foot onto the box and back down. Keep alternating from leg to leg quickly until you have performed 10 repetitions. Repeat the exercise after a short rest. Try to increase your speed and repetitions as you get better at the drill. You can also hold dumbbells in each hand to make the exercise more challenging.

Quick Skips

Quick skips help improve your strides when sprinting toward the vault. Skip quickly on an indoor track for 20 meters. Land on your toes with each stride, simulating the way you will be striding up to the vault. Repeat the exercise several times while resting in between. Try to increase your speed as you improve at the exercise.

High Knee Runs

High knee runs also improve your speed and coordination when approaching the vault. Run for 40 yards on an indoor track while focusing on getting your knees up high with each stride. Also emphasize high back kicks that reach almost up to your rear end. Keep your back straight and upright as you run. This should be a quick but floating type of run on your toes.

Handstand Pushups

Handstand pushups help strengthen the upper body muscles needed for pole vaulting. At first you may not be able to perform handstand pushups. Start out doing basic handstands with the assistance of a teammate or a wall. Once you have developed some balance try doing handstands without assistance and then handstand walking. Then when you have developed some skill at handstands, perform handstand pushups. Try to do as many as you can without falling.

By: Tom Stewart


Pole Vaulting
Pole Vaulting


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