Vault - Basics


Blocking drills
  • Set up a vault board and a large mat or stacked mats about level with the gymnasts shoulders. Work punch to handstand fall to hollow with only a couple of steps. Arms should be kept next to the ears, body positions tight.
  • With the stacked mats work block to back. Full run approach punch off the board block through a handstand on the mats to land flat on the mats. Very important that proper body position is maintained. Shoulders should be completely open.
  • Work on arm swing to block against a wall. Have gymnasts stand near a wall, lean in with an arm circle and block off the wall with straight arms. Really focus on blocking through the shoulders.
  • Handstand shoulder shrugs. From a handstand facing the wall shrug up and down without bending the arms.
  • Hand bouncing on a tumble track. Kick to a handstand block, then continue to bounce on the hands. Requires that the gymnast already has a strong handstand.
  • What happens before the gymnast even touches the springboard often determines the success of the vault. The run is a critical, often overlooked, part of the vault.
The Arm Swing
  • Before any running approaches are used to the vault the gymnast should understand a proper arm swing. On a spring floor work hurdle to punch with an upwards arm swing. This should be comfortable and consistant before moving to a spring board.
  • The arm swing is a very important and often undertrained componant of vaulting. Many younger gymnasts don't have a proper arm swing and later have to relearn their vault approach.
  • The arm swing should enhance the lift generated by the springboard. This entails swinging the arms upward as the gymnast punches off the board.
  • Work straight jumps off a spring board onto a large mat or stacked mats. The gymnast should be able to do this without any forward rotation. An aggressive arm swing and properly extending their feet in front of their hips will result in the proper take off.