Prioritizing Physical Determinants of International Elite Pole Vaulting Performance

Gross, Micah; Büchler Greeley, Nicole; Hübner, Klaus (2020). Prioritizing Physical Determinants of International Elite Pole Vaulting Performance Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 34(1), pp. 162-171. Wolters Kluwer 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003053

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The pole vault is a complex track and field discipline requiring speed, strength, and efficient technique. Strength is a fundamental physical requirement, which facilitates general sprinting ability; this in turn represents the exploitable potential during the approach, where kinetic energy for the subsequent vault is generated. This study investigated the relationships between pole vault height, approach speed, sprint-speed potential, and indicators of both explosive and reactive strength in 20 international female pole vaulters. Furthermore, changes in step characteristics between flying sprints and approach runs were analyzed. Data were collected during and after an international pole vault competition. The correlations between approach speed and vault height, between sprint speed and approach speed, and between explosive strength indicators and sprint speed were large or very large. However, the correlation between reactive strength and sprint speed was small. Differences in speed during the vault approach compared with the flying sprint are mainly due to reduced step length rather than lower step frequency. With the help of a flow chart and regression equations, sound decisions can be made regarding the prioritization of various training components of pole vaulters. With this tool, coaches and athletes can easily evaluate whether or not a facilitator ability is sufficient for improving a more specific performance measure on the way to the central criterion: pole vault height. Furthermore, the results of this study suggest that maintaining step length should be emphasized during approach drills to best exploit sprint-speed potential during the pole vault approach.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


Swiss Federal Institute of Sports Magglingen SFISM > EHSM - Leistungssport > Sportphysiologie Kraft


Gross, Micah;
Büchler Greeley, Nicole and
Hübner, Klaus


1064-8011 (Print) 1533-4287 (Online)


Wolters Kluwer




Service Account

Date Deposited:

03 May 2021 11:29

Last Modified:

21 Sep 2021 02:18

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Approach Sprint Explosive strength Jump Regression Training




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