Pole Vaulting Workouts

Woman running

Pole vaulting is a combination of many athletic skills, and your workout should include portions for each. Michael Marek, a former University of Wisconsin vaulter and a current high school vaulting coach, says: "Pole vaulting is best suited for well-toned, lean, fit bodies conditioned for sprinting, jumping, stamina and endurance." With those qualities in mind, a vaulter's workout includes strength training, sprint drills, plyometrics and cardiovascular endurance. Although these are not sport-specific drills, the exercises will train the movements that pole vaulting requires, especially during the off-season.

Strength Training

Improve leg strength with step-ups. Set a 12- to 18-inch box or step on the ground. Stand facing the step. Place your right foot on top of the box with your knee bent. Straighten your right leg and stand on top of the box with both feet. Lower your left foot to the ground first and then your right. Repeat this 10 times for each leg. Complete one or two sets.

Develop core strength with hanging-knee raises. Use a captain's chair at a gym, or hang from a pull-up bar or sturdy tree branch. Hang with your legs straight beneath you. Exhale, bend your knees and raise them toward your chest. Inhale and slowly lower your legs to the starting position. Repeat this for two sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.

Tone your upper body with two sets of 10 to 15 pushups. Begin on your hands and knees. Position your hands directly underneath your shoulders. Straighten your legs and rest your toes on the floor. Lower your hips to align your spine. Inhale, bend your elbows and lower your chest toward the floor. Exhale, straighten your arms and return to start position.


Stand on the goal line of a football field. Sprint 40 yards. Walk back, rest for 60 seconds and repeat the drill two or three times.

Skip forward for 30 yards. Swing your arms to help you move quickly. Land on your toes before you immediately skip forward again. Rest for one to two minutes and repeat this two or three times.

Stand on a 400-meter track. Sprint 100 meters, or a quarter of the track. Walk for 200 meters. Sprint 100 meters. Walk for 200 meters. Repeat this exercise twice when your stamina increases.

Jump Training

Run in place. Lightly land on your toes and then immediately lift your leg into the run. Begin with 10 seconds. Rest for 60 seconds and then repeat. Increase the duration as your power improves.

Hop on your right foot for 20 meters. Hop on your left foot for the same. Repeat two or three times.

Begin with a slow jog. Increase your stride distance by leaping from one foot to the other. Begin with 200 meters and then walk for 200 meters. Repeat.


Walk for 20 to 30 minutes at a quick pace.

Jog for 20 to 30 minutes at a rate that allows you to talk but not sing.

Perform 20 to 30 minutes of other cardiovascular exercises such as swimming, cycling or dancing to avoid overuse injuries yet improve your endurance.


Select one or two areas to focus on for your daily workout. For example, do strength training and sprinting on day one and then do jump training on the days you perform endurance training. Warm up with five minutes of walking or light jogging before you begin the workout.


Seek the guidance of your doctor before you begin pole vaulting. Also, speak with your coach to determine the best exercises for your body type.