What renders pole vault the most complicated, yet exhilarating sport in track and field? betterworld2016.org Explains:


Sweden's Armand Duplantis in a pole vault event in Rome. AP photograph

It"s taken into consideration one of the many technically demanding track and field events. No without reason.

You are watching: How is the pole vault executed?

Propelling yourself over a bar that’s usually roughly 20 feet high, making use of a high stick is a skill that also elite athletes will find daunting. Now include to that the fact to maximise the height of her jump you must take trip with her feet pointing skywards, and also pole vaulting becomes a skill just a select collection of human being can execute.

To clock a pole vault executed properly is to clock physics collide with art. To placed it simply, pole vault is a discipline that will fascinate physics nerds — that will sell explanations around kinetic energy and elastic potential energy and gravitational potential power — and gymnastics aficionados — that will gush over the graceful change of a human taking flight feet first and climate arching the body into a "U" as they sail over the bar. Look at it either way, the physics or the aesthetics that it, the pole vault is a complex sport.

You need the explosive explode of rate of a sprinter in her run-up, the capacity of a lengthy jumper ~ above the take-off, the top body strength of a wrestler come propel yourself upwards using the pole, and lastly, a gymnast’s method and a ballerina’s versatility while airborne.

Here’s a look at just how pole vaulters carry out what lock do:

The run

Scientists, and also pole vaulters themselves, will tell girlfriend the height achieved on a vault is merely a an outcome of how quick you deserve to run prior to you elevator off. The quicker you run, the higher you have the right to propel yourself. Armand ‘Mondo’ Duplantis, who increased the civilization record bar twice in a week in February 2020, is well-known the have run the 100m in a blistering time the 10.57 secs (albeit in wind-assisted conditions). Duplantis, a wunderkind in pole vaulting, likewise broke athletics legend Sergey Bubka’s 26-year-old outdoor mark of 6.14m in September 2020. What provides the operation tricky, is the you have to hold the pole stable while running.

The plant, the swivel and the takeoff

Once the vaulter plants the pole right into the pit, they need to swing your body upwards v their feet pointed skywards and their eight hauling your body weight up v the help of the pole. When in the air, castle let go of the pole and swivel their body so that by the moment they’re in ~ the height of the bar, they’re dealing with downwards.


(Video courtesy: YouTube/KindaKreative)

The pole flex

Pole vaulting is the only jumping discipline in track and field where devices matters as much as the human being doing it. This has actually led to a many thought gift put right into the pole itself.

The previously pole vaulters used poles make of bamboo and steel. Understandably, the an initial pole vault champion in ~ the Olympics was william Hoyt, that ascended come a elevation of 3.30m. Till the 1940s and the 50s, vaulters were making use of bamboo and also steel poles. Your jumps were roughly 4.5 metres. However when fiberglass poles were introduced roughly 1958, vaulters were able to leap come heights over 5m. Now, v carbon fibre poles, male athletes are able to clear 6m.

This is since carbon fibres are an ext flexible, so they act as loaded springs propelling athletes skywards. The material also makes the poles lighter — the bamboo poles were well-known to weigh around 10 kgs while modern-day poles room just around two kgs — which renders it straightforward for the athletes to operation in faster.

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The ‘U’

While their body achieves its maximum height, pole vaulters twist your body to form a graceful ‘U’ or a ‘V’ if they cross the bar, feet-first.